The East vs. West Rap Feud: A Glimpse into the Killings of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

by Joshua Brown
East vs. West rap feud

The 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur brought renewed attention to the pivotal events that shaped the East-West Coast rap feud. Prosecutors and investigators delved deep into the history of the hostility, taking the grand jury on a journey that began with Shakur’s 1994 assault in a New York studio, culminating in his fatal shooting in Las Vegas. Notorious B.I.G, born Christopher Wallace and once a friend of Shakur, met a similar tragic end six months later.

Nearly three decades after their untimely deaths, the recent indictment of Duane “Keffe D” Davis, a prime suspect in Shakur’s murder, has rekindled interest in these cases. The charge against Davis is significant, as it has implications for the unresolved murder of Wallace.

The roots of the dispute trace back to a time when Shakur and Wallace shared a camaraderie. Justin Tinsley, a 2022 Wallace biographer, portrays their friendship as deep and genuine. Their bond was evident when they hung out during the filming of the 1993 movie “Poetic Justice,” starring Janet Jackson and Shakur. However, an incident in 1994, where Shakur was shot and robbed in Manhattan, changed the dynamics of their relationship. Shakur believed Wallace and Sean “Diddy” Combs had prior knowledge of the attack, an accusation they vehemently denied.

The East-West divide intensified after Shakur’s shooting. Shakur, originally from East Harlem, became an emblem of the West Coast, signing with Death Row Records post his prison time. Meanwhile, Wallace and Combs, hailing from Brooklyn and Harlem, remained icons for the East, being part of Bad Boy Records. This division, termed as “rap beef” by Malcolm Greenidge, a close associate of Shakur, reached new heights after several public confrontations and provocative song releases.

The escalation was further fuelled in Los Angeles by local gang activities. Robert Ladd, a former police detective, highlighted the role of Davis as the head of the Burris Street Crew, a dominant South Side Crips faction in Compton. The rivalry between South Side Crips and the Mob Piru, a Bloods gang, resulted in what Ladd referred to as the “Ten Day War.”

The events leading to Shakur’s 1996 shooting in Las Vegas were marred with violence and tension. After watching a Mike Tyson match, a physical altercation between Shakur and Orlando Anderson, Davis’ nephew, set the stage for the fatal drive-by shooting that followed.

Authorities believe Davis played a pivotal role in the Las Vegas shooting. Lee, who identified as part of Davis’ entourage, provided testimony that outlined Davis’ involvement in orchestrating the attack. Shakur’s demise had a profound impact on Wallace. Tinsley recounted how deeply affected Wallace was, leading him to fear for his own safety. His fears became reality when Wallace too was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997.

Contributors: Rio Yamat, Ken Ritter, Scott Sonner, Gabe Stern, Andrew Dalton, Ryan Pearson, Stefanie Dazio, and Felicia Fonseca.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about East vs. West rap feud

What is the main focus of the text?

The main focus of the text is the East vs. West rap feud, particularly revolving around the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., their prior friendship, and the involvement of Duane “Keffe D” Davis in the conflict.

Who are the main figures discussed in the text?

The main figures discussed are Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G (Christopher Wallace), and Duane “Keffe D” Davis.

Why was Duane “Keffe D” Davis significant in the story?

Duane “Keffe D” Davis is significant as he has been indicted as a prime suspect in the murder of Tupac Shakur. The text delves into his involvement in the East vs. West rap feud and his alleged role in orchestrating the attack on Shakur.

How did the relationship between Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G change over time?

Originally, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G were friends and performed together. However, after Shakur was shot and robbed in 1994, he believed that Wallace and Sean “Diddy” Combs had knowledge of the attack, leading to a rift between them. This intensified the East vs. West rap feud.

What was the outcome of the shootings for both rappers?

Tupac Shakur was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996 and died six days later. Six months after Shakur’s death, Notorious B.I.G was also killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.

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Grace H. October 12, 2023 - 6:12 am

what a time to be alive… the 90s. can’t belive we lost them so young, couldve had so many more great tracks from them.

Sammy K. October 12, 2023 - 11:35 am

I remember those days. so much tension in the air. also, it’s Notorious B.I.G not Notorius.

Ron P. October 12, 2023 - 11:43 am

the east vs west thing really damaged the rap community. Lost two legends too early…

Aaron V. October 12, 2023 - 12:27 pm

always felt this feud was blown out of proportion by media. why couldn’t they all just get along?

Liz T. October 12, 2023 - 7:45 pm

Wait, I didn’t know about Duane “Keffe D” Davis’ role in all this. this article was enlightening!

Jake M. October 13, 2023 - 4:36 am

was always fascinated by the Tupac and Biggie story. it’s tragic how they ended up, especially considering their talent.


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