Back in 1996 Hot 97 sent New York radio dj Angie Martinez to Los Angeles to meet and interview 2pac in the height of the East-West feud between Bad Boy Records and Death Row Records. Upon her return to New York she aired 4 minutes of what’s said to be over 2 hours long uncut interview.
Below is the extent of what the public has had to privileged to hear thus far.
For years, Angie Martinez has promised, and teased the release of this interview. When launching a new website years ago she promoted the website by saying she would post the interview in it’s entirety. She claims the interview was too raw to post in ’96 and felt it would only add flame to the fire that was the beef at the time.
The interview was at least two hours long, but Martinez only aired about 5-10 minutes of it. She saw Shakur at the MTV Video Music Awards the day after she aired it and had to address why she cut out a majority of their talk.
“I said, ‘I’m really sorry I couldn’t air the whole thing. I just personally couldn’t sleep at night if I did that,” Martinez reveals. Shakur was cool about it and said he understood.
The unreleased interviews will be the first of her Throwback Thursday series, which will focus on her classic interviews. The interviews will be on her new site, The Angie Review.
When asked about this interview in May of this year..
Describe the mindset you were in while writing Chapter 5, where you detailed your interview with Tupac during the East Coast/West Coast rap war and only aired 12 minutes of the two-hour session.
“That just poured out really quickly because I’ve often thought about it through my career and I’ve often reflected on it. I don’t know that I would have necessarily shared that story so it’s something that I decided to get out. I’m grateful for in a lot of ways because it was a turning point in my career. It forced me to make some decisions that kind of set me off on a path on what type of personality I wanted to be. It taught me a good lesson. I went with my gut. I didn’t know how it was going to work out. I was scared to air this interview and I didn’t want to be responsible for making it worse. And the truth is that I made that decision and I’m proud of that after all these years later. I think about the tragedy that happened to both [Tupac and Biggie] like, “What if I had put that out?” I would’ve forever wondered if I had contributed in any way to what happened, even though it may not have. Ultimately, it happened anyway but I know that I did what I could do to not contribute to it. That gave me strength. That helped me draw my line in terms of who I am as a personality.”
2pac fans often feel a sense of entitlement, as if because the content, video or interview was taken, recorded or filmed we should be able to view it. And while all fans want more content, more insight and more knowledge should we respect Angie Martinez’s wishes to not release the interview? One can only say yes under certain circumstances. If the interview wasn’t hyped and dangled in front our faces every year it would be very easy to say yes, she did the interview, she can do with it what she will. But when a piece of journalism is used to self-promote and hype year after year without ever following through does that throw the rule book out the window? At this point in the time can this, or any interview, live up the hype it’s been given for over 17 years online?