Cars, homes, letters, lyrics and even the nose ring of late and great hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur have been rapidly uncovered and auctioned off in the years since his 1996 death.
But of all the treasured keepsakes Pac left behind, even his most devout fans have never seen one quite like this. And they have an Instagram hip-hop photography account by the name of Contact High Project and photog Al Pereira to thank for it.
In his short 25 years of life, Pac accrued many barrier-breaking levels of success in the hip-hop circle. But with it came many hip-hop beefs as well, namely with Queens emcee Nas. Their feud can arguably be considered the second most infamous of Pac’s rap rivalries, running closely behind his beef with Notorious B.I.G.
But, just a year before the East Coast-West Coast and Bad Boy versus Death Row warfare went full speed, Nas and Pac were just your average rising rap star homeboys. At least, that’s what the unreleased 1993 photo of the two emcees suggests.
According to the Instagram account, the photo was snapped by photographer Al Pereira at a party at nightclub Amazon on Westside Highway in New York. Of the archive of photos from the event, the black-and-white shots will look particularly familiar to Pac and Biggie fans because it’s the same one that has circulated for years of both legends in their younger, pre-rivalry years. Pac is pictured in a black leather vest and flat cap with his middle finger held high while Big stands to his right with a Morehouse College T-shirt.
The photo has been largely circulated and symbolic of the mens’ relationship during simpler times and before their rivalry flared. After noticing young Nas in the photo, however, it may circulate even heavier and for more historical reasons.
“Alright you guys want the full story?,” the caption reads on one of the archived photo prints posted to the 'Gram. “On July 23, 1993 photographer Al Pereira took his camera to @djclarkkent DJ battle which is where our contact sheet begins..... later that night there was a party at a club called Amazon on the Westside Highway. Tons of people were there including a pre-#illmatic Nasir Jones. I originally asked the photographer to see this contact sheet because of the well known biggie and Tupac shot and as I was looking at it I noticed a baby-faced Nas.”
Public Enemy’s Chuck D is another familiar face in the flicks as well. According to the caption, the photographer never even realized that the Illmatic emcee was captured in the photos. Thus, he never printed them. Now that he knows how momentous the flick is, however, we’re just grateful he’s sharing them with the public.
Oh, and as for Kendall and Kylie Jenner? Hands off of these photos please, the account reminds.
See the historical photos for yourself below.
Lots of reposts on this never before seen pic of #Nas and #Tupac #1993 BUT let’s please credit the photographer #AlPereira @lasagnakng. Otherwise This is how people like Kendall and Kylie get away with putting photos on T-shirts and not paying the photographers #respecttheshooter #visualculture #shootfilm #analog #contactsheet #contacthighproject #35mm #shootfilm #analogphotography
It ain’t fake — we were saving this full contact sheet for the book but ya’ll want receipts 👑👑 #Nas and #Tupac— Photographer Al Pereira shot this in 1993 at club Amazon in #NYC 🔥 @redmangilla and #big hug it out 👑👑👑 #Tupac #Redman #DJClarkKent @djscratch #nasirjones #biggie #puffdaddy @diddy @nas Photo: @lasagnakng #visualculture #shootfilm #analog #contactsheet #contacthighproject #35mm #shootfilm #analogphotography @djclarkkent @djqbert #invisiblescratchpickles #pagers #motorolatwowaypager
Thank you @nas for shouting out our upcoming book where the full range of these photos will be shown. Alright you guys want the full story? On July 23, 1993 photographer Al Pereira took his camera to @djclarkkent DJ battle which is where our contact sheet begins..... later that night there was a party at a club called Amazon on the Westside Highway. Tons of people were there including a pre-#illmatic Nasir Jones. I originally asked the photographer to see this contact sheet because of the well known biggie and Tupac shot and as I was looking at it I noticed a baby-faced Nas. Or as Large Professor called him at the time “the rapper” Nas. So I asked the photographer ‘hey did you know you had Nas in these photos?’ and he had no idea. He just remembered a young kid in his shot. That’s why these shots were never printed. The photographer didn’t remember! #archives. Later that night, Tupac and his entourage including stretch (rip) went to a party at the Palladium across town. The photographer shot that performance as well. What else do you want to know? @mrchuckd_pe @diddy #patra @djredalert @kidcapri101 @teacha_krsone @akoriginals @bootsriley #kuriousgeorge #RIPDRAWS @redmangilla #biggiesmalls @djscratch @elliottwilson
(Photos from Left: Ron Galella/WireImage, Johnny Nunez/WireImage)