Slow Burn: Biggie and Tupac

Season 3: Episode 5

Wrath of a Menace

In a rap beef, are there lines that you should never cross?

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it today for just $1.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

In this episode: Tupac plots revenge against Bad Boy Records and the Notorious B.I.G. His target: Biggie’s estranged wife, Faith Evans. When Tupac releases the diss track “Hit ’Em Up,” the hip-hop community thinks he’s finally gone too far.

Slate Plus Member Content Bonus Episode

“East vs. West”

On the Vibe cover story that further stoked conflict between Death Row and Bad Boy.


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?

All episodes


  • 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.