While speaking exclusively to BET.com, former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight detailed the moments that led up to the creation of the Tupac Shakur record “Hit ‘Em Up,” a diss song aimed at The Notorious B.I.G. and other artists.
According to Knight, Biggie’s former wife Faith Evans was made aware of Tupac’s song and told Puff Daddy and Biggie, who in turn released a similar song titled “Get Money.”
The former Death Row Records head also spoke on Tupac’s livid response upon hearing “Get Money” on the radio.
“Misa and Faith was at the studio, our studio. And the ‘Hit ‘Em Up’ track was playing,” Knight said. “[But it wasn’t] ‘Hit ‘Em Up.’ I don’t think it was Misa cause Misa is too down. And I think I made her feel a lot better than Pac made Faith feel. So, I think it was Faith that went and told him that Pac was doing that track and he was putting some lyrics to it. So, before we could finish that track they beat us to it and put out ‘Get Money.’ But that was already pretty much what we was talking about on the track before the [lyrics were even] laid. So, when Faith whispered in they ear they came out with ‘Get Money’ before us. When Pac heard it on the radio he eventually called me and was going crazy. He was like ‘Man, turn on the radio. You hear this shit? Aw man, they just took our shit.’ He was like ‘I know Puffy baby mama her punk ass told Puffy and Biggie.’”
Knight says that Tupac’s anger at the release of “Get Money” eventually led to the rapper switching the song completely and creating a record he revealed would “make a grown man cry.”
“When we put the track back up, Pac was so pissed off in the studio about them jumping the gun, getting the song,” he said. “Naturally, he turned around and changed everything up and called it ‘Hit ‘Em Up.’ And everything he said was like a knife sticking in somebody’s wound twisting it…He said some shit to make a grown many cry. Talking about fucking your wife…That’s some powerful shit he saying. And he was willing to back it up…It’s one of those songs that it’s gonna be around forever.”
“Hit ‘Em Up” also featured Outlawz and was released on June 4, 1996, mere months before Tupac’s death in September. On the song, Pac takes aim at Biggie, Puff, and others as he raps: “You claim to be a player but I fucked your wife/We bust on Bad Boys, niggas fucked for life/Plus Puffy tryna see me, weak hearts I rip/Biggie Smalls and Junior M.A.F.I.A. some mark-ass bitches.”