EXCLUSIVE: DJ Envy Reveals Why He Was First NY DJ To Play Tupac Shakur’s “Hit Em Up” Diss

DJ Envy Tupac Biggie

DJ Envy played Tupac Shakur’s song unlike other NY DJs during Hip-Hop’s infamous East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry.

DJ Envy recalled how he upset Diddy and The Notorious B.I.G. in an interview with AllHipHop’s Chuck Creekmur. The Breakfast Club host explained why he was the first New York DJ to play Tupac Shakur’s diss track “Hit Em Up” on a mixtape during the East Coast vs. West Coast feud.

“I got that record first, and at the time, it was like I know a lot of DJs weren’t going to play it,” DJ Envy said. “At the time, I was behind everybody. When you talk about DJs, it was SNS, it was Craig G, it was [DJ] Clue, it was Kid Capri, just in the New York area. And I was like, ‘I need to get my foot in the door.’ And I was like I’m gonna play this record and then we’ll go from there. 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.’ And it went crazy. 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 is one of the executive producers behind a new documentary titled Tale of the Tape. The film explores mixtapes’ role in Hip-Hop’s history.

“Growing up for us, music was everything,” DJ Envy said. “And I think that was part of the height of the mixtape game. Everybody was a mixtape DJ. We can go through it from Clue to Whoo Kid to Drama to you name it, Tony Touch … There was so many mixtape DJs but that was our soundtrack. That was when we started hearing blends and started hearing cutting and started hearing scratching. And we had cars. So, we wanted those tapes to be for the ride of the cars. And I just thought it was a lost art where people didn’t necessarily understand that.”

He continued, “Right now … anybody could be a DJ. As long as you can purchase a laptop, you can be a DJ. And that’s what you’re seeing. You’re seeing a lot of trash DJs. So, with this documentary, they recount where the mixtape DJs came from and the importance of a DJ. And it goes through everybody from Brucie B to Kid Capri to Clue to myself to Drama, to so many. It’s so many DJs, you can’t name ’em all. But it starts the story of that.”

Tale of the Tape is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

Check out AllHipHop’s full conversation with DJ Envy below.