Actually, September 7, 1996 was supposed to be a good day. US rapper Tupac Shakur – at the time the most successful rapper in the world with millions upon millions of records sold – was driving along Flamingo Road on his way to Las Vegas for a boxing match when a white Cadillac stopped next to his black BMW 750. And before the rapper can understand what’s going on, someone shoots at his car from the back window. 13 shots are fired, four of which hit Tupac Shakur. The 25-year-old was bleeding profusely, was taken to the hospital and died there six days later, on September 13, 1996.

The death of the popular gangster rapper still affects the entire music scene to this day. Tupac Shakur set standards and worked with hip-hop greats like Snoop Dog and Puff Daddy. But he is also embroiled in one of the biggest mysteries in rap history. The exact reasons behind his death have not yet been clearly clarified to this day. Only now – almost 30 years after the death – has an arrest been made in the case. Former gang leader Duane Davis was arrested on suspicion of murder. He has repeatedly emphasized in advance that he was sitting in the white Cadillac from which Shakur was shot. It remains unclear whether Davis was actually the shooter. What is certain, however, is that the former gang boss is the last survivor who was in the vehicle involved in the crime. Two months ago, police officers searched Davis’ residence in Las Vegas and confiscated, among other things, a computer and a cell phone.

Should a conviction actually occur, the US rap feud between West Coast and East Coast would reach a new chapter. Since the death of Tupac Shakur, the enmity between the two music scenes has become an integral part of US rap history. Thanks to the initiative of rappers who were also involved, such as Snoop Dogg, Bizzy Bone and others, it is now a thing of the past, but it still has an impact.

There are numerous documentaries and books about the incidents, the rapper’s fans still adore their idol to this day and are puzzled about what really happened. Because: The Shakur case is not the only unsolved death in the scene. Only about six months later, another unusual incident occurred in Los Angeles:

The US rapper Christopher Wallace, better known as “The Notorius B.I.G.”, drives through Los Angeles at night in his Chevrolet Suburban with friends and colleagues from his record company Bad Boy Records. They have just come from the Soul Train Music Awards after-party, the mood is exuberant. They stop at a red light on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and South Fairfax Avenue. A black Chevrolet Impala pulls up next to them, the driver’s window is rolled down and fire is opened. Four bullets hit the rapper, who succumbed to his serious injuries in hospital a short time later. To this day it is still unclear who shot Wallace.

The similarity between the two deaths, Tupac and Biggie, as Christopher Wallace was also called, is no coincidence – one quickly becomes certain of that in the scene. Because the manner of their death was by far not everything that connected the two musicians. They were friends until they became enemies.

After the two newcomers had pushed each other up, celebrated successes together and spent a lot of time together, an incident occurred that would change their relationship forever: When Tupac was on a date with Biggie and his manager, he was attacked and shot on the way . Shakur later said in an interview that he suspected his two friends were behind it. There was no evidence of this, at least not legal.

A few months later, however, Biggie released the song “Who shot ya?” with producer Sean Combs. For Shakur, this was an admission of guilt that screamed for revenge. That was the birth of the legendary diss track “Hit Em Up”. In it, Shakur threatened violence against his former companions and sang about sleeping with Wallace’s wife. From this point on, the rap war, as it was popularly called at the time, continued to escalate.

And the hostility wasn’t just between the rappers, their producers weren’t exactly friendly either. For example, Shakur’s label boss Marion Hugh Knight accused his competitor Combs of being involved in the murder of another musician. There were also no charges or convictions in the case. However, Knight himself is currently serving a sentence in prison for manslaughter.

Perhaps the latest arrest will finally shed light on the many theories surrounding the two famous deaths. If the gang boss is really involved, it would destroy one of the most persistent assumptions: Many fans assume that the two rappers, spurred on by their diss tracks, tore each other out of life and thus further strengthened their former friendship as a tragic end.

Quelle: Universal Music, Rolling Stones