NBA / Apr 30, 2010 / 12:00 pm

Random Question of the Day

Is 2Pac overrated?

Before the Hip-Hop Police break into my condo and take my West Coast pass, let me say clarify that I’m only asking this question in the “devil’s advocate” tradition.

During the LL Cool J argument the other day, naturally a lot of people named 2Pac as their G.O.A.T. pick, or at least had him in their top three. Although I was listening to ‘Pac ever since he was ad-libbing and getting half-verses with Digital Underground (check This Is An E.P. Release and Sons of the P), he’s mostly resided just outside my top three, right behind Biggie, Ice Cube, Jay-Z and one or two others. But make no mistake, ‘Pac is elite.

Still, despite his deity status in many circles, I know a lot of people who stand by their claim that 2Pac wasn’t THAT nice. And I can kind of see where they’re coming from.

‘Pac was undeniably a great performer who had passion for the art form and was prolific as hell; he’s had enough “lost tapes” material to consistently make albums more than a decade after his death. Like Cube, he could mix politics, sobering imagery and positive messages with banging tracks. But was 2Pac’s raw rhyming ability on the same level as B.I.G., Eminem, Rakim, Big Pun, Lil’ Wayne, even Beanie Sigel?

Plus, you have to consider the influence that an artist’s death has on their legacy. It happens in sports, music, visual art, writing, acting … basically any talent our society values. When someone passes away, their respect level automatically goes up. Would 2Pac be held in such high regard if he hadn’t died so young and so violently? Has 2Pac become overrated posthumously? Is he overrated and overhyped, period?

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  • isotope

    Oh Lawd. Dude, you just asking to get cussed out. Let the Austin-bashing begin in 4, 3, 2, …

  • Scott

    He had a different style than BIG but as far as flow goes, he could ride a beat as well as Em or anyone else. All Eyez On Me had a number of examples of this. Maybe not as complicated rhyme schemes as BIG, but his content surpassed BIG’s.

  • len-e

    only people that like young jeezy can ask such a qustion. if 2pac had been a poet not a rapper, he’s still be the g.o.a.t

    wtf? lil wayne?

    do you listen to hip hop just for the rhymes? that’s like ducktaping an cell phone to a gameboy and say it’s an ipod.

    step your game up.

    i mean lil waynee. CMON MAN!!!!

  • len-e

    i mean iphone, dammit

  • kobeeeee

    dude, make no mistake – pac is g.o.a.t. material. no doubt.
    lyrically and substance-wise the greatest.
    yes, considering rhyme and flow one can argue – maybe not in the top three. but still top 5.

  • andy

    Pac wasn’t as much of a lyrical beast as mcs like biggie or jayz. But that isn’t everything. The rythym, content, and heart he displayed was great though. If your big into multis and punchlines pac is probably not in your top three. Depends what u listen for. You could effectively argue this either way.

  • QQ

    Pac was the truth man. All eyez on me. Makiaveli. Nuff said. And I didn’t even mention his older stuff.

    MY best MC List:

    Hov – No comment necessary

    Big – Superb content. Voice like no other.

    Em – Innovator. Unheard of rhymes. Game changer.

    Pac – Truly in elite company. Him or Big could very easily be swapped. Matter of personal preference.

    Wayne – Yes, wayne is for real. Sure he has his glitzy songs and his non-serious songs. But dude has literally changed the game. He’s flooded the market with FREE music. In an industry where musicians are scared of the internet killing their sales, he’s GIVING his shit out for free, cause he knows it’s quality, and that it will pay dividends in return.

  • s.bucketz3

    Wayne is ruining hip-hop…he took Big and Jays (and a lot of other peoples) style by “goin off the top” in the booth..now a whole generation of rappers are goin in the booth for an hour and banging out 20 tracks thinkin ther hot…releasing em and flooding the market wit hot garbage…
    Wayne is the death of hip-hop…hes killin Drake’s career as we speak

  • s.bucketz3

    Pac’s at least top 3..like it was said b4, its more of a personal preference…if Bigs in ur top 3 then pac is out and vice versa…for me personally its
    1- Big L
    2- Jadakiss
    3- Lupe Fiasco

    w/ special jersey reppin for joe buddens (mood muzik 2=hotter than most albums)

  • isotope

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t8eoA_1jQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPfIIn5V_LQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y1Emb7Jyks

    Top 5 can’t be complete without him.

