Album: The Tunnel
Label: Def Jam
During a 1993 Big Daddy Kane concert at Madison Square Garden, the smooth operator invited Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur onstage to freestyle for the packed arena. Thinking he was recording a run of the mill cipher, Kane's DJ Mr. Cee, who was in the habit of recording every show, had no idea he was about to capture a piece of history. After this performance, nobody would have to wonder "Where Brooklyn at?" ever again.
At the time, Big and Pac were chums—running in the same circles, partying and bullshitting throughout New York City. Big hit the stage like a cannon, kicking off his firearm-inspired verse with the classic “I got seven Mack-11's, about eight 38's, nine 9's, 10 Mack-10's...” He went on to take hilarious shots at MC Hammer and Oaktown's 357. Pac's verse wasn't quite as “lyrical,” but the energy and sincerity he displayed in his words were chill-inducing.
Shyheim and BDK-baggage-handler Scoob, also participated in this historical moment, but their contributions have been largely swept under the rug. While the other MCs deserve their just due, the camaraderie on display between Big and Pac outshines everything else on the stage, raising poignant questions of what might have been.