DJ Envy Explains Why He Was First NY DJ To Play 2Pac’s “Hit ‘Em Up”

DJ Envy goes back to the golden age of hip-hop. He was mentored by DJ Clue, and made a name for himself on the mixtape circuit before becoming one of the hosts of The Breakfast Club. DJ Envy is best known for his radio commentary these days, but he was spinning records during the peak of the 2Pac and Biggie feud in the mid-1990s. He’s a New York native, which made his recent revelation about the feud, and the role he played in it, so surprising. Envy claims to be the first DJ to throw on ‘Pac’s diss on NY radio.

DJ Envy dropped this bombshell during a recent interview with AllHipHop. He was on the side of Biggie and New York, but he told the outlet that he made a point of spinning 2Pac’s scathing diss “Hit ‘Em Up” whenever he could. His reasoning? It was a way to stand out in a crowded field. “I got that record first, and it was like I know a lot of DJs weren’t going to play it,” he reasoned. He cited names like Kid Capri, Craig G, and even his mentor, Clue, as people who were firmly against the concept of giving ‘Pac air time. “At the time,” he admitted. “I was behind everybody… And I was like, ‘I need to get my foot in the door.’”

Read More: DJ Envy Denies Blackballing Nicki Minaj

DJ Envy Leveraged The Song To Boost His Profile

The gambit worked. DJ Envy threw “Hit ‘Em Up” on his mixtapes, and the attention that the song got, both good and bad, worked to his benefit. “I was like ‘I’m gonna play this record’ and then we’ll go from there,” he recalled. “We’ll see what happens. So, they gave me the record and I said, ‘This is going to be one of the biggest mixtapes ever.’” DJ Envy did acknowledge the danger that came with giving air time to the West Coast. He also noted that 2Pac and Biggie were irritated by the decision. Still, a way in is a way in. “It went crazy,” Envy recalled. “At the time, I know Big and Puff was mad. But I was getting my foot in the door and it was music. And that’s where it started.”

DJ Envy’s promotion of the 2Pac and Biggie feud is fascinating when placed in contrast to his opinion on the recent Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar battle. While Breakfast Club co-host Charlamagne tha God labeled it the greatest battle of all time, Envy was underwhelmed. The DJ took issue with the spreading of what seemed to be false information. “Is there any proof of the rap? No,” he asserted. “I think both sides are corny with it. It’s very dangerous… I just wanted to see a rap battle.”

Read More: Charlamagne And DJ Envy Question “The Breakfast Club” Hosting Situation


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Updated: June 1, 2024 — 3:02 am