Marlon Wayans has always been in proximity to stardom based on his last name alone. But recently he revealed that in an uncanny coincidence, he was in the presence of two hip-hop icons shortly before their untimely deaths.
In an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Wayans talked about his friendships with Biggie and Tupac in the 90s. The rap stars were infamously known for being part of the East Coast/West Coast beef which happened in a pre-social media era. At that time, rap beefs were carried out in chat rooms and on radio, and in magazines, as well as at awards shows.
Though they started as friends, Pac accused Biggie of being involved in a 1994 robbery attempt at New York’s Quad Studios. Then on trial for sexual assault, Tupac was shot five times and robbed of approximately $40,000 in jewelry.
On The Late Late Show, Wayans was shown a photo of Biggie and Tupac when they were still hanging out in 1992. In the background, you can see a young Marlon right behind them.
“I had just did Above The Rim with 2Pac and 2Pac did a movie Juice with my best friend Omar Epps and Pac was performing at Glam Slam which was Prince’s old club downtown,” Wayans told Corden and guest Marc Maron on The Late Late Show. “And Biggie was performing that night, and that night I met Biggie and Pac and they shared the stage and it was really cool, hanging out, smoking weed together. It was a great night, and then a couple years after that they started beefing.”
Wayans, now 50, says he remained friendly with both despite their conflict. So when he ran into Biggie a few years later in Los Angeles, he dapped him up, and the two had a warm conversation.
“So I seen Biggie at the Vibe Magazine party and he was like, ‘Yo I’m proud of you guys you know you’re family. I like what y’all doing, y’all legends,’ and he gave us dap or whatever and said, ‘keep doing what you’re doing kid.’ And then ten minutes later I heard pop pop pop, Biggie gets shot.”
Yes, Marlon was at the infamous Soul Train Music Awards afterparty at the Petersen Automotive Museum on March 9, 1997, when Biggie was gunned down by a still unknown assailant. Wayans says he was also in Las Vegas the night Tupac lost his life just six months before.
On Sept. 7, 1996, Wayans ran across Pac in the Luxor Hotel.
“Here’s the crazy thing. I see 2Pac in Vegas at the Luxor and it’s the night it happened to him. I saw him 20 minutes before, went and gave him a hug, said I love you brother good seeing you. Me and Omar [Epps] got in a cab, Pac had all those people around him. He got in his BMW and was looking at us like, ‘I wish I could get in that cab with y’all,’ but he got in that BMW. Pop pop pop, twenty minutes later he was shot.”
Shakur succumbed to his injuries on Sept. 13.
Wayans was on the show to promote his Netflix Halloween film The Curse of Bridge Hollow. Earlier in the month, a woman with the Instagram handle Brittany Tarajha, announced via an Instagram photo shoot that the couple was having a baby. Although Marlon isn’t mentioned, sharp-eyed social media users recognized his profile. Neither has commented publicly since. The baby would join Marlon’s grown children, Amai and Shawn.
Watch the full Late Late Show interview below.