Both Biggie Smalls’ and Tupac Shakur’s murders are notorious and have been dissected in popular culture for years. However, what the world probably didn’t know is Marlon Wayans had separate moments with the hip-hop legends before their deaths.
According to Complex, while appearing on The Late Late Showwith James Corden, the actor remembered being one of the last people to see the hip-hop legends. The topic came up after Corden asked him about a photo circulated online of Tupac and Biggie standing next to each other before the former’s performance at the Glam Slam West nightclub in 1992. The snap is iconic — it’s one of the last pictures of the former pals before their beef ignited in 1995.
If you look in the corner of the photo, a younger Wayans appears sitting off to the side. Internet sleuths spotted the actor and catapulted the snap to viral status.
Corden asked the 50-year-old to spill the tea on the picture, and he explained that he had a ball with the MCs backstage.
“I had just did [the film] Above The Rim with Tupac, and Tupac did a movie, Juice, with my best friend Omar Epps. And Pac was performing at Glam Slam, which was Prince’s old club downtown,” he recounted. “And Biggie was performing that night, and that night I met Biggie and Pac and they shared the stage and it was really cool — hanging out, smoking weed together. It was a great night. And then a couple years after that they started beefing.”
He added that a few years later, he bumped into Biggie at a Vibe magazine party, where he shared how proud he was of him and the Wayans family.
“He was like, ‘Yo I’m proud of you guys; you know you’re family. I like what y’all doing, y’all legends,’ and he gave us dap or whatever and said, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing, kid.’ And then 10 minutes later I heard, pop pop pop. Biggie gets shot,” Wayans said.
The audience and Corden gasped. Then Wayans recounted his Tupac story.
“Here’s the crazy thing. I see Tupac in Vegas at the Luxor and it’s the night it happened to him. I saw him 20 minutes before, went and gave him a hug, said I love you brother, good seeing you. Me and Omar [Epps] got in a cab, Pac had all those people around him. He got in his BMW and was looking at us like, ‘I wish I could get in that cab with y’all,’ but he got in that BMW. Pop pop pop, 20 minutes later he was shot,” he said.
Marc Maron, who was also appearing on the show, promptly stood up, distancing himself from Wayans.
“It doesn’t apply to white guys,” the 50-year-old playfully called out.
Wayans has spoken about his close relationship with Tupac in the past, finding himself caught in controversy in 2014 after he said the rapper was a “real gangster,” Hip Hop DX reports. He cleared up his comments shortly thereafter while on Power 106 Los Angeles, explaining that he meant Tupac was a “real person” and “artist,” Complex reports.