Marlon Wayans Recalls Friendships With Biggie And Tupac, And Hanging Out With Both Right Before They Were Shot

Marlon Wayans has been a Hollywood staple for three decades. Working in the film and television industry led to Wayans brushing shoulders with notable cultural figures. Two legends he met were rap icons Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Since he was around hip-hop culture, he was able to forge relationships with the two rap legends. The comedic actor recalled his friendships with both men and hanging out with them right before they were shot.

Wayans’ Biggie-Tupac connection was brought to life while promoting Netflix’s The Curse of Bridge Hollow on The Late Late Show with James Corden. During the interview, Corden brought out a famous photo of the two late rappers together in a nightclub. The late-night host pointed out a young Wayans in the corner. Upon seeing the photo, the Respect actor recalled the night the two rappers linked up in New York.

I had just did Above the Rim with Tupac, and Tupac had did the movie Juice with my best friend, Omar Epps. So, Pac was out performing at Glam Slam, which was Prince’s old club downtown, and Biggie was performing that night. So that night, I met Biggie and Pac, and they shared the stage. And it was really cool, and [they were] hanging out and smoking weed together. It was a great night.

It was nice to get some context to the well-known photo. Hearing an eyewitness account of that night gave a little more insight into the moment, especially since Wayans knew both men before their contentious beef. Of course, the comedic actor was close with Shakur before filming the 1994 cult classic Above the Rim. So, hearing about the camaraderie between the two rappers was refreshing to learn about.

Biggie and Tupac Shakur’s friendship soured a few years later after the latter accused the former and his Bad Boy label boss Diddy of allegedly setting up a shooting incident at a music studio in New York. The rivalry spawned notable diss tracks, escalating to the East Coast-West Coast rap feud in the 1990s. Eventually, the beef turned deadly as Shakur was fatally shot in Las Vegas in 1996, followed by Biggie being killed a few months later in Los Angeles. 

Of course, Biggie and Shakur’s deaths reverberated throughout the entertainment industry, especially in the hip-hop community. But for the White Chicks star, both losses hit close to home. Wayans revealed he saw and chatted with both men moments before their respective deaths. He recalled how each meet-up played out.

And then a couple of years after that, they started beefing. So, I’d seen Biggie like at the Vibe Magazine party. He was like, ‘Yo, I’m proud of you guys, you and your family. I like what y’all doing, you know? Y’all legends.’ He gave us dap, and said, ‘Keep doing what you doing, kid.’ And then 10 minutes later, I heard, ‘bop, bop, bop.’ Biggie gets shot. … Here’s the crazy thing. I see Tupac in Vegas at the Luxor, and it was the night it happened to him. I saw him 20 minutes before, went and gave him a hug, [I 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 he was looking at us like, ‘I wish I could get in that cab with y’all.’ But he got in that BMW, ‘bop bop bop.’ 20 minutes later, he was shot.

Hearing about both rappers’ final words moments before they were shot was sad and revealing. It seemed Biggie was in good spirits whereas Shakur might’ve wanted to be with his friends rather than his present company at the time. While both losses were tragic, Wayans’ accounts shed new light on both incidents. It appeared both interactions left an impression on him.

The In Living Color alum’s career was hot during the same period. After leaving the sketch comedy series in 1993, he starred in Above the Rim and Don’t Be Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. At the same time, he and his brother Shawn Wayans starred in the hit WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. He continues to appear in film and TV and tour with other comedy heavyweights like Chris Rock.

Marlon Wayans is currently playing dad and teacher Howard Gordon in The Curse of Bridge Hollow which can be watched with a Netflix subscription. The Halloween film hit number one on the streamer upon release, and it is currently No. 2 on Netflix's trending movies. Stay on Netflix to watch Wayans sharing the screen with Tupac Shakur in Above the Rim, and don't forget to check out other films from the versatile actor as well. 

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).