Before he went to war with Nas, Jay Z almost engaged in a rap battle with Tupac.
Jay Z collaborator DJ Clark Kent has confirmed the existence of a long-rumored piece of hip-hop apocrypha: in an interview with ItsTheReal’s “A Waste of Time” podcast (via Billboard), Kent claims that Jay Z recorded a Tupac diss track.
“It never came out, out of respect for the fact that he died,” Kent explained. “Jay did a record going at Pac, but right as it was about to come out, son died. We performed it, though, at the Apollo—the chip on Jay’s shoulder is so crazy that he had to perform it.”
Jay confirmed the diss in a 2006 interview with XXL, but noted that there was no tape of the performance (He apparently spit over BLACKstreet’s “No Diggity” beat). “They usually tape the Apollo shows, but they just stopped taping for some reason,” said Hov. “We tried to find the tape. It’s 2,000 people that know about it. I did two verses.”
He added, “It’s the truth, that’s the best shit. It’s so liberating, when you say what the fuck you wanna say.”
While we may never hear the record, Kent claims it was “one of hardest diss records I’ve ever heard.”
“It was scathing, like crowds were like, ‘Oh, shit’!” he told the podcast. “If he was alive, there would’ve been no coming back. This was so tough.”
Hear him talk about Jay Z and Tupac at the 54-minute mark.