Tupac Shakur with his new biopic, "All Eyez on Me," which was released on the hip-hop legend’s birthday, June 16.
Tupac Shakur has been hailed a voice for his generation and many generations after him for bringing to light the struggles of the African-American community.
Marin City, California is where Tupac would struggle between crime and music and where his mother eventually picked up a crack addiction. Shakur’s first break into the music industry came after securing a spot as a roadie and dancer for hip-hop group, Digital Underground in 1990. After making his recording debut on "Same Song," in 1991, Shakur’s career skyrocketed.
Fans admired the unique subject matter of his music with songs including “Brenda’s Got a Baby” which talks about an underage mother and her struggles and “Keep Ya Head Up,” which spoke of remaining positive in the face of unbearable struggles. However, after signing with the notorious Death Row records, Shakur began leaning toward gangster rap . A popularized issue that fascinated American media and seemed to turn two coasts against each other was the beef between the rapper, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
Once friends, Biggie and Tupac had met at a party when Biggie was an up and coming rapper and Tupac was already well known throughout the country.
Biggie was born Christopher Wallace and raised in Brooklyn, New York where he got his musical start with Bad Boy Records.
Before his big break, Biggie had a stint as a drug dealer, unbeknownst to his mother who worked long hours. His music brought attention back to East Coast rappers during the era of West Coast gangster rap. His legacy includes hits like “Juicy”, his first single with Bad Boy Records, “Hypnotize” and “Big Poppa.” He was praised for his storytelling in his music, although his stories were not as socially conscious as Tupac’s. Before their infamous beef, Tupac mentored Biggie whenever they met.
The Beef that Divided Coasts: West Coast vs. East Coast
However, after Tupac’s non-fatal shooting at a New York recording studio, their friendship quickly faded and was replaced by a coastal hip-hop war. Tupac blamed Biggie and Diddy for the shooting even though they both denied it adamantly. However, that did not stop Tupac from releasing a diss track where he claimed to have had sex with Biggie’s wife, Faith Evans. This beef continued until both of the
hip-hop legends’ premature deaths. Tupac was shot while stopped at a red light in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996, and died six days later.
Biggie was also shot and killed at a red light on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles. Both murders remain unsolved but many conspiracy theories surround their sudden deaths.
Both rappers were incredible and still have an impact in today’s society, but who was the better rapper, in your opinion?
Join the discussion: click here, BIGGIE VS. TUPAC
Tupac would be 46 today!
(The article was provided by Circa Campus in partnership with GenFKD which has fellows on college campuses around the nation. Circa Campus Contributor: Meghan Brown )