Back in the day at the 1994 Source Awards, Tupac allegedly dissed A Tribe Called Quest, and the beef was on. The urban legend is that ATCQ, who are members of the Zulu Nation, were ready to step to the late rapper after he infamously cut off their acceptance speech for the Artist Of The Year Award. However, according to Busta Rhymes, the entire incident—Pac bumrushed the stage to perform “Out On Bail”—was a big misunderstanding.
Speaking to Young Jack Thriller of ThisIs50.com, the Dungeon Dragon, who has “experienced some profound sh-t in Hip-Hop,” detailed how things almost got out of order.
Note: that time Suge Knight threw blatant shots at Sean “Diddy” Combs and Bad Boy was the 1995 Source Awards.
“Tribe had got the award for Best Hip-Hop Group of the Year. I don’t know if Pac’s people at the time knew that Tribe was still getting their award and doing their acceptance speech, but he pressed play while they was doing their acceptance speech,” said Busta. “So it looked like Pac just went out there and started performing on some, ‘F-ck the awards sh-t, ‘I’m just gonna do my sh-t on top of them ni–as, whatever!’ So it looked crazy from the front because it was like, these ni–as is in the middle of their acceptance speech and then yo sh-t just come on and you just com eout there and bogart their sh-t, and it just looked like a crazy disrespect to Tribe. So the beef started immediately.”
Ego Trip’s: Big Book of Rap Lists pointed out a suspect soundman as the real cause of Pac’s too early performance start. According to Busta, he held private convos with Tupac and acted as a mediator to get the separate camps to squash any sort of tension.
“I don’t know if too many people knew about this at the time when it went down or even after, that it was a big misunderstanding,” says Busta, who was closely affiliated with Tribe. “Me and Pac had a conversation about that, and Pac made it clear to me that he didn’t mean to do that, that wasn’t his fault and he don’t understand why or how it happened that way. But you know how it go, you’re music start rolling, you going to do what you supposed to do. Pac was actually trying to see how we could coordinate getting a public truce going on BET; Rap City was still on the air. I was actually trying to coordinate that and I was communicating to Tip via Pac and Pac via Tip, and the vibe was amazing. Everybody was like, ‘Yo, no doubt, no problem, let’s the world see it’ and it never happened.”
Check out the full interview below.
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