Prior to his 1996 death, common knowledge of the industry and streets alike held that West Coast rap icon and voice of the streets Tupac Shakur and his gun-strapped entourage were a force to never be reckoned with.
On the night of his murder, a group of Long Beach Polytechnic High School football players almost learned that the hard way when they rolled up on Pac unannounced.
In a Bleacher Report recollection written by Jeff Pearlman, the story takes us back to September 1996, where the young students ran into Pac while making a pit stop at famed California grub spot In-N-Out Burger. According to the story, the spotting took place just moments before he was making his way to Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon’s “The Championship: Part II” boxing matchup. One of the team’s quarterbacks, Robert Hollie, happened to recognize the All Eyez on Me rapper with his crew from the team’s bus and excitedly announced it to everyone else.
A few of the kids hopped off of the bus and approached an unsuspecting Pac, who then turned around with two locked and loaded clique members wielding Glocks aimed at the young boys. After realizing they were harmless teenage fans, he reportedly said, “Bloods, you can’t be walking up on me like that!”
One of the students, Larry Croom, even alleged that Pac had been “extremely paranoid,” claiming that he was irate, overreacting and was cursing. Thereafter, he engaged calmly with the kids, asking where they were from and even mentioned his close West Coast friend and fellow hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg. Some of the teens were apparently still shaken up from Pac’s initial reaction, Pearlman said, and after speaking with him for about five minutes, they returned to their bus. Once it pulled off, some of them hurled “f**k you” insults at Pac. Croom also claimed that an unnamed person who got on the bus yelled out, “That’s why you got shot! And the next time I hope you die!”
Sadly enough, Pac’s evening ended in bloodshed when he was shot outside of Vegas’s MGM Grand Arena after Tyson’s fight, fatally succumbing to the wounds just a week later. And just as the tragedy left the rest of hip-hop suffering, the young football players were gravely devastated to know that the shooting occurred just moments after exchanging words with the rap legend.
Read the full recollection of Pac’s run-in with his young fans here.
(Photo: Ron Galella/WireImage)