Big Gipp recalls what really happened between Tupac Shakur, Suge Knight, Biggie Smalls, and Diddy at the 1996 STMA.
The stage was set. The 1996 Soul Train Music Awards led by the founder of Soul Train Don Cornelius. Biggie, who was promised to appear as the opening act performing live in L.A. during the height of his beef with Tupac, did not sit well with Suge Knight. Cornelius, who ensured Knight the evening would end on a high note as Tupac took home rap album of the year with “Me Against The World,” did not ease tensions.
As Biggie collected his award for Rap Song of the Year for “One More Chance” he and the Bad Boy camp headed backstage. Looking to make an exit, Biggie Smalls was soon confronted by Tupac and Death Row records. Tupac and Suge Knight would enter the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California as the event went to commercial.
“We got out to the Soul Train awards and we gave out an award. When we give out the award it goes to commercial break. When it goes to commercial break, the doors of the auditorium kick open, boom! And it’s Tupac,” recalled Big Gipp previously on Bad Speakers podcast. “He come down the middle of the road like yeah, ‘What’s up shortie.’ He got all that camouflage, big Suge with him and ran right after Biggie and them.”
Elaborating more on the infamous night was Big Gipp appearing on VLAD TV. The Goodie Mob legend recalled being in the middle of a tense moment. “The only thing that stopped it from being a physical altercation was the man himself, Don Cornelius walked out,” recalled Gipp.
Don would immediately have a few words with Suge Knight who agreed to part ways preventing the situation further escalating. “They really had BIG in a situation, cause if they wanted to hurt BIG and hurt everyone that was with him at the time they had the numbers,” added Gipp on VLAD TV.
The epic moment was played out in the 2009 movie, Notorious. Although many details were left out according to those who were there and years later interviewed about the infamous night, the scene depicted in Notorious failed to capture the moment accurately.