2Pac interview from the March 1996 Source Magazine

Tupac Free

Where did all this beef with Bad Boy Records come from?

“This just stemmed from some gangster shyt that got caught up in this record company shyt. And some nikkas that you thought was strong, that you thought was gangstas, that you thought was Big Poppas, turned into cowards ‘cause some real gangstas came at them.”

I remember when I first met you in ‘93, you were rollin’ with Biggie. What killed that?

“I was puttin Biggie on. What killed it was Biggie got put on. Biggie was in Thug Life. He used to be like, “Thug Life, Thug Life.” He used to be like, “Fuck Bad Boy. I hate Puffy, I aint fuckin’ with him. Sign me Pac.” I just aint have no chips for the nigga and I wasnt gonna lie to him. He made his album and I was making my album. This is before Me against the world came out. I used to hear his tracks, he used to hear my tracks. Our styles were totally different. My shit was on some, Im about to die, like you hear on Me against The world, but it was even a lot more shit about death. This nigga album come out, Ready to die, its all my album. And Biggie used to sit up there and ask me, “How do you do them choruses? You the hook man, How you do this? How you do that?” I used to tell that nigga, dont do none of that gangsta shit you better get at these females. Because the females buy your tape. The nikkas buy your tape because the females want the tape. And look, he came out on some Big Poppa shyt. Thats straight up robbery. But even after that, long as he was my homeboy, that was okay. But soon as he started acting like he was his own man….niggas knew that I was at the point where I couldnt just be just ridin on niggas. I had like 50 gun cases, 30 assault cases and they didnt have none. So they was plottin’.”

And what about you and Stretch from Live Squad?

“Stretch was my closest dog, my closest homie. I did alot of drama, I got into alot of cases and shyt because of Stretch. Money wise, he couldve had anything. His daughter was my daughter, whatever she wanted she could have. Then this shit happened and the nikka didnt ride for me. He didnt do what your dog is supposed to do when you shot up. When I was in jail, nigga never wrote me, never got at me. His homeboys was coming to see me nad he wasnt coming to see me. And he started hangin around Biggie right after this. Im in jail, shot up, his main dog and he hangin out going to shows with Biggie. Both these niggas never came to see me.”

And before he passed, you never got a chance to talk to him?

“Ain’t no words. The rules of the game are so self-explanatory.”

After all that went down, people are trying to say its some sort of hit connection…

“Nah, Know what happend? Rules of the game, what comes around goes around. I never had no violent thoughts towards Stretch at all. I just didnt want to fuck with him no more, but I didnt want to kill him. He was my dog. Once you my dog, you my dog. He got shot just like I got shot. Everybody believed it was just a random fuckin robbery (when I got shot), this nigga get killed, now random shit dont happen. There are two methods of fighting, the one by law, the other by force: the first method is that of men, the second of beasts; but as the first method is often insufficient, one must have recourse to the second.”

What made this an East Coast vs. West Coast thing?

“I’m from the East Coast. That’s why I can feel like this. To my peoples in New York who got love for me, ignore this. Don’t even trip. But they attacking me in such mass amounts that I cant no longer call these nikkas names out. And they all coming from New York. That’s where I gotta start bangin.’ But even after all this happened, Dre, Snoop and the Pound made peace with Puffy on stage at the Source Awards…”

But then somebody shot at the Dogg Pound video trailer.You know any details about that?

“Biggie got on the radio saying, “This is where them niggas is at, they making a video dissin New York. Yall need to get at them,” niggas rolled down there and got with them. Funkmaster Flex, all them nikkas was who-riden on the radio and some niggas went down there and handled their wax. But nobody got hurt, fortunately. But see, all they did was step this shit up a level. How did Biggies wife Faith get into all this?Because them niggas be on the radio and in their records and on the videos acting like players. Didn’t Biggie say he was a player? {imitates}”Baby,baby…” Stole my lyrics, I stole his bitch, Took my rhymes, I took his wife. He touched my style, I touched his wife. If he talk all that shit about being a player and I got at his wife 2 days after I got outta jail, imagine that gangsta shit hes talking, how plastic that shit is.”

Where do you see the end of this?

“I’m Black. I believe in the Million Man March and all of that, and I know a lot of kids that are looking up to me…”

Did you go? (to the million man march)

“No, I just got outta jail. So instead of being violent, I’m saying do it like this-and I’m doing this because I’m a player and a business man. fuck the fighting, fuck the beef. Bad Boy put out an album with the East Coast best. Death Row put out an album, West Coast best. We release it on the same day. Whoever get the most sales completely, that’s the winner. niggas is petrified of that shit ‘cause they know we gonna outsell em. There would be no more beef, we hug. Me and Biggie could go do pay-per-view shows for community centers. We could rap against each other on stage, we could box on stage. That’s what I’m willing to do ‘cause he Black.”

