Legendary west coast artist, Mack 10, appeared on No Jumper where he addressed Tupac’s claims that Hit ‘Em Up inspired Bow Down.
Formed in 1994, Rap group Westside Connection consisted of WC, Ice Cube and Mack 10. The group made appearances on Mack 10 and WC’s studio album respectively. In October of 1996, the rap supergroup released their debut album Bow Down which had immediate success peaking at number 2 on the Billboard 200.
The lead single Bow Down dropped in the summer of 1996 and caught the attention of listeners including Tupac Shakur. Released two months after Hit ‘Em Up, Tupac believed Cube and Westside Connection were inspired by the classic diss record.
“I dig Ice Cube. I looked up to him. But because I looked up to him and I studied his style. Mastered his s***, I know what he is doing is wrong. His s*** ain’t selling so now he is going to the war s*** and he’s using us as the gas. He just dropped some s*** called Bow Down and if you listen to it you can see he heard Hit ‘Em Up and was like, ‘Oh that’s how it’s suppose to be,'” said Tupac on his last recorded interview. “Why weren’t you making them Bow Down when I was in jail.”
Now more than 26 years later, Mack 10 was asked about Tupac’s comments when appearing on No Jumper. “I saw a Tupac quote where he said that Bow Down was influenced or inspired by Hit ‘Em Up. What he was saying was basically that not that it was directly inspired by it, but that you guys may have seen the energy behind Hit ‘Em Up. The aggression,” explained host Adam22. “And that made Westside Connection say, ‘Oh okay this is what we need to be doing.'”
Fun Fact: Ice Cube was not a fan of Hit ‘Em Up, stating that Tupac went too far on the diss record. “If I’m mad at you, trust me I can think of 5 verses for you. Just you. I don’t have to go at your family, your camp, your kids and your whole life. It’s one-on-one,” said Cube on Genius.
“That’s totally false,” said Mack 10. “We was too into what we was doing to even care what Hit ‘Em Up or any other record sounded like. That’s false.”