The conflict between Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie, is one of the most infamous and tragic feuds in the history of hip-hop. While the exact origins of their beef are complex and multifaceted, it is widely believed to have started with a combination of personal animosity, artistic rivalry, and the larger cultural and political context of the time.
Here is a timeline of some of the key events that contributed to the Tupac-Biggie feud:
- Tupac and Biggie first met in the early 1990s when both were rising stars in the rap world. They initially had a friendly relationship, with Tupac even referring to Biggie as his “little homie” in interviews.
- In 1994, Tupac was robbed and shot multiple times in a recording studio in New York City. He believed that the shooting was orchestrated by Biggie and other members of the East Coast hip-hop scene as part of a larger conspiracy to undermine him.
- Tupac was subsequently sentenced to prison on sexual assault charges. During his incarceration, he became increasingly bitter and paranoid, and began to publicly accuse Biggie and other East Coast rappers of disrespecting him and stealing his style.
- In 1995, Tupac signed with Death Row Records, a West Coast label run by Suge Knight. He began to record diss tracks aimed at Biggie and other East Coast rappers, including “Hit ‘Em Up,” which contained explicit threats and insults.
- In March 1996, Tupac released the album “All Eyez on Me,” which contained several songs that were perceived as disses towards Biggie and the East Coast rap scene. These included “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” and “Wonda Why They Call U Bitch.”
- Later that year, Tupac was involved in a physical altercation with a member of Biggie’s entourage at a Las Vegas casino. Shortly thereafter, he was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. The murder remains unsolved, but many believe that it was part of a larger feud between East and West Coast rappers.
- In the aftermath of Tupac’s death, tensions between the East and West Coast rap scenes reached a fever pitch. Biggie was accused by some West Coast rappers of being complicit in Tupac’s murder, and he was the subject of numerous disses on West Coast records.
- In March 1997, Biggie was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Like Tupac’s murder, the crime remains unsolved, but is widely believed to be related to the East Coast-West Coast feud.
Overall, the Tupac-Biggie beef was fueled by a combination of personal animosity, artistic rivalry, and the larger cultural and political context of the time. While the two rappers had once been friends, their relationship soured over time, and their mutual mistrust and paranoia ultimately led to tragic consequences for both.