Smif-N-Wessun have addressed claims that the duo and other members of the Boot Camp Clik were “traitors” against the East Coast due to their affiliation with 2Pac during Hip-Hop’s coastal wars of the ’90s.
Tek and Steele recently appeared on the My Expert Opinion podcast, during which the Boot Camp Clik’s trip to California to collaborate with Pac on his One Nation project was brought to discussion.
When asked if the Boot Camp Clik had the influence to help squash the perceived beef between the East and the West, Steele expresses his belief that the crew’s work with Pac could have been a step towards brokering peace. “When we out there, we took a chance,” the Brownsville native said. “When you have a group of guys from Brooklyn going to the West Coast, and it’s nobody getting killed, I would say theoretically we could squash it. Maybe we’re not big enough to go between these two towers and go ‘Guys…’ But we’re showing and proving that it’s squashed ’cause we’re not even thinking about it like that.”
Recurring guest Sean Bigga then interjects, sharing that some people in New York and the rest of the East Coast viewed the Boot Camp Clik as “traitors” at the time due to Pac’s verbal outbursts regarding New York.
“We felt attacked by Pac,” Bigga admitted. “We felt that he attacked New York. We felt, me and real dudes out here on the street that was really involved. We didn’t have the rap albums or deals that y’all had at the time. Much respect that y’all got that, but it was still real dudes out here that didn’t get that. And we looked up to y’all and we didn’t really understand that part of it.”
Bigga then alleges that 2Pac once said, “Kill New York children” and “Fuck New York babies,” an allegation which My Expert Opinion host Math Hoffa and other guests on the show vehemently dispute. After debate ensues over the validity of Bigga’s claim, Steele chimes in again to further expound on he and the Boot Camp Clik’s reasoning behind working with Pac in Cali.
“I went out there to rep my hood, I went out there because I’m the only ni**a to have the balls to go out there because I don’t have hate for Pac or for Biggie,” he said. “So we the only ni**as to do what we call special teams,” Steele said. “If we don’t go out there and have that God damn Nat Turner with the Black burner spirit, then we gonna be cowards because I don’t take no sides.”
In 1996, 2Pac spearheaded a compilation project titled One Nation, which was intended to unite rap acts from all corners of the country. The recording process began at Can-Am Studios in Calabasas, Calif. with the Boot Camp Clik joining 2Pac and the Outlawz during the week-long trip. In addition to Boot Camp Clik, East Coast reps like Nice & Smooth’s Greg Nice, The Luniz’s Numskull, Asu and Capital LS of the New Jersey-based group Rumpletilskinz, Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel were reportedly present during the One Nation recording sessions.
Pac, who intended to drop numerous volumes of One Nation, also had plans to reach out to superstars like Nas, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Scarface, Outkast, E-40, and others to contribute to the project and join his mission to create unity and peace within the culture. Unfortunately, those plans would never fully materialize, as 2Pac passed away on Sept. 13 after succumbing to gunshot wounds suffered during a drive-by shooting.
Watch the clip of Smiff-N-Wessuns’ appearance on the My Expert Opinion podcast below.