    But it really depends on what qualifies as an MC. Lyricism is one thing, delivery is another, and you can’t forget MCing (controlling the mic). And then some people just like music they can feel and/or music they can dance to. My list for lyricist is not the same as MC. And neither is the same list for rappers who knew how to make music the masses love.

  • Pwarrior

    For those who live, lived or emulated the thug lifestyle, Pac will be one of the greats. For those that don’t he will not be as high on their list. Personally he doesn’t crack my top ten, but I give him his props as an artist, performer, and the biggest influence on rap today. My problem is his influence.

    He along w/ big made it ok to rap about a life you didn’t lead. Due to the path they laid, lying on the mic is irrelevent today, when keepin it real meant so much before. Pac wasn’t a blood, wasn’t a gangsta, lived more than half his life on the east, but claimed westside till he died. The real pac is more evident on his 1st 3 albums.

    I was actually a Pac fan until he jumped on death row. I loved his lyrics, depth, and realness on his 1st 3 albums. I hated the fake-thug, gangsta persona he played went he went to Death Row. Pac was a thinker, a poet, a revlutionary, and its sad his life was ended so young.

  • Pwarrior

    oh yeah….

    1) Andre 3000
    2) Scarface
    3) Nas
    4) Ice Cube
    5) Chuck D

  • http://myspace.com/40sand9s loc

    AUSTIN!!! You gone done took the genie out the bottle on this one!!!

    I love 2pac, he is my favorite rapper. I say that because he was THE dude when I got into hip-hop, he was the first rapper I ever knew everything about, bought all his CDs, knew his producers, memorized all the lyrics, that kind of shit. Without 2pac makign music, I think a lot of life decisions and passions I’ve developed may have turned out differently.

    In terms of MCing, bar for bar, there are better rappers. It was his songs and his emotion that did it for people. American idol would call it the “x” factor.

    Pac was heading for something bigger and different than hip-hop, and we missed that from his death. Seeing him enter politics, or making great movies. His greatness at his age was incredible.

    Biggie is the man, great album and great songs, but his death *I think* stopped us from hearing
    Biggie ft. Nelly – Durrty in the BK
    Biggie ft. Missy Elliot – Fries with that shake
    Biggie ft. T-Pain – My Chain is Chingalinging
    Biggie ft. Chris Brown – Yo Right or your Left Eye

    ok, im being dumb, but those BADDDDDDDD collabos and BADDDDDDD songs that were right around the corner.

  • Kal-El

    As soon as you said lil Wayne is a top rapper you lost all credibility. Lil Wayne is a smart entertainer that knows what to do to please the target audience that still buys cd’s (12-16 year olds). Tupac is an artist that transcends age and time.

  • dat dood

    can’t ever say pac was overrated. that man was serious on the mic.

  • two times

    gtf outta here…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    @#8 I agree with most you said especially about PAC being a poet(to me he was more of a poet than a rapper) . The thing I loved most about him is that he spoke from the heart.You can feel pain,struggle and sorrow in the majority of his music.Referring to the article Pac may be over-rated as a lyricist, because honestly he never tried to be a lyricist(like biggie,lil Wayne I guess) Pac was more of a poet, and a voice for people in the struggle. He’s in a class of his own

  • http://dimemag.com/2010/01/daily-fantasy-diagnosis-1-13/#more-29751 Mike

    Whos the best? Pac, Nas, & Big IN THAT ORDER

  • karizmatic

    I don’t believe Pac is overrated, I’ve heard the argument over and over again that Pac wasn’t lyrical like Big or Jay or Rakim, but I really think a lot of people slept on the lyricism that he put down on his “Me against the World” album a lot of people know the “All Eyez on me” Pac. Dude used some ill rhymes and used alliteration in ways that other cats didn’t and a lot of people who listen to rap didn’t check for it.

    check it off “if I should die tonight”
    They say p—y and paper is poetry, power, and pistols
    Plottin’ on murderin’ mother—ers before they get you
    “Picturin’ pitiful punk n—as coppin’ pleas
    Puffin’ weed as I position myself to clock Gs
    My enemies scatter in suicidal situations
    Never the witness to wicked s–t that they was facin’
    Pockets is packed with presidents, pursue your riches
    Evadin’ the playa-hatin tricks, while hittin switches
    B—es is badmouthin’, cuz ballin’ motherf—ers is bold
    but trust me holmes, the game should be sold
    Sick of psychotic society, somebody save me”

    This folks is called alliteration, the use of a letter to begin the words of your rhymes. It’s a technical thing that’s really only used in poetry but Pac melded things like this into his rhymes all the time, if you’re not really technically studying his rhymes it goes right over your head.

