Slow Burn: Biggie and Tupac

Season 3: Bonus Episode 3
Content Locked for Slate Plus members

The Rise of Hip-Hop Media

How magazines like Vibe and the Source helped spread hip-hop culture around the country.


Episode Notes

In this bonus episode of Slow Burn Season 3, host Joel Anderson and producer Christopher Johnson discuss the rise of Biggie Smalls, “Who Shot Ya?,” and the world of hip-hop media in the 1990s. You’ll also hear an interview with Matteo Capoluongo, also known as Matty C, a former editor and columnist for the Source who wrote the Unsigned Hype column and who became friends with Biggie.

Production by Chau Tu.

About the Show

In its first two seasons, Slow Burn looked back at two of the biggest stories of the late 20th century—the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Season three tackles another: the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The story takes place at a moment when hip-hop was taking over pop culture, and a former theater kid from the Bay Area and a one-time crack dealer from Brooklyn were changing the music forever. They went from friends to enemies. And they ended up victims of a deadly rivalry between two rap scenes.  

How is it that two of the most famous performers in the world were murdered within a year of each other—and their killings were never solved?

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  • Chau Tu is the editor of Slate Plus.

  • Joel Anderson is a staff writer at Slate and the host of Season 3 of Slow Burn. Previously, he worked as a reporter on sports, culture, and politics for ESPN and BuzzFeed News.

  • Christopher Johnson is the producer of Slow Burn.