How did the relationship with you and Suge Knight begin?

“He always used to tell me to come to the Row. But it was too many stars over there and I know how I am. But watching how New York flipped on me…”

What are you saying happend?

“They think I rushed on Tribe Called Quests stage [at The Source Awards ‘94] and that’s not what happened. They played my music. Im going on with my music. What the fuck I look like, Plastic man? Imma play my own DAT? But that’s not what I was mad at. I was mad cause they was booing me. I was mad ‘cause those Zulu Nation niggas came out saying if he ever do that again, he’s gonna get his ass kicked. Well, whip my ass then.”

Even though you knew Death Row had many other priorities, what made you go there anyway?

“Because the homie [Suge] came to me personally, and I was like, “I gotta get outta here.”-He said, “I cant make you no promises, but if you dont get out, ill look out for you, ” I was like, “I’m trying to do my album, help my moms, I got enemies…” He said, “Don’t worry about it.” And i was like, if you get me out Suge, I guarantee I will put Death Row in a position that nobody can take it to. I will take us where no man has ever been before. Ill be a soldier for DeathRow. To show loyalty. Because he was being real to me when nobody was being real.”


“Money wise, niggas knew I was getting out, nobody wanted to touch me, nobody wanted to  fuck with me. niggas was all on the radio talking about they was coming to visit me, but they wasn’t coming to visit me. only MC Lyte, April Walker, Nefertiti, Jada Pinkett, that’s it.”

What were your feelings towards the Million Man March?

“I was extremely proud of it. My only disappointment- and its not a critique of it all, its just a wish- is I wish rappers could’ve had a bigger participation. We who they listening to.”

Do you think it will change something?

“Yeah, I think it changed something, it just set it up for the next time. I got a lot of respect for Farrakan and everything them brothers just did. I love them for that.”

I’ve heard something about Farrakhan possibly being involved in a mediation between your camp and Bad Boy…

“I don’t know nothing about that. When superpowers go to war- were not suckas, we superpowers-once they declare war, they don’t sit down at the table immediately and start negotiating.”

Where do you see the Black man in our age group in the scheme of things-in America and the world?

“We are in the midst of a very dangerous, non-productive, self-destructive civil war, And its not just rap shit. its ideals. And this rap shyt is just bringin it to a head. The East Coast believe one thing, and the West Coast believe one thing. The East Coast got one way of life, the West Coast got another way of life, it always co-existed. We coming to the turn of the century where we gotta mash together. But we can only do it one way, one style, And that’s what we trying to figure out now, and I think the world is watching that.”

Are you saying that you feel music is more important than people give it credit for?

“Yes, music is. I learned this from being in jail getting letters from Berlin and Africa, nikkas telling me to send them a nine-millimeter to Africa. Look how “Dear Momma” just reach in a motherfuckers chest and grab a hole in his heart. “Get Around” just make a motherfucker get on the dancefloor and game at some females. It make homos game at females. That’s music. It ain’t nothing like that. So why we cant put down our agenda, what we believe and what we want to the world within our music?”

Whats the name of this album?

“All Eyes On Me. Because they are. Everybody’s watching for me to fall, die, get crippled, get AIDS, something. This album is my favorite album because its not politically correct. I just got outta jail, I didn’t really give a fuck. Motherfuckers had talked so bad about me, I didn’t care and I just said what I wanted to say and it liberated me. All that shyt gone now. All I kept was the game. I let go of the anger.”

Are you into Pulp Fiction and Quentin Tarrantino?

“I wrote a screen play while I was in jail and that’s the style. Quenton Tarantino is the closest writer/director to our music. That’s what we do. See, he don’t mean no harm by showing violence as entertainment because its everywhere. Same thing we do. Were living in so much poverty and despair that by rapping about it, kinda making its seem like we controlling it, it makes us feel better about being here. And we gotta be here. Wer can’t escape like Bob Dole and Delores Tucker. She only gotta listin to the record and be mad for a few minutes, but the shyt shes mad at is the shyt we living in. I know its bad, but we gotta make it look like its alright., because we livin here.”

Have you discussed the Time/Warner divestment from Interscope Records with Suge?

“Its don’t matter, we natureal born hustlers. Thats why I moved to Death Row, to make us the superpower. The Superpower. We can release ourown records, distribute our own shyt, do our own movies, buy our own planes, have our own casinos, whatever.”

Right now, what is most important to you?

“Making sure every single human being in the USA and the world knows who Tupac is, who Death Row is, and where Los Angeles, California is.”

Credit to The Source and Tupac Tribute on Tumblr.

Shout to the Coli for this find!

About Vic Da Rula

What more can I say? I enjoy Hip Hop, Sports, and living the good life! var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname = "Escobar300(Covering Hip Hop Culture, Sports, and Events)"; a2a_config.linkurl = "https://escobar300.wordpress.com/";
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