Arguably, the person affected the most by the death of Tupac Shakur was The Notorious B.I.G. Both rappers died in the same fashion and both of their deaths are unsolved. The death of Biggie was a knee-jerk reaction to the death of Tupac. Whoever was behind the murder of Biggie felt that Biggie was behind the death of Tupac. Sadly enough, that was not the case. There are plenty of rumors about why The Notorious B.I.G. was assassinated, but it all winds back up to the fact that he is gone.
When The Notorious B.I.G. first debuted, East Coast hip hop was struggling. Because of his friendship with Tupac Shakur, he was accepted by hip hop fans from all over. Tupac would show the ropes to Biggie and he became a star. His style was unique because he was a big person that portrayed the role of a playboy. In many ways, his style was similar to that of Tupac’s. Over time, Biggie would become the biggest rapper in the game. His only competition was Tupac.
In 1994, both The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac were recording at the Hit Factory in New York, but they were in different rooms. Biggie was said to be a few floors higher than Tupac, who would end up being shot while at the studio. It had been two years since the rappers had the chance to hang out. Because he turned Puff Daddy down when he offered to sign him to Bad Boy, Tupac felt that Biggie was in on his shooting.
Despite denials from Biggie and the Bad Boy camp, Tupac declared war and he signed with the infamous Death Row Records in response. Death Row was the first hip hop dynasty and Bad Boy had quickly become the second one. Never before had rappers come together to dominate the music industry the way that Suge Knight was with Death Row. When Bad Boy rose to become another hip hop dynasty, he felt as if they were infringing on his territory.
Because Puff Daddy had moved in on his turf, Suge Knight had a personal vendetta against the entire Bad Boy camp. When he discovered that Tupac Shakur was also upset with the camp, he used this to his advantage. Suge Knight would soon sign Shakur to Death Row and they declared an all-out war on Bad Boy Records. While Tupac had a conscience, Knight simply wanted to remove Bad Boy from the top spot and he did not care how it happened.
Tupac would soon become consumed with feuding with The Notorious B.I.G. and his crew. Biggie, on the other hand, was hoping that the feud would blow over. But, Tupac felt that the entire Bad Boy crew, including Biggie, had tried to take his life. Had there not been so many people in the middle, the truth could have been revealed. But, Suge Knight was constantly in his ear talking about his issues with Bad Boy.
While Biggie had hoped that the feud would die down, his wife, Faith Evans, who was separated from him, at the time, decided to help smooth things out. She went out to Los Angeles, where she met Tupac Shakur. They were said to have hung out and became fast friends. At the time, Tupac was recording a new album and he invited Evans to sing the hook for one of his songs. An agreement was reached and she recorded with Tupac.
However, once the song was released, Tupac claimed to have had sex with Faith Evans, while she was still married to The Notorious B.I.G. He boasted about this on his infamous diss record, “Hit Em Up.” In the first verse, Shakur raps, “you claim to be a playa, but I f*cked your wife.” This is something that Faith Evans denies to this day. It was then that she realized that in those types of situations that it is best to just stay out of it. At the time, she could not see that Tupac had used her for the publicity.
Later that year, Tupac Shakur would be shot to death in Las Vegas, Nevada after watching a Mike Tyson fight with Suge Knight. Immediately, the hip hop world looked to Bad Boy Records. After all, they were the sworn enemies of Tupac Shakur. A direct response never did come from their camp, but surely; Biggie was not a happy camper when he heard “Hit Em Up.” After his death, Biggie was one of the first rappers to send out condolences. He said that he could never be mad enough to wish death on anyone.
Only five months after Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas, The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in Los Angeles. Following the death of Tupac, Biggie began receiving random calls from people who said that they were going to kill him. He had received many warnings from the Blood gang in Los Angeles to stay out of their city. As a result, Biggie reached out to the Crips gang in Los Angeles for protection. It is said that either of these gangs were behind the death of B.I.G.
But, had Tupac Shakur survived those shots in Las Vegas, or had the situation never happened, things for Biggie would have been very different. Perhaps had Tupac been shot and had gone into the coma, Biggie would have reached out to Tupac. Had he eventually pulled out and returned to the music industry, he and Biggie may have collaborated. With Tupac and Biggie on the same side, eventually Suge Knight would have been convinced to end his issues with the personnel of Bad Boy Records.
At the time, Biggie was just preparing his album, Life After Death. Both he and Tupac often rapped about death and he would have been the perfect match for the album. Many people do not know about the other minor feuds that Tupac had with other New York rappers. If Biggie was able to convince Tupac to chill out, he may have let a few rappers off of the hook. Biggie was said to have wanted to retire in the year 2000. Tupac, on the other hand, planned to rap as long as he was breathing.
Perhaps, Tupac Shakur could have convinced The Notorious B.I.G. to continue rapping and a collaboration album may have been born from their strong chemistry. But, there is also a chance that Tupac would have continued his feud with Biggie and the entire Bad Boy empire would have crumbled with Tupac becoming a lot like 50 Cent and Biggie becoming a lot like Ja Rule with a G-Unit/Murder Inc.-type feud that the people would eventually become tired of.
One thing that can be said without any doubt is that had Tupac Shakur had not died on September 13, 1996 is that The Notorious B.I.G. would have not have died on February 9, 1997.