"Hit 'Em Up"
Hit Em Up
Song by 2Pac featuring Outlawz


4 June 1996


12-inch, CD


"How Do U Want It"


May 1996 at Can Am Studios (Los Angeles, California)


Hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, West Coast hip hop




Death Row, Interscope


Tupac Shakur, Outlawz, Dakalo Ramanenzhe


Johnny "J"

"Hit 'Em Up" is a diss track by American rapper Tupac Shakur and featuring his group Outlawz. The song was released in 1996 as the B-side to his single "How Do U Want It". The song's lyrics contain vicious insults to various East Coast rappers, most prominently The Notorious B.I.G., Shakur's former friend turned rival. "Hit 'Em Up" was recorded at Can Am Studios in May 1996. It was produced by long-time collaborator Johnny "J" and samples the bassline from "Don't Look Any Further" by Dennis Edwards. The song's video, itself described as infamous, includes impersonations of B.I.G., Sean Combs and Lil' Kim

"Hit 'Em Up" had a large role in exacerbating the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry. Following its release, the East Coast rappers insulted in the song responded through tracks of their own. The controversy surrounding the song is due in part to Shakur's murder only three months after its release.

The song is widely considered by the hip hop community as one of the greatest diss tracks ever recorded due to its explicit lyrical content and the seriousness of violent intent by Shakur and his colleagues towards their competitors. "Hit 'Em Up" was never included on any of Shakur's studio albums, but was featured on his 1998 Greatest Hits album. 

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