Despite being regarded as a diss track by the majority of hip hop fans, Kurupt has revealed that Tha Dogg Pound’s “New York, New York” was actually a tribute to the Big Apple… at first.
During a feature with XXL where he broke down eight of his best verses, the Philly-born West Coast legend says that the ’95 record started off as a dedication to the birthplace of hip hop but the overall idea changed once him, Daz and Snoop were shot at during the video shoot.
It wasn’t even going after New York. It wasn’t a diss record. It really wasn’t. “New York, New York” was a record that we made in dedication to New York. We really felt that New York created hip-hop. New York created battle rap and the whole ball of wax so what I did was a battle rap on this beat DJ Pooh did. That beat originally, DJ Pooh made it for Biggie Smalls for a St. Ides commercial.
It really got blown out of proportion through the media. It also got blew out of proportion by a lot of people from New York because we wasn’t dissing New York. Before we were knocking down buildings, Do you remember the beginning part of the video when we were in New York in the snow and having fun? That’s the original video. We wanted Nas and everybody from New York to be in the video. It was a dedication to New York but then, we got shot at it while we were shooting it.
New York felt we were disrespecting them. [Laughs] The New Yorkers wasn’t going for it. They was like “Oh, no! You ain’t gonna shoot this shit out here dissing us.” They shot at us the next day so I mean, after they shot at us. We went back home and Snoop was like, “Man, fuck that!” Then we shot the other part of the video where we started kicking everything the fuck over. That’s why we started kicking things over because we got shot at it. [Laughs]