The Greatest Rapper Of All Time Part 1Posted: March 27, 2015 Filed under: MONDAY RAMBLE | Tags: 2 chainz, 2pac, andre 3000, andre benjamin, Biggie, dame dash, Diddy, Drake, eminem, jay-z, kendrick lamar, nas, outkast, scarface, streets is watching, summer jam, sunshine, the city is mine, Tupac, tupac shakur 4 Comments
Why Tupac Shakur is the best ever:
He started out somewhat conscious, he got some movie roles and bullet wounds and turned into a powerful revolutionary with an attitude to go along with his messages. He started a war against social evils and his industry foes and maybe even society itself. Pac became an iconic figure through his passionate truths over instruments, his all too real interviews, and his sinister persona on the silver screen.
His tattoos, his bandana, his charisma, his pain and his work ethic were a part of his signature brand. Tupac was on his way to become a leader in the community and in the world. He had plans to reach drug dealers and gang members across the globe. Mr. Shakur wasn’t just a rapper, in fact rap was not even his focus, it was his tool. His Seven Day Theory album contained graphic details about his premature demise and eerie compositions that served as the soundtrack to a life that sped out of control. He had street credibility that he didn’t need, he had everyone’s ear when he put out songs, and his videos were steps ahead. Pac was a legend alive.
There aren’t many that can cover as many topics and touch as many hearts as him. He commanded an audience on stage and he captivated every room he walked in just by being himself. The man got a “Thug Life” tattoo and saved a bunch of money on t-shirts and sweaters. He has a lethal discography, he never held his tongue, he rapped about his mama and it went multi-platinum, he didn’t need a million metaphors and wordy flows to get his point across, he made you believe in him, none of his records sounded like forced “singles,” he knew he was dying soon and tried to tell us, and if he was still here it is safe to say that the world would be different.
Why Tupac was overrated:
When people argue about Pac and Biggie, rarely do the Tupac lovers go bar for bar. It’s kind of difficult to sit there and break down Tupac lyrics without simply appreciating the feeling in his voice and the pain in his soul.
“I ain’t no killer but don’t push me/revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting pu**y”
That happens to be one of my favorite lines from Pac and it sums up how deep he was. His pictures were painted clearly for the listener. He didn’t use complex metaphors, similes and entendres that you had to ponder over and over. He had an in your face style that was appreciated by all. But when you’re rating an emcee and you want that person to make you think, you tend to have a desire to be in awe.
You want some powerful wordplay that leads you to believe that this person is meant to be a writer. Tupac captured the essence of a true artist but was he really hip-hop? Was he ever going to get in a cipher with other spitters and be able to stand his ground? Pac wasn’t a clever emcee, he frequently used similar cadences, he rhymed Hennessy with enemy more than a few times, and he turned into a “thug” after becoming one on-screen.
Being backed by Death Row records changed him. He was counting money in our faces, he was praising Suge, dissing everyone from Nas to Dr. Dre, and it contradicted the original image we saw of the dude donned in the African garbs clowning around with Digital Underground back in the days.
Tupac dropped an enormous amount of posthumous material. Well he didn’t drop it but it came out. And I must admit…some of it got lost in the wind. But people like B.I.G had a very small amount of unheard verses and they all became treasured. It’s hard to keep track of what songs were released during Pac’s life or A.D.
His staying power is immense but we have to ask this honest question: (Pac lovers brace yourselves) Would Tupac Shakur be adored, admired, loved and treated like a Godly human if he was still on Earth? How much praise would he truly have received as a living man in the flesh? Would we have just brushed him off and pretended he wasn’t as great? Maybe he’d be somewhere between Snoop, Common and Cube: An actor that gets wholesome movie roles and receives support from all races while still maintaining somewhat of a sense of his past as he embraces his worldwide reach. Or maybe he would be a martyr that would have eventually died for a cause instead of over a fight. Maybe he did die for a cause.
Tupac was legendary but was he the one?
Sha Stimuli, you are almost a legend in my book. And of course I respect your opinion just because I have so much respect for you as an artist. But I disagree with some points you made in this GOAT article. Not your top five pic, nobody can disagree with your list because that is subjective. We can only put our 2 cents in and leave it at that.
