On 25th April 1994, Tupac Shakur attended the first Source Awards held at Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theater. He also gave a very energetic performance of his song Out on Bail.
Fans have suggested that this performance was one of his best, ripping up the stage from left to right. His pent up performance ended with Tupac shouting “Thug Life” and slamming his microphone on the floor. He gave an interview directly after his performance saying that he appreciates everybody who supported him throughout the problems he was going through and was looking forward to the future.
However, the night didn’t go without a bit of controversy. Hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest was also in attendance, winning the award ‘Group of the year’.
Tribe was on stage accepting their award, then out of nowhere the instrumental for Tupac’s song kicks in. All of a sudden you see Tupac and his crew enter the stage to perform.
The mistake on the sound man’s part as he cued the Tupac’s instrumental at the wrong time. A.B. Money, of the group Rappin’ Is Fundamental, was performing with Tupac that night. He said that the only reason why Tupac came out was because he heard his music come on. Tupac thought it was a cue to come out to perform.
At the time, A Tribe Called Quest thought Tupac had intentionally disrespected them by interrupting their award acceptance speech. According to Source magazine head Benzino, Tribe member Ali Shaheed Muhammad was that distraught that he was crying backstage.
Busta Rhymes, friends with Tribe and Tupac, came out in an interview and confirmed that Tupac was not dissing.
“Pac made it clear to me that he didn’t mean to do that. That wasn’t his fault and he didn’t understand how or why it happened that way. You know how it goes, your music starts going, you going to do what you’re supposed to do. And rightfully so, he is supposed to go out there if he hears his sh*t and start rocking.”
The ill feeling between the group and Tupac went on but ‘Pac made the effort to make peace. He met with Ali from Tribe in LA and they made plans to televise a public truce on BET. Unfortunately Tupac passed away before they could make it happen.
A little trivia about the song Tupac performed at the award show Out on Bail. ‘Pac heard the beat and went crazy. He wrote the lyrics that night and recorded them in one take, even recording Straight Ballin’ the same night.
LG, producer of Out on Bail, has since revealed that Tupac wanted it on Me Against The World. At the last minute it was cut and didn’t make the album. The beat was originally for Freddie Foxxx when he was a member of Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit.
Watch the video of the performance and let us know your favorite Tupac live performance.