Snoop Dogg Provides New Details About 1996 Meeting Between Tupac & Nas (Video)
On September 4, 1996, the MTV Video Music Awards took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Suge Knight were in Manhattan at a time when tensions were strong between their Death Row Records and several top Rap artists from the Big Apple. Less than a year prior, Tha Dogg Pound’s “New York, New York” music video set was the targeted in a Brooklyn drive-by shooting. For Shakur, who was fatally shot nine days later, it was his final visit to the city he was born in.
Appearing on NFL star Arian Foster’s Now What? podcast, Snoop Dogg opened up about that trip. In discussing his fallen friend Tupac, Snoop provided some new insights and lesser-known details about a legendary meeting between the Death Row Records entourage (including Snoop) and rival Nas in Central Park.
Snoop describes a tension between the “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” collaborators in the final days of Shakur’s life. “We bumped heads at the end, when we was in New York for the MTV awards,” Snoop tells Arian. “[Tupac] had seen Nas in the park, and him and Nas had words, but Nas didn’t want none. But Nas had 100 ni**as with guns. So, listen to what I’m telling you…by me saying [Nas] didn’t want none [does not] mean he [was a punk]. It just means he didn’t want to [go] all the way there.”
He continues, “‘Cause we was in New York, in Central Park, with 100 goons from New York [circling] us. Pac didn’t even see them; I did, ’cause I got a gang-bang mentality. I seen when ni**as started circling, puttin’ they hands in they pockets while Pac is in this ni**a’s ear, tellin’ him, ‘Ni**a, I made a song about you, ni**a, dissin’ you, JAY-Z, Biggie [Smalls]…’ [Nas said], ‘I ain’t got no problem with you, Pac.’ [Tupac responded], ‘Alright, ni**a, well if you ain’t got no problems with me, when the song comes out, you better not say a motherf*ckin’ word.’ [Nas said], ‘I love you, Pac,’ and shook the ni**a’s hand. That’s why I love Nas to this day. And Pac walked off. To me, he was like, ‘Yeah, ni**a! [bragging]’ I’m like, ‘Aiight.'”
“It’s the truth, and these are certain things that I’ve been holding onto because they’ve never been asked,” says Snoop, promoting his Bible Of Love Gospel/Rap album. “But it’s appropriate now, to speak on it, ’cause this is the right time to say it, so mothaf*ckas can know the intricacies of what that relationship was.”
In 2012, Nas spoke about the same meeting in a South By Southwest panel conversation with his longtime manager and business partner, Steve Stoute. “What [Tupac Shakur] said to me [in Central Park that day] was, ‘Me and you are brothers. Me and you are never supposed to go at it. But I heard you was dissing me on mixtapes.’ I’m like, ‘I heard you was dissing me on this [upcoming] Makaveli album.’ You were there, [Steve], you know how none of us could be sitting here, me and you right now because it was a very dangerous situation right there and greater heads prevailed. We both knew we were supposed to continue that conversation and probably just squash the whole thing. I was scheduled to meet him in [Las] Vegas; you and [Interscope Records Chairman] Jimmy Iovine called me at 4am and told me he might not [survive the shooting].” Nas did not mention his armed entourage.