FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Kurt Cobain, Notorious B.I.G. And Tupac Together?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A picture shared on Facebook allegedly shows late music artists Kurt Cobain, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur together in a vehicle.

Verdict: False

The image is a digitally edited combination of three separate photos.

Fact Check:

The Facebook image allegedly shows Notorious B.I.G., Tupac and Cobain sitting in a car together. All three musicians appear to be looking at the camera, with Notorious B.I.G. pointing at it. The Facebook post offers no time, location or context for the alleged photo.

Cobain died by suicide on April 5, 1994, in his home in Seattle, Washington, according to History.com. Notorious B.I.G. was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997, and Tupac was shot and killed in a similar fashion in 1996, according to the outlet.

A reverse image search conducted by Check Your Fact revealed the alleged photo is a combination of three separate photographs of the musicians, not a single image of the three together. It was created by digital artist Vemix, who posted the image to his Instagram page on Nov. 18, 2017 and confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact that he was the original creator. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Donald Trump And Tupac Together?)

Vemix’s website includes various prints of legendary celebrities photoshopped together, such as Kurt Cobain and Andre the Giant, and Tupac with John Legend.

The original picture of Biggie Smalls sitting alone in a car can be seen in a Hot 97 article titled, “The Story Behind Some Of The Notorious B.I.G.’s Most Iconic Photos.” The photo was taken by photographer Ernie Paniccioli sometime in 1994. Similar photos taken from the same night can be seen in Paniccioli’s Digital Collection on Cornell University’s Library website.

The image of Cobain included in the Facebook post stems from a photo that features himself and then-Nirvana touring guitarist Pat Smears. The picture can be seen in articles published by Far Out Magazine and Zumic. One Nirvana fan account on Facebook dates the original photo to Nov. 8, 1993.

The initial photo of Tupac features the rapper sitting alone in a car and has been featured in articles published by MTV News and Rolling Stone, the latter listing photographer Ron Galella as the cameraman. Tupac’s head appears to be edited onto Smears’ head in the image shared on Facebook.

Check Your Fact previously debunked claims that Vemix’s photoshopped images of Betty White and Eazy-E, and Steve Irwin and Mr. Rogers are real.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter


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