I’m pretty relaxed when getting into a new hip hop artist’s music – the basic gist of my requirements are: A) the ability to rap, B) a quality production (A can compensate for a lack of B), and C) the rapper doesn’t compare themselves to 2pac or Biggie. Simple stuff, right? Wrong, as XXL showed in his recently compiled list of 52 rappers who have compared themselves to 2pac.
Time and time again, rappers compare themselves to the hip hop heaven gatekeepers. Biggie and 2pac both hold a special place in my heart, and I just can’t trust any rapper so quick to compare themselves. I don’t always overreact and get unreasonably angry and change the song; a lot of the time it slides straight through my afro and I barely notice it. Like in Ice Cube’s My Skin Is My Sin: “I get around like Tupac, just bought a new Glock/And I want what you got.” Or Ghostface’s verse on Rivers Of Blood: “Black magic, leave your fuckin’ skull in a soup pot/Makaveli, vamoose like Tupac.” But sometimes it just gets to me, like in Gucci Mane’s Thirst – “It’s Guwop like Tupac/Purple drank no Ci-roc/Need to buy a weed whacker for my new weed spot.”
Most of the rappers on this list seem to be comparing themselves to the same few 2pac songs including All Eyez On Me and I Get Around (song below; Ghostface’s lyric above) and also reference 2pac’s ‘fuck the world’ attitude like in Eminem’s song Just Don’t Give A Fuck – “So when you see me on your block with two Glocks/Screaming, ‘Fuck the world’ like Tupac/I just don’t give a fuck.” The movie Juice is also mentioned in more than one rap, in Erick Sermon’s (whose career predates 2pac’s) verse on Rap Is Still Outta Control – “EPMD, who’s fuckin’ wit it?/Outta control like Tupac in Juice, character Bishop.”
At least nobody in this list has taken it to Ja Rule’s extremes. Ja (aka the Mock-aveli) based his whole rap style and persona on the legendary 2pac, but is oddly enough not on XXL’s list. Ja even went so far as to cover So Much Pain, for which he copped a lot of flack from 50 Cent, Eminem and Busta Rhymes. Responding to their beef with yet another cover of 2pac’s with the intro to Bomb First (My Second Reply): “It’s not about East or West/It’s about niggas and bitches, power and money, riders and punks/ which side are you on?”
Check the full list here.