Why Did Tupac Attack De La Soul? A New Video Breaks Down The Beef

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Tupac’s war with the East Coast, particularly with The Notorious B.I.G. and Bad Boy Entertainment, is well-documented. And, while his sharp words for the likes of Biggie, Mobb Deep and even Nas have been oft-discussed, the ire he directed toward De La Soul on his songs “Against All Odds,” from his posthumous release The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, and the unreleased “Watch Ya Mouth,” have far less context. A new video from HipHopDX, titled “The Breakdown,” provides a detailed explanation of the events that led to the rift between Pac and the members or De La who he previously considered friends.

On “Against All Odds,” the De La Soul attack was buried in Pac’s ad libs. As he raps “Niggas lookin’ like Larry Holmes, flabby and sick. Tryin’ to player hate on my shit, you eat a fat dick,” Pac can be heard in the background saying “Look at De La Soul. Eat a dick!” In “Watch Ya Mouth,” he is more forthright, loudly rapping “De La got a problem with this hard shit. Ever since ‘Me, Myself & I,’ y’all been garbage. I’ma keep it real, show you how it feels to ride. Y’all went three feet and stopped rising.

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“The Breakdown” video provides a step by step analysis of a series of misunderstandings that led to Tupac’s vitriol toward the Long Island, NY crew. The rift began with some striking similarities between Tupac’s video for “I Get Around,” and elements of De La Soul’s video for “Ego Trippin’ (Part Two),” which Pac perceived to be mocking his video. Later conversations between Pac and De La seemed to smooth things over a bit, but a subsequent line by De La Soul in their intro for Stakes Is High, where they rapped “A talker of the verb without weed influence, so stick to your Naughty by Nature’s and your Kane,” was taken by Treach to be a shot at his group. Tupac and Treach were extremely close, so the combination of De La’s perceived diss against him combined with the one against Treach was enough to set Pac off for real.

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The video provides several first hand accounts from De La Soul and witnesses, like Dave Chappelle, who saw confrontations, some physical, that arose between De La, Pac and Treach in connection with the misunderstandings. It also details a measure of closure that De La Soul was able to get from a conversation with Tupac’s sister, after his death. It’s a fascinating and meticulous account of one of the most unexpected beefs in Hip-Hop.