As an avid Notorious B.I.G. fan, it should be no surprise why I didn't 'Pac a favorable emcee...
"That's Why I F*KED YA BITCH!..."
Timeless phrase but, controversial results. 1996's "Hit'Em Up" by Tupac Shakur, alongside The Outlaws, was one of those records that felt almost like a dart to the heart of B.I.G. fans everywhere. It was so raw, disrespectful, and way out of line. However, in all actuality it may have been one of hip-hop's greatest diss songs of all time due to the fact that it was like 'Pac described it as, a "classic battle record." No subliminals just a "straight up in your" face record.
However, it wasn't until a couple years after his death and release of several biographies and documentaries dedicated to his life, that I recognized the true legend he was. After coming to terms of his death, documentaries such as "Before I Wake", "Tupac VS", "Thug Angel", and the Academy Award nominated "Tupac Resurrection" presented me with the realization that 'Pac was so much than what was presented in the media. All of the negativity portrayed by the press and media was just a microscopic view of the person he really was.
In this day in age in Hip-hop, a lot or rappers claim to be leading braggadocios lifestyles. It's either their pushing more weight than Tony Montana sniffed before he got popped or ice cold killers. But when their rap sheet surfaces to the public, the tales once told are proven fraudulent.
This is where 'Pac set the standard. He single handily crafted the blueprint to the meaning of keeping it real. In every one of his prolific lyrics, Pac painted vivid and accurate images of what was actually going on in his life either before or after the fame. Whether it was about his life or speaking motivation he spoke out from the bottom of his gut, spewing out hard hitting, raw, and often emotional rhymes that strayed away from fabrication.
If you don't believe that check out his entire discography.
"Money come to fast for me to give a f*ck, cause of a bidding war you ask me to give it up, Rap aint been this hard since Hit'Em Up..."
"Dearly Beloved" Pusha T
When you listen to 'Pac's music and compare it to the next emcee, there is easily no comparison. His lyrics are so emotionally driven that you can feel what he's saying as if he's speaking to you directly. With an album like his debut 2Pacalypse Now, its almost like your his psychiatrist listening to his thoughts and feeling about social injustice, poverty, war, plight of the minority, etc. Passion and raw emotion, is what you feel when listening to Pac spew his lyrics.
One of Pac's favorite topics I came to discover besides the subtle braggadocios and social empowering tracks was death. Its still eerie to sit through the music video for his '96 single off the double opus "All Eyez On Me", "I Aint Mad At Cha". The video portrayed Pac and a friend leaving a club, when eventually a man comes out of the shadow and shoots him. Death almost always found its way in his music, just listen to his last studio album offering, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.
If there's one thing for sure about 'Pac, its the fact that he raised the bar for hip-hop much similar to his counterpart, B.I.G. 14 years later, that bar remains in the same spot. He's accomplished feats that no one has yet to do. Although I at first didn't nor wanted to consider myself a fan, its almost impossible to remain with that same state of mind. R.I.P Tupac Shakur.