Mike D Speaks on the Evolution of Violence in Hip-Hop Fueled by the Death Row vs. Bad Boy Feud (Video)
In a recent sit down with Vanity Fair Magazine, Mike D of The Beastie Boys discusses how the Death Row versus Bad Boy feud changed the course of Hip-Hop for all artists, including himself, as they had to learn to navigate in a culture of escalating violence.
In part one of the interview, Mike D explains his initial reaction to the deaths of Tupac and Biggie, noting how quickly it all escalated, and why he believes Tupac’s determination to be authentic played a role in his passing.
“Pac was an interesting thing because he came from the Digital Underground Camp. I mean he was a dancer and then he kinda guested on some records. He came from a performing arts school. He wasn’t, I mean you know, yeah he’s “Thug Life” and everything. But you know he was more of an artistic kid. But basically, he was so determined to be authentic, it ultimately killed him. Which is a kind of a sad and tragic thing. But if I look back at it now or when it happened at that time, it was super surreal.”
Mike D goes on to elaborate on how the East Coast versus West Coast feud between Tupac and Biggie set a precedent for a much more violent future in Hip-Hop.
“Within Hip-Hop, it was a very accelerated curve where you went from like shows where first there was like [no] security, then it was like you couldn’t have a Hip-Hop club without having a metal detector, to then you know, guns were kinda everywhere. You had to have a metal detector at the club so at least people’s guns were in their cars and not inside the club.”
The Beastie even details his previous experiences in the Los Angeles nightlife during the ’90’s before the feud occurred and the sense of nervousness that arose after “that fuse got lit.”
“I remember being in L.A. and going to Hip-Hop nights all the time because you had an interesting scene then because groups like Cypress Hill were coming out of these clubs that Amanda Demme was doing in Hollywood. So did Pharcyde. You had these really good creative groups coming out of there. It wasnt like ‘Oh I’m nervous to be a New York emcee in this mix.’ It wasn’t until this Suge/Puffy, very specific thing ‘til that fuse got lit that it all happened.”
Take a look at the full interview below.