My thing is, you mentioned something about Jay-Z not tackling a lot of societal ills, he very much did. Hard knock life, meet the parents, minority report, somewhereinamerica, murder to excellence, and other half verses here and there but you know what? Thats really beside the point.
The thing is, Jay-Z is an artist, he doesnt have to address societal ills. He really doesnt. He’s a poet. His job is to tell the story in the best way possible, good, bad, terrifying, horrific, lovable, incredible, diabolical, devilish, amazing, soulful, what ever the subject matter turns out to be. He’s not our moral compass. Thats our parents and community leaders, putting artists or painters on such a pedestal is a disservice to art in general. Thats not HOV’s job.
“No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an upardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of art” ….Oscar Wilde
The moment we start expecting too much out of artists thats when we start strangling art and choking of its essence/freedom. Subject matter to me is truly irrelevant, I mean granted it somehow guides what you listen to but it does not determine how talented an artist is. Technique does that.
Striaght lovers of art, music and entertainment are more fans of Jay-z (ME), than purists who believe that hiphop or some art form should stick to some kind of pretentious code and tend to gravitate towards Nas. I’m a fan of Both. I just think that Jay-Z is LEAGUES ahead of Nas when it comes to writing lyrics. period.
Of course you are a rapper’s rapper because you are equally very talented yourself, so is it possible you are listening from a rapper’s point of view? i’m just a listener and I just appreciate poetry for what it is.
To me Jay-Z is probably the wittiest and most brilliant rapper of our time. He connects dots in such a way that it is honestly mind blowing, especially when you factor into the equation his writing process. Nas is great too, my problem with Nas is intermittent pretentiousness and use of too many cliche lines. I cant really quote Nas as much as JAY, because Nas is a reader and I’ve read some of what he’s saying in some book. But HOV, who is also a reader, has many ORIGINAL quotes.
One more thing that bother’s me about your Biggie arguement is this: Biggie is dead. There is no IF, or Whether, no, he’s dead. He’s not here. Jay-Z is. And Jay-Z is better than Biggie. That is what it is. Maybe in an alternate universe we can argue about who is better where biggie is alive but he’s not. Lets not leave the realm of analysis and start threading that of extreme speculation.
Sha Stimuli has more original quotes than Nas. But on my list of 100 top emcees you’re not above Nas, just because you can appear too preachy sometimes, and your flow, something is missing for me LOL but then you are too talented that I can’t even complain. I dont fault you on that because thats part of you, It is what it is.
Thank you for blowing my mind with your lyrics.
I’ve seen crips lose blood, 911
I’ve seen bloods turn cripple, these are not just puns
I try to wake em up when the sun comes
Imagine getting a ‘one love’ letters from loved ones – Sha stimuli
“I bring change, four quarters no time outs”….Sha stimuli (Feel good)
Dude you are a lyrical beast, i just dont understand what happened to your career. I always felt like you had the kind of wittiness Jay-Z had and if he backed you, you would make it in the mainstream. Sad man.
Thanks so much for this comment. I too believe Jay is great. I didn’t get up to the next part of this post yet. It’s pretty long. But for these I just compiled arguments that I heard from people over the years so it’s not solely my opinion. I guess I’m just building a case and providing opposing views before others can. As far as my career, you’re right, something was missing. And that was complete honesty. Not really in my words, but in my mission. I was confused about what I wanted and I got lost trying to chase Jay’s throne when I should have been carving out my own lane. Ironically he had a small hand in ending my mainstream dream. With that said, I may return but not as the same artist I was before. I may be even more “preachy” for lack of a better word but either way I will be more honest even though most of my fans probably enjoy my spitting bars, I have to do what I feel. Thank you again.
Of Course Man!!
If you changed too much i probably would not like you as I used to. I feel like that “preachiness” (honestly, i ran out of words on that man lol) is both your greatest strength and weakness. I just want to hear Sha Stimuli. I dont care what you rap about. You’re dope. Like i said, skill is skill, you can rap about donuts and still kill it!!!
And to be honest, you got insight man, I like how you see things, it informs some of my decisions too.
I am currently using Tumblr as my default platform.
I kinda want something similar to what you have. Great job, I think I have to invest into a proper website.