Many people know of the feud in the mid-90s between Eastcoast and Westcoast rap stars. But they may not know how the events of this incident originally happened. The two men at the center of the dispute were the Notorious BIG (or Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie) and Tupac Shakur (or 2pac). 2pac came from the west coast, while Biggie was representative of the east coast. The feud started between these two men and eventually grew bigger than either of them could imagine.
While the unknown events between Shakur and Wallace may have occurred prior to 1994, the first known incident was a robbery and shooting that occurred at Quad Studios in New York City. It is widely accepted in the Hip Hop industry that this event is what caused the initial feud between the two men and what ultimately led to bicoastal meat.
Tupac was scheduled to record in the studio on the night of November 30, 1994. Upon entering the building, he was mugged and assaulted by 2 men wearing ski masks. They ordered him and the people he was with to lie on the ground. Tupac refused and took his pistol, at which point one of the men shot him. It is unclear if Shakur accidentally shot himself in the thigh, but many people believe that at least one, or possibly two shots, may have been caused by Pac himself when the gun he was looking for was accidentally fired. The two men fled the scene, at which point members of Wallace’s entourage went down to the lobby to see what was happening. Shakur felt he was misled by the timing of the robbery and the fact that he was the only one robbed, even though most of BIG’s entourage had expensive jewelry. Tupac was still consistent when paramedics arrived, and as he was being carried out of Quad Studios on a stretcher, he raised his hand and pointed the middle finger at the Bad Boy Records members (Biggie’s team). A photographer took a photo of 2pac at this very moment and the photo was distributed and became famous overnight when the media showed the photo while reporting on the incident.
Later, 2pac had to appear in court for his rape case, and he appeared in a wheelchair with a bandage on his head from where he had been shot. The rape charges were dropped, but the judge convicted him of sexual abuse for touching a woman’s buttocks. He was already on probation, for which he was sentenced to between 18 months and 4 years in prison. While in prison, he became increasingly suspicious of BIG’s role in the shooting. People in prison had told him that on the street he was said to have been shot by two men working for a criminal enterprise that helped Bad Boy in his early days by financing them with illegal profits. The close association between these men and Bad Boy was a revelation for Shakur, because these two men approached him on another occasion and asked him to sign on Bad Boy Records, which he had refused to do. prison made him even more suspicious of his old friend. Also, Notorious released a song titled “Who Shot Ya”, which Shakur took offense and assumed was written about him.
11 months later, Suge Knight released Pac from jail and Tupac immediately went to work in the studio. Upon his release, he recorded a series of songs targeting Bad Boy and Wallace. He also recorded a song with Wallace’s wife, Faith Evans. After 2pac released the song Hit Em Up, several Eastcoast rappers were offended and thought he was insulting most New York rappers. Puff Daddy, the CEO of Bad Boy and the target of Shakur’s insults, released some underground tracks in which he responded to 2pac and insulted him and called him derogatory nicknames. These fallout between 2pac and his associates on Death Row, and Biggie and his associates on Bad Boy, is what started the East / West feud.