Tupac Death Row East at the 1996 MTV Music Awards in New York where Tupac and Nas exchange words. Tupac was nominated for Best Rap Music Video Award.
“Do you believe in God? Believe in Death Row East,” Tupac Death Row East Speech
On September 4th 1996, Tupac attends the MTV Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The show marked Tupac’s final public appearance before the horrific incidents that happened in Las Vegas just three days later, on September 7th, that ultimately cut Tupac’s life short.
The Award show, honoring the best music videos from June 1995 to June 1996, was hosted by talk show host and comedian Dennis Miller. The big winners at the show were ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ with nine nominations and Alanis Morissette, who won three out of her six nominations for her video ‘Ironic’.
Tupac was nominated in the ‘Best Rap Video’ category for ‘California Love’ featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman. Others nominated in this category were Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, LL Cool J and Coolio. The video for ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ by Coolio featuring L.V. was the eventual winner, also scooping ‘Best Video from a film’ award.
MTV Interviews Tupac After The Awards
MTV caught up with Tupac straight after the awards show, for an interview alongside Snoop Dogg. The interviewer started off by asking Tupac if he was disappointed with losing ‘Best Rap Video’. Tupac’s response showes how business like minded he was, “Oh no, I didn’t lose see, because I sold 6.5 million copies.. so I won”.
When asked about seeing The Notorious B.I.G or Puffy and the ‘beef’ with Bad Boy, Tupac aims fire at the media for blowing the whole situation up.
“The east coast, west coast thing is something that the journalists and people are making up just to get paid out of this and so it can drag out. So they’re perpetuating this so there could be drama, which I still love MTV. But when it all goes down, don’t look at me and Biggie and be like why is there a big east coast, west coast war when you’re shooting this to 30 – 300 homes, 300 countries telling them about a east coast, west coast war. They would never know it exists. So that’s where information becomes a problem. I mean if you lose… I gotta be the one to let you know.”
Outlawz Talk About Nas Incident
With the awards being held in New York amidst the battle being played out on records with Tupac’s ‘Hit em’ Up’ going at the Bad Boy camp and a few other East coast rappers including Mobb Deep, a few people looked surprised to see Tupac, The Outlawz and the Death Row entourage out there. Young Noble, Kadafi, Hussein Fatal and Napoleon was all in attendance, Edi Mean and Kastro were back at Tupac’s mansion in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Vlad Tv, Young Noble recalled the reactions of people seeing Tupac in New York. He said “I remember walking through there and Wyclef (from The Fugees) was doing an interview, I always used to stand in the back so I could watch everything, I just remember Wyclef’s mouth dropping in the middle of an interview seeing Pac, Hit em’ Up was just out, Pac was out there”
Tupac And Nas Exchange Words
Given the tension that had been building because of the Tupac and Biggie beef, Tupac and Death Row records made sure they would be ready when arriving in New York for the awards. By ready, they would be running deep. Not to mention Outlawz member Hussein Fatal got the green light to bring his hometown of Jersey with him to New York. Literally that’s what it felt like because Jersey was all in backing up Tupac at the awards as it can be seen when Tupac is interviewed by Much.
Nas speaks on seeing Tupac at the award show and after-party,
“At the MTV Awards, I saw Tupac when I was coming through the backstage before he was about to present an award. I said, “What’s up, brotha?” And he said, “What’s up brotha?” It was really sarcastic. A few of my guys had bumped into a few of his guys, and some words in the lobby of the place. Then we all ended up at Bryant Park for an after-party. He came to the park with about fifty niggas. I had fifty niggas with me. We both stood there in the middle of the park, and I saw him and called him. He took a breath and walked right to me and we started talking.”
So you have two heavyweights of the Hip Hop world, stood face to face, ready to go to war in an instant tension was in the air. Although history shows Nas was out numbered.
Nas continues, “The first thing I say is, “I heard you’re dissin’ me on your new album”. I thought he was gonna say, “Naw, that’s all rumours, like everything else.” But he’s like, “Yeah. I heard the mix tapes on your new album and it seems like you throwin’ the shit my way, and people are telling me that you’re coming at me, so I had to get prepared and I did what I had to do.” We had so many niggas there, and there started to be all this tension, the news cameras started coming around and it started getting rowdy.”
Despite all the tension Tupac and Nas had a conversation man to man, with Tupac even saying that he would do all that he could to take Nas’s name off the Makaveli album. According to Nas, Tupac talked about meeting with him in Vegas the weekend of the Tyson fight so that they could keep talking.
Angie Martinez also detailed the incident between Tupac and Nas.
Tupac Talks Death Row East
During a brief red carpet interview with Much Music during the awards show, Tupac appeared elated when asked about the meaning behind their signs. With his gold Euphanasia chain on full display, Tupac asked the reporter matter, “Do you believe in God? Believe in Death Row East.”