Nas Wishes He Could've Prevented Tupac And Biggie Beef
In an interview on HBO’s sports talk show Any Given Wednesday, hosted by Bill Simmons, Nas was asked what he would say to Tupac and Biggie if he could go back in time to when the legendary dispute began. One of rap’s biggest players has some wise words about and to the amazing predecessors.
How did Tupac and Biggie’s rivalry begin?
Many don’t know that Tupac and Biggie were actually quite close. They did interviews together, they hung out, and even did shows together. They were planning to record a project together. That is when their relationship spiraled into hatred. As Tupac was entering the recording studio with both Biggie and Puff Daddy, he was shot. He survived this first shooting and blamed it on Biggie. Tupac went to prison following the shooting and he claimed everyone there said Biggie was responsible. Tupac didn’t need much convincing, as Tupac was Biggies biggest competition. What followed was the biggest, most controversial beef in rap history.
The feud spiraled out of control
This would have been the best time for Nas to get his Marty McFly on and whip a time traveling Delorean back to 1995 to try to defuse the situation. Nas says that maybe explaining how much the world would miss them, and how he knows from experience how a rap beef can escalate with a far too often tragic result.
But time travel is not a thing so this is what really happened. After Tupac got out of prison he released the rap diss anthem “Hit Em Up.” Where Drake’s “Back to Back,” dissing Meek Mill, came with clever, snarky punchlines emasculating Meek in a display of rap eloquence, Tupac’s “Hit Em Up,” genuinely threatened the life of Biggie and anyone associated with him. In a truly Machiavellian fashion Tupac strategized to isolate Biggie. He accomplished this by threatening anyone, who allied with Biggie with a diss track aimed at them complete with threats vicious insults. Tupac saw red, and there was no turning back. We all know what happened soon after.
Nas speaks the truth: Biggie and Tupac left a profound legacy
This is not the time or the place to get into who’s better out of Tupac and Biggie. They both had an irreplaceable impact not just on the rap game, but the whole world. Arguably the lyrical style and wordplay of Biggie had a greater impact on the way rappers began to compose rhymes and maneuver around the beat. Tupac’s influence emphasizes delivery, marketing, persona, and a magnetism that helped launch the world into what Nas calls, “a hip-hop planet.”
Nas expounds on this when asked what he’d say if he were transported back in time to talk to Tupac and Biggie before the beef got out of control.
Nas thoughtfully replies, “[I would] tell them about the impact they were going to have being dead. That the world was about to become a hip-hop planet, more than it was in ’95. Now, it’s global, more than it was then. And they were the leaders. And they were too important to us.”