Posted: 01/19/2010


Biggie and Tupac

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Biggie and Tupac, the documentary, is another offering into the lives of the two acclaimed rappers, who were both gunned down during their primes, a few years apart. While many may view the controversies regarding the East Coast/West Coast rivalries of Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment as immature antics, there is much to be said about the interviews captured in this documentary.

This is the first time I’ve seen Tupac’s father interviewed, and much of the documentary focuses on the fact that Tupac’s death in Las Vegas may have been at the request of Death Row Records. Reportedly Tupac was going to jump ship and have the record company and its owner Suge Knight audited.

There are scenes where big love is shown between Tupac and Biggie, even though the rap community always talked about this beef the two artists had. It is alleged that a lie was told as a cover up for the motive in Tupac’s death. Other documentaries have hinted that the L.A. police were responsible for Tupac’s death. The documentary shows where Tupac grew up, went to school, and showed his mother and father, while revealing that the father was out of Tupac’s life since the time the rapper was about 6 years old. And, of course, we learn that Tupac’s mother was a drug addict and former Black Panther.

Biggie is larger than life, I think, even now. Biggie (The Notorious B.I.G.), born Christopher Wallace, was a lovable kid, as people attest to in the documentary. His mother spoiled him, and he found fame as a rapper at a very young age.

The documentary goes on to interview police officers who served as body guards, as well as those allegedly involved in the murders of both; Tupac in September of 1996, and Biggie in March of 1997. Biggie and Tupac is a great tell-all about the two legendary rappers by Nick Broomfield. It delves into areas that no other documentary has approached, making for good suspense around just who was responsible for both deaths.

Biggie and Tupac is available for viewing online at

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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