Weeks before his untimely passing in L.A. back in 1997, Notorious B.I.G. and Puff Daddy got a surprise visit from Rap-A-Lot Records CEO J Prince, with the intent of trying to save him from potential harm, or in his case, loss of life.
According to TMZ, the meeting went down in February 1997, when Biggie and Puff were shooting the Hypnotize music video. Prince had immediate concerns about their safety, and rushed to the set.
Prince had just been in L.A. with Scarface, and heard a lot of talk on the streets about a possible revenge hit, as friend turned foe, Tupac had been murdered about 6 months earlier. Initial widespread, but unsubstantiated rumors were that Puff and Biggie were involved, fueling further bad blood between B.I.G. and Puff’s Bad Boy Records, and Pac’s Death Row Records, headed by Suge Knight.
Prince tried to convince them to take the threats seriously and consider leaving town, especially when he saw how relaxed security was on the set, but they seemed unfazed, and more focused on completing the video.
A few weeks later, Biggie was shot and killed outside L.A.’s Petersen Automotive Museum.
In spite of his warning, Prince had no specific knowledge of a hit, but read enough of the tea leaves, to feel the need to put it on Puff and B.I.G.’s radar.
Said meeting is one of several stories from behind the scenes of Hip Hop that J Prince will reveal in his book, The Art and Science of Respect, which drops next month.