Tupac Shakur needs no real introduction. One of the most iconic rappers to have ever lived, during the 1990s, there was no hotter name in the genre than he. Incredibly influential, you’d be hard-pressed to find a contemporary rapper who does not cite the California rapper as an inspiration. He released his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991, and after that, he quickly rose to become a central figure in the West Coast scene.
Known for conscious lyrics in the early stages of his career, Pac completely flipped his style with the release of hip-hop’s first double album, All Eyez on Me, in 1996. He abandoned the more reflective elements of his work and assumed the genre of fierce gangsta rap.
Tragically, the gangster side of his life would eventually claim his life in a drive-by shooting in September 1996. Whilst the rap world mourned, he was etched into pop culture history forever, and his spirit lives on through his essential music.
Another rapper who was at the top of his game in the ’90s was Snoop Dogg. These days he’s more of a media personality than a rapper, with that Just Eat advert springing to mind. However, back in the mid-’90s, Snoop was one of the hottest properties in rap. A titan of the West Coast scene, Dogg first made his name after appearing on Dr. Dre’s 1992 classic The Chronic and then confirmed his talent with the release of his game-changing debut, Doggystyle, in 1993. His follow-up, 1996’s Tha Doggfather, became a crucial moment in gangsta rap and saw the maturer Snoop hit new artistic heights, peeling back the explicit themes of his debut.
Of course, given that Pac and Snoop were such key figures of the West Coast scene, you won’t be surprised to hear that both knew each other and, for a time, were great friends. Famously, the two confirmed their supremacy when Snoop guested on ‘2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted’ from All Eyez on Me. However, the two weren’t on good terms later that year at the time of 2Pac’s death.
The pair were often snapped out together, but the overarching West Coast vs East Coast beef would ultimately come between them. In 2019, Snoop revealed that the two had an argument over a comment he’d made about East Coast stars Biggie and Puff Daddy. In an interview, Snoop called the pair his “homeboys”, which infuriated 2Pac, who didn’t associate with East Coast rappers due to the rivalry. The next time they saw each other, 2Pac ignored Snoop, who sat alone on a plane journey home. This was their last encounter before 2Pac’s untimely death.
Although this is a moment that Snoop has spoken about with sincerity ad regret, it’s not how we should remember their friendship. Luckily, there exists footage of the two hanging out in the studio. At the start of the clip, we see 2Pac spitting some insane bars with his crew on ‘Let’s Fight’.
Pac digs the beat so much he says he’s going to “blackout’ due to its insane rhythm. Then the clip cuts to Snoop Dogg and Pac in the studio, with the Doggystyle mastermind delivering an expletive-ridden bar towards 2Pac. Then what ensues is a montage of the rappers happily hanging out with friends.
A candid image of two of the heavyweights of rap, this footage is a must-watch.