During the height of The Notorious B.I.G.’s beef with Tupac, many incidents transpired that have since been well documented. However, Lil Cease recently revealed a few things most hadn’t previously known from that hostile era, including details regarding an unreleased Tupac diss titled “The Ugliest.”
On Tuesday (Jan. 25), The Art of Dialogue released an interview with Cease in which he spoke on the J Dilla-produced track. “Big wasn’t really tryna do diss songs to Pac,” the former Junior M.A.F.I.A. member explained. “I mean, he was making it aware. Little lines he may say in certain songs and situations like that […] but Big wasn’t gonna put forth a full effort into a whole full song dissing Tupac.” Cease also clarified that Pac was never name-dropped on the song, even though the lyrics clearly allude to the West Coast rapper.
“Big didn’t really want to make it that,” he continued, speaking on the seriousness of the situation. “He didn’t want to add too much fuel to it. […] He would definitely tap into some lines sometimes just to let him know, I hear you. And if it comes down to just a rap battle and things like that, Big was all up for that, but I don’t want no drama.”
However, that didn’t appear to be the case on one particular song. Following the tension’s peak with Pac’s 1996 B-side, “Hit Em Up,” Cease confirmed “The Ugliest” was supposed to feature Biggie, Nas, Busta Rhymes and Method Man. The track was initially set to appear on Busta’s debut during album that same year. However, it was ultimately shelved by the Busta himself.
In a 2021 retrospective with The Ringer, Busta recalled, “Me, Method Man, and Nas was in the session, and nobody wanted to lay their verses until Biggie came in the session. When Biggie did eventually come — because Nas and Meth showed up for two sessions and Biggie didn’t — Nas and Meth didn’t come back.” Busta explained why he chose to shelve the song after hearing Big’s verse. “I didn’t feel like that was smart at the time. They were having such a serious back-and-forth. As a friend, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing nothing to add to that. I was friends with both of them, but I was closer to B.I.G..”
Watch Lil Cease reflect on that moment in full below.