All too many hip-hop legends die before they reach their full potential. Unfortunately, this was the case with the iconic Biggie Smalls. Known to many as The Notorious B.I.G., the Brooklyn rapper (real name Christopher Wallace) was a skilled emcee who was savagely murdered over a fallout and misunderstanding.
The East Coast versus West Coast feud of the 1990s was legendary but tragic. Competition drives rap music. However, things can get ugly when it turns violent, and this was the case with Biggie and Tupac Shakur.
The two musicians were the giants of 1990s hip-hop and, initially, were close friends. The renowned Death Row rapper Snoop Dogg knew them both and saw the fallout firsthand. Speaking on their shortlived friendship Snoop (real name Calvin Broadus) explained, “They instantly hit it off. They were both Geminis, so they were Gemini twins in a way. These guys were incredibly close. Tupac would have Biggie over his house when he was in LA, even [have him] sleep on his couch.” However, one incident changed all of that.
In 1994, while in New York to work on music, Shakur was shot at Quad Studios in Manhattan while exiting the building. Dazed and confused following the gunfire, the rapper recalled that he saw two individuals, both of whom were affiliates of Wallace. From here, the California rapper went on a rampage. Insistent that the Brooklyn act had organised a hit on him, Shakur began attacking Biggie, his entire entourage, and even his family. Moreover, he made it regional by insinuating that Diddy and Bad Boy Entertainment wanted to destroy LA’s Death Row empire.
Unfortunately, this was the beginning of the end, and the two cliques, Bad Boy Entertainment and Death Row Records began to develop a mutual resentment. Furthermore, in LA, notorious gangsters such as Suge Knight encouraged it and fueled the fire of violence. The West Coast versus East Coast feud became a virus, and unnecessary affiliates were getting roped in on both sides.
As much as it may have entertained the culture, it was an amalgamation of bloodshed and pure horror that ultimately ended with the deaths of two amazingly talented rappers: Tupac and Biggie Smalls. The former was killed in a 1996 driveby shooting, and Wallace was a revenge murder. People rarely comment on the feud.
In a 2022 interview with Snoop Dogg, both Noreaga and Broadus unveiled what many MCs already know: that Pac’s 1994 shooting had nothing to do with Biggie Smalls. As sad as it is, the two legends are no longer with us. However, Biggie spoke with J.V. of the San Francisco ‘The Dog House’ radio show in 1997. It was his last radio interview a mere four days before his murder. You can watch the chat in the video below.