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The media promoted this “East Coast vs West Coast” rivalry during the time of Tupac, but it really was a feud between Tupac and Biggie Smalls and Sean Combs (Puff Daddy). Although rap rivals usually trade harsh words or diss songs, such as Tupac’s “Hit em Up”, things got violent when Tupac was shot 5 times and robbed of this jewelery at a recording studio in New York. Both Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were later murdered by unknown gunmen, ending this perceived east coast west coast rivalry.

2pac and Biggie

2Pac and Biggie Smalls were actually good friends at the beginning. 2Pac respected Biggies style and of course everyone liked to hang out with 2Pac so there was no tension so to speak. Biggie released his album “Ready To Die” but paid no tribute to 2Pac. 2Pac saw this as a sign of disrespect because 2Pac groomed and trained Biggie to be a part of his group. Then the 1994 NYC shooting happened where 2Pac got robbed and shot 5 times. 2Pac was suspicious of Biggie and his group at Bad Boys because they were at the same building at the time. 2Pac felt further disrespected at Biggie’s lack of response, and started dissing them on his tracks and claiming that they were somehow involved in the shooting. They would at least known what was going on. 2Pac accused Biggie and Sean Combs (part of Bad Boys) of planning the shooting and released the famous song “Hit ‘Em Up” that attacked Biggie and claimed that 2Pac slept with his wife.

Bad Boy vs. Death Row
The East Coast vs West Coast rivalry officially started with a remark made by Suge Knight CEO at Death Row in front of a crowd at the 1995 Source Awards. While making a speech, Suge Knight proclaimed:

“Any artist out there that want to be an artist and stay a star, and don’t have to worry about the executive producer trying to be all in the videos…All on the records…dancing, come to Death Row!”

This was a direct reference to the record producer and founder Sean Combs (Puff Daddy) of Bad Boy Records, where Sean would sometimes ad-lib in his artist’s songs and dance in their videos. The ceremony was held in New York and seemed like a diss to all of the East Coast rappers. The whole crowd started booing at Suge Knight, and all of the West Coast rappers like 2Pac and Snoop Dogg.

The media definitely played up the East vs West mentality, but it really was just a personal feud between former friends 2Pac and Biggie. The East and West hip hop rivalry ended abruptly with the murder of Tupac Shakur in the 1996 Las Vegas Shooting, and the subsequent shooting of Biggie Smalls a year later.