Megan has her “hotties.” Beyoncé has the “beyhive” holding her down. Although Tupac has been gone for 25 years, his fans are one of the most loyalist fans in the world. Always ready to stand up for Tupac, and this time around it is no different. Appearing on the Million Dollaz Worth Of Game podcast, hip hop icon Ice Cube was asked to list his top artists of all time. A list that did not include Tupac Shakur. Fans quickly hit social media.
Initially Cube was asked to list his top 5 rappers of all time. A tough decision for anyone. So, Cube went ahead and listed 14 artists, leaving number 15 open to anyone he may have forgotten. Melle Mel, Chuck D, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Slick Rick all made Cube’s list. Most notably missing from the list was Tupac Shakur.
Perhaps this shouldn’t comes as a surprise. Since Tupac’s passing it appears Cube was not too fond of Shakur. Whether through various interviews from those around the mid-nineties or from “shade” thrown by Cube during his own interviews over the years.
Take Cube’s most recent interview on Big Boy TV. According to Ice Cube he was suppose to play the Lucky character in Poetic Justice. Cube decided to decline the role as he felt the character was being portrayed as a sucker. “To me, it made the character a sucker to me,” Cube said. “He kicked his homeboy out the car for a chick you just met.” Cube admits it was very tempting to work alongside Janet Jackson, but still he didn’t want to be apart of a movie he didn’t love. (View: Ice Cube Says He Turned Down Tupac’s Lucky Role In Poetic Justice) But, it was what he said before which felt as if he was throwing shade. “I didn’t think me playing Tupac that I would kick my homeboy out the car for a girl I just met when we got to Oakland. I did not think that was cool,” Cube said.
Back in 2019, DJ Assassin was interviewed by The Art of Dialogue, where he gave some insights on what possibly caused the friction between Ice Cube and Tupac. According to DJ Assassin Yo-Yo and Richard Pryor were both originally on the ‘Dear Mama’ chorus. Yo-Yo wouldn’t make the final version of the song. As told by Assassin, Ice Cube did not allow the clearance of Yo-Yo-‘s vocals on the song.
According to Assassin, Tupac broke the news to him the next day they had finished putting the song together. “We can’t use the Yo-Yo part,” says Tupac. “Pat Sharne wouldn’t clear the sample.” After hearing this, Assassin quickly realize that this was indeed Ice Cube’s call to not allow Yo-Yo to appear on ‘Dear Mama’. Pat was the manager for Ice Cube and Yo-Yo at the time. “I knew that was Ice Cube’s call right there. Cause she knows Hip-Hop but she can’t be like the shot caller of saying ‘hey you can’t use it ‘. Everything has to be approved by Ice Cube.”
When asked by The Art Of Dialogue, if Ice Cube was possibly jealous of Tupac, DJ King Assassin without hesitation replied yes. The fact that Tupac was dating Yo-Yo, could have been an issue with Ice Cube. Yo-Yo was signed to the same label as Cube, Priority, while Tupac was signed to Interscope. This was a great opportunity for Cube to stop anything from progressing between Yo-Yo and Tupac.
Yo-Yo at the time did not even know she was suppose to be on the original ‘Dear Mama’ song until about five years ago. Assassin would finally break the news to Yo-Yo after seeing her on Money B’s show. Yo-Yo was not happy about the news. According to Assassin, at the time, neither was Tupac. “Tupac was mad as F***. He was mad. “I never seen him mad like this unless somebody was fighting with him. This was on the business tip. I never seen ‘Pac get mad on the business tip.”
Tupac lost respect for Ice Cube, as he and Assassin couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t clear the Yo-Yo sample. They had other artists samples such as Scarface, but when it came to Yo-Yo, Ice Cube blocked the clearance.
Even in conversation about greatest diss records of all time, Cube appears to find a way to take a shot at Tupac. Many argue Cube’s “No Vaseline” holds the top spot. Others believe Tupac’s “Hit ‘Em Up” is still untouchable till this day. When interviewed on Genius, host Rob Markman touches on Tupac and The Outlawz diss track “Hit ‘Em Up” labeling it as a game changer in the world of hip-hop. But Ice Cube thought ‘Pac went too hard saying, “I think he went to far. If I’m mad at you trust me I could think of five verses for just you I don’t have to go at your family, your kids, your whole life. It’s one on one mano a mano in a way”