Tupac had a lot of blind rage toward New York at the end of his life, but it may have been Eric B who got him to hone in on exactly who his problems were with — and deliver one of the most well-known disses of all-time. In an interview on New York-based media personality and – car prankster — Queenzflip’s Flip The Script podcast, former Bad Boy bodyguard Eugene Deal alleged that Tupac was “straightened out” by Eric B for railing against the entire city of New York when his beef was primarily with Bad Boy Records.
Deal also said that Eric B –- not Tupac — was tapped to run Death Row Records’ upcoming east coast wing, and thought that having one of the biggest artists in the world coming at New York rappers would hurt the credibility of the label.
Reticent to believe here-say, Queenzflip called his “Uncle E” for substantiation. Eric B confirmed the story over the phone and said he made the “OG Call” to tell Tupac to focus on who his true enemies were and keep the entirety of New York out of it. The connection is a bit shoddy, but from what we can make out, Eric said he felt he “had to” call Tupac, because “if you have beef with somebody you don’t have beef with the whole city.”
Happenstance or not, Tupac made “Hit Em Up” after that conversation, a classic diss which ratcheted up the tension Death Row had with Bad Boy and Mobb Deep specifically. It’s telling that when Pac spoke of Death Row East after the 1996 MTV VMAs, he denied coastal tension, said they were bringing “opportunity” to the east, and called out Bad Boy and Nas – though he later patched things up with God’s Son that very night.
Unfortunately, Tupac died in September of 1996 and Death Row Records fell off after Suge Knight was sent to prison on a probation violation for his involvement in the fateful fight between Death Row’s camp and Orlando Anderson.
Though Death Row East never got off the ground, Eric B dished in the video that their first signing was Craig Mack, the “Flava In Ya Ear” rapper formerly of Bad Boy. It would’ve been dope to see how that chess game would have played out on a strictly music level, but unfortunately the Bad Boy/Death Row conflict was never strictly about music.