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Combat Jack Presents: True Stories Behind 25 Rap Classics

2pac f/ Outlawz "Hit 'Em Up" (1996)


Produced by: Johnny J
"For the record, none of my clients worked on this record, but it was most definitely recorded in response to 'Who Shot Ya' and Junior Mafia's 'Get Money,' and for how 'Pac jacked the melody from the hook from 'Player's Anthem.' On top of continuously taking shots from Tupac, Death Row, and Snoop even, we were growing tired of being the target. No one on our end really knew the source of Tupac's rage, but God damn did he become a beast. The day this song dropped, New York was quiet, like we had got punched in our collective chests. Plain and simple, the record was hot, and the rage that jumped from off the track was very disconcerting. We got calls from our peoples at Bad Boy, from Roc-A-Fella, all talking, wondering how far 'Pac and Suge wanted to take this.

"From my perspective, all we wanted to do was party, bullshit, and make great records, and every time we did, them cats came back swinging hard. When 'Pac yells out 'Fuck you too,' referencing anyone down with Bad Boy, I took that shit personally. Plus, cats started getting kind of annoyed at Big for not responding directly, because we all knew that as a superior lyricist, he would have really bodied Tupac and hurt his feelings. Still, with all that going on, being in the eye of the storm that was the coastal beef, the raw dopeness that is 'Hit 'Em Up' is undeniable. One of the greatest dis records of all time. And in a weird way, it remains one of my favorites."

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