“2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” was hardly an overstatement. Fresh out of jail, Tupac Shakur collided with the biggest lyrical star on the West Coast, Snoop Dogg. The All Eyez on Me track also showed the double-barreled reach of the empirical Death Row Records at its height.
But in the less than ten months Tupac spent on Death Row, he and Snoop shared more than a mic and a beat. Though speculation remains concerning their relationship status at the time of Tupac’s death, the duo shared a kinship that spanned back as far as 1993. According to Snoop, it was the Doggfather’s idea to initially reach out to an imprisoned ‘Pac. The results are etched in audio history, as Snoop Dogg reveals that between the rhymes, it really was nothing but a gangsta party.
Snoop Dogg: [‘Pac] was my n***a. Before he got on Death Row, we was like real good friends. We met at the Poetic Justice wrap party and we was freestyling that night. That’s the first time we actually met each other. We was freestyling, and he rolled a blunt. I wasn’t even smoking blunts. I was smoking zig-zags. We went to the store together and we got cool. Then we started hanging out goin to each other’s house. He’d invite the hoes over. I’d invite the hoes over. It was just on some homie love s**t. Then once he got cracked and went to jail, I put the word to Suge that we needed to put him on the team. So Suge went to visit him about putting him down and you know it was like, rescue. He felt like we rescued him. I gave him all of my s**t. I gave him my cousin Daz. Daz lace him with all the hot beats. Dre lace him with all the hot s**t. “Whatever’s mines is yours.”
I brought him to my house to let him see how a real n***a’s supposed to live. He seen my house he wanted to get him a house like mine. He saw my Rolls [Royce] he wanted to get him a Rolls [Royce] like mine – ‘cause this s**t was not in his world. He had never seen this s**t. Death Row was like the f**kin’ Sopranos. It was like getting out and walking into a mafia family and you know Tony Soprano is your right hand man. I looked out for him on some real s**t like, “N***a, I love you as a fan and as a homie.” So I exposed my whole world to him and to where exposed his whole world to me.
The s**t he showed me was **** in the studio. He showed me how to master not wasting time. We used to waste time be in that mothafu**ka three or four days and make one song. This n***a get out and make three or four songs in one day and they was hit records! So he showed n***as how to really step their game up and get organized and really help their crew come together – ‘cause I really wasn’t a leader. I really didn’t have leader qualities. I was just a bad mothafu**ker, but he showed me how to have leader qualities - how to be structured. You know, he was into that war s**t, “You gonna be lieutenant, n***a. And the Dogg Pound is your n***as. And these n***as is my n***as.” And [they were] Sadaam and Kadafi and all kinds of crazy names and s**t. And I was like, “I’m wit’ it! I’m gangsta, n***a! Whatever! I’m with it!” And we just chilled, ‘cause we was the same kind of n***a. I remember there used to be times where I would call the weed man over and the weed man would bring over like three ounces. I usually buy like four or five ounces. So he just gave me all three ounces, and me and ‘Pac stayed in the same penthouse suites and ‘Pac was like, “Yo, I need to get some weed n***a.” And I was like, “Man, I just bought all three ounces,” and ‘Pac looked at the weed man and is like, “N***a, didn’t I tell you?” And I’m like, “Look here cuzz, I got you.” He tried to give me the money but I was like, “Nah, it’s on the house.”
It was that kind of love cause we looked out for each other in a lot of situations. Then when it was time for me to go to court he was there for me like, suited, g’d up, saying all positive s**t - just representing and feeling the struggle right there for me. That was my homeboy, my special homeboy. Me and his moms got a different relationship. And I always tell her that I don’t feel it’s right for these motherf**kers to be doing songs with ‘Pac that he didn’t really like. Even in the spirit of. You know, I know how he got down. If he wasn’t f**king witchya, he wasn’t f**king witchya. So you know, them songs sometimes throw me off when it’s n***as that he didn’t like and I told his mother that we should make this music more about the people that he had love for and that he f**ked with so we can keep the integrity of his music.
AllHipHop.com: ‘Pac passed ten years ago and his life has been studied by many. As a friend and someone close to him, looking at the route that he took that lead to his passing do you feel that there was a better path he could’ve chosen? Or is it just, it what it is?
Snoop Dogg: Nah, he did the Jimmy Dean. He lived fast and he lived good. You don’t control your destiny. God is the one who created this earth and these people and you can’t really say, “Well, if he hadn’t gotten on Death Row, it wouldn’t have been like that,” because his destiny was whatever it was gonna be.
To me, it always felt like he always knew. I remember this one time when me and him talked and he was tellin me about this movie and he was like, “I got this movie, dog, where you gonna die and you gonna come back and be the spirit.” The s**t he used to think about the way he used to rap and s**t like, “If I Die Tonight” and s**t like that. I know I did “Murder Was the Case” and I was like, “I ain’t doin no more songs like that!” This mothaf**er was always making songs like that and I was like, “God damn, let’s make a party song or something!”