“Who Shot Ya?” by The Notorious B.I.G.

The lyrics of this hip hop classic primarily detail ways in which The Notorious B.I.G. deals with his enemies via the usage of gun violence. Such subject matter was actually one of the main themes of his music in general. However, this particular track has gone down infamy, as many people feel it was a foretelling or mocking of the shooting of Tupac Shakur, Biggie’s rival, in New York City. Moreover “Who Shot Ya?” is considered to be an actual historical piece of the infamous “East Coast” vs. West Coast / Biggie vs. Tupac beef which dominated the rap music landscape of the mid-1990s.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Notorious B.I.G.'s Who Shot Ya? at Lyrics.org.

Facts about “Who Shot Ya?”

It should be noted that for those who actually believe this song is based on the shooting of Tupac Shakur in NYC on 30 November 1994, such cannot logically be the case considering that “Who Shot Ya?” itself was released on September 13th, 1994. And this is a fact that even Biggie himself has pointed out.

“Who Shot Ya?” was originally intended to serve as an interlude on Mary J. Blige’s 1994 album “My Life”. However, it was excluded due to its violent lyricism. And instead it was replaced with the “K. Murray Interlude”, by rapper Keith Murray, which is the sixth track on said album.

However part of the reason the aforementioned belief came into being is because “Who Shot Ya” was reissued, in February of 1995, as the B-side to Biggie’s track “Big Poppa/Warning”. And this was well after Tupac had in fact been shot. Moreover at the time – and even to this day to some extent – there has been no true consensus in terms of who actually shot Tupac. Indeed Tupac himself implicated a couple of individuals, including P. Diddy and a thug known as Jimmy Henchman, with the latter ultimately being the person whom the public acknowledges as the man behind the crime. Moreover P. Diddy and by extension the Notorious B.I.G. himself had always publicly denied having any involvement in the shooting.

The track was produced by P. Diddy along with a producer named Nashiem Myrick. And they also contributed to its lyrical composition alongside The Notorious B.I.G.

In addition, Diddy, as well as Biggie’s wife Faith Evans, provided additional vocals to the song.

“Who Shot Ya?” is one of the bonus track’s on Biggie’s debut album, “Ready to Die”. And the labels that put it out are Bad Boy Entertainment in conjunction with Arista Records.Reportedly Tupac released “Bomb First (My Second Reply)” and the classic diss track “Hit ‘Em Up”, both in 1996, in direct response to “Who Shot Ya”. In fact on the latter track Pac actually references “Who Shot Ya?” directly.

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