Tupac‘s mentoring of the Notorious B.I.G. almost turned into a more official working relationship, according to author Ben Westhoff, who claimed Biggie actually wanted Tupac to manage him at one point.
“People forget that Tupac was already blowing up, already a pretty big star when Biggie was just kind of getting started,” Westhoff explained during his interview on the Murder Master Music Show. “Tupac kind of took Biggie under his wing and tried to teach him everything he knew, kind of took him to school. Biggie’s career wasn’t taking off as fast as he hoped it would. And so he actually asked Tupac if he would be his manager.”
Tupac reportedly turned down the request because he thought Biggie was already in extremely capable hands and that he should stick with Puff Daddy who would get him to where he needs to be. Just as Tupac predicted, Biggie went on to become the iconic face of Puff’s Bad Boy Entertainment, which was proven once again when Puff and company honored Biggie during Bad Boy Entertainment’s 20th anniversary performance in New York. The whole thing went down on the day before what would have been Biggie’s 44th birthday.
Many forget that the legendary West Coast and East Coast rappers were so close at one point, but Westhoff noted that it was their initial closeness that made their rift so much more intense. “After he got shot, Tupac believed that Biggie knew about it in advance, knew it was going to happen. That made him doubly mad because he mentored Biggie so much and helped him, and he really believed that he double-crossed him.” Listen to the full interview below and look out for Westhoff’s new book, Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap that arrives September 13.