In a recent interview with The Art of Dialogue, Mopreme Shakur, the brother of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur (2Pac), dropped a bombshell by revealing that 2Pac was close to becoming a labelmate of The Notorious B.I.G. at Bad Boy Records.
Mopreme recounted that before inking a deal with Death Row Records upon his release from prison in 1995, 2Pac was seriously contemplating a partnership with Sean “Diddy” Combs’ highly successful East Coast imprint.
“We were cool with them at one point,” Mopreme Shakur recalled. “There was a point ‘Pac was considering going to Bad Boy before his relationship with Death Row. He wanted to be on a Black label. He wanted to be with his people. He wanted to be with the brothers. He supported Black business.”
During that period, 2Pac was exploring his options in the music industry, and Bad Boy Records was one of them.
The rapper’s strong inclination towards Black-owned labels was a reflection of his desire to support Black businesses and be part of a Black-owned enterprise.
Mopreme went on to highlight the changing dynamics within their relationships. He explained that over time, tensions and issues began to develop, leading 2Pac to see things differently.
At the same time, The Notorious B.I.G. was under Puffy’s label, putting Combs in control of their interactions and collaborations. As a result, legitimate problems arose within this scenario.
Mopreme also shed light on the fractured friendship between 2Pac and former Thug Life member Big Stretch, who was with 2Pac on the night he was shot multiple times at Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan in November 1994.
Tragically, Stretch himself was shot and killed a year later.
“Pac and Stretch were best friends,” Mopreme noted. “Stretch was with him when he got shot at Quad. After that, Stretch went on tour with Biggie. So anybody familiar with our clique understood that that’s weird. If you were rolling with ‘Pac, you were rolling with ‘Pac. He’s kinda jealous like that.”
According to Mopreme, the fact that Stretch toured with Biggie after the Quad shooting didn’t sit well with 2Pac, and the rapper was known to be particular about loyalty and his associates.
It was a tough situation to fathom for those close to 2Pac, given that Stretch was not only a part of their clique but also deeply loved by the entire group.
The pivotal moment in 2Pac’s career came when he signed with Death Row Records, orchestrated by Suge Knight.
Knight famously bailed 2Pac out of prison in 1995, securing his release and marking the beginning of a new era in 2Pac’s career.
While urban legends suggest that 2Pac’s contract with Death Row was signed on a napkin or toilet paper, his childhood friend, David S Ash, recently clarified this matter.
Ash, who was present during the meeting, confirmed that the contract was drawn up on a legal pad during a rare prison visit. In their discussion, 2Pac stated his terms: a car, a million dollars upfront, and a house for his mother. Upon reviewing the contract, 2Pac agreed, officially solidifying the deal with Death Row Records.