It’s no secret that Jay-Z and Tupac didn’t see eye to eye, but there was a reason why ‘Hov’ resisted pouring more fire on the beef. Instead, he held back from releasing his diss, and it would be a decision that he’d later be proved right on holding off.
Their falling out happened just months before the death of Pac when Jay aligned himself with Biggie by recruiting the rapper to appear on ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ on his debut album, Reasonable Doubt.
According to Murder Inc co-founder Irv Gotti, Shakur was infuriated by the track, and Jay instantly made an enemy out of somebody that he didn’t want to get on the wrong side of.
He told Fat Joe, “That’s why ‘Pac was sh*tting on Jay because of ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’. Jay’s on the record with him so now he’s like, ‘F*ck you, ain’t no n***** like me, f*ck Jay-Z,’ and he starts bombing on Jay.”
Pac then aired his dirty laundry publically and fired shots at ‘Hov’ on ‘Bomb First (My Second Reply)’ and ‘F*ck Friendz’. The pair of tracks were recorded just a month before his death in 1996, and fortunately, Jay never responded.
Although nothing was released immediately, Jay did take himself to the booth and fire back at Pac. However, after the Compton icon was murdered, Carter thought it would be disrespectful to share it.
DJ and producer Clark Kent later said, “It never came out, out of respect for the fact that he die. Jay did a record going at Pac, but just as it was about to come out, son [Tupac] died. We performed it, though. We performed it once. You have to understand. The chip on Jay’s shoulder is so crazy, it’s just like he had to perform it.’
Jay was a Brooklyn boy, and his loyalty was always on the side of his hometown hero. While he respected Pac as an artist, he knew where his bread was buttered, and if there was a war taking place, he was fighting side by side with Biggie. However, releasing a disrespectful about a bar is a step too far, even for ‘Hov’.