    As I said before

    After you account for Rakim, Kane, and KRS

    Pac is number 2 behind Nas and that’s only because Nas lived long enough to put out a bunch more official albums.

  • http://BasketballFreeForAll Deebo

    He may not have been the best lyrical mc, but far and away the most influential, intelligent and poignant rapper. Pac had the most to say and did it in a way that inspired people to actually change their lives and thought processes. Definitely the GOAT

  • BC

    His acting was overrated

  • Brown

    @scott

    First off, nobody could ride a beat like Biggie. Pac’s flow, style and subject matter was similar on a LOT of his tracks.

    Pac is definitely overrated, but that goes for every dead MC. Big and Pac are hip hop’s martyrs. Their deaths propelled them into a spot in the hip hop hierarchy nobody will ever be able to reach, no matter what they do. When it comes to the GOATs of hip hop, it’s a two-man race, but it comes down to personal preference and the case can be made for either or.

    To me, Big was the prototypical MC. Every aspect of emceeing, Big was a master of:
    - flow
    - complex rhyme structure (yet simple and accessible)
    - storytelling
    - realism
    - voice
    - riding the beat
    - versatility (street tracks to radio joints and everything in between)
    - originality
    - beat choice (he didn’t rap over shitty beats, which no other MC/rapper in history can claim)
    - showmanship/performance

    Big is the most influential and respected MC of all time. He’s still quoted, sampled and imitated today. Nothing cements your legacy more than that.

    Pac can’t match Big as far as emceeing goes, but to me Pac was way more than an MC, which is why people consider him the GOAT. He is hands down the greatest figure hip hop has ever produced. Big’s reach was limited to his musical influence; Pac’s influence went beyond music. He stood for something more.

    Pac is overrated, but I think it’s justified. At the time of his death, he was just scratching the surface of reaching his full potential. Looking back, people rate Pac more based on what he could have achieved, not by his actual achievements, and I see nothing wrong with that.

    …and fuck Lil’ Wayne. Pac spit with a purpose and passion in his voice. Back then, you couldn’t get by spitting random bars that made absolutely no sense. You’d get laughed right out of the industry. It’s pathetic how low the bar has been set for today’s hip hop stars. The skill level of mainstream rappers today shows how much hip hop has devolved since losing its true leaders.

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    Pac Da Goat.

    No more words are needed

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    GOAT as is Greatest Of All Time I mean

  • Moi

    No mention of Common? Sure, he had a stint with Badu that messed things up musically but dude is straight lyrical!

  • life-p

    Yes, Pac is overrated.

  • johnsacrimoni

    How is this a “random” question when all of your “random” questions are about rap?

  • Celts Fan

    Pac’s death definitely helped, cuz we never know what woulda been coming next. R U Still Down was solid, but who knows what woulda come after htat. If he’d stuck around til he was 40, he’d’ve probably put out some stuff that had us downgrading him juuuuuuuuust a bit. Either way, he and Biggie are my 2 GOATS (can’t choose between the 2.) Pac put out bangin’ party anthems, then would put out some real ish (Brenda’s Got a Baby, Dear Mama, etc.) and everything in between. He could do it all.

    I’d say he’s not over-rated. YOu can argue for BIG, Nas, Andre 3000, Jigga, Em, Jada, and, if we’re talking OVERALL INFLUENCE, NOT JUST RHYMING, Dre’s gotta get a shoutout (between NWA, both Chronics, and discovering Snoop, Em and 50, that man’s had his hand in sooo much in the evolution of hip hop.) I’m sure there are some guys from the 80s that were before my time (Rakim and PE among them) and I feel like I may be doing Black Thought a disservice not mentioning him here too, but that’s my list. Loved Method Man too, but he’s not quite in this group.

    @QQ – I’m not always huge fan of Wayne’s, but you’re dead on. You peep The Prefix? Sh*t is HOT

  • anenome

    lil wayne? beanie siegel? you lost me when you mentioned these two. sure, wayne sells records in an age where records don’t sell but i think that says a lot more about the consumer than it does lil wayne. beanie siegel hasn’t done shit aside from a few nice verses.

    i’d say Pac is a top 5-10 rapper of all time no question but he is definitely overrated. he’s overrated now because he’s an easy rapper to get into for younger kids that aren’t looking to further than the fact that he got shot a few times and is now regarded as a martyr. biggie was far more lyrical but i’d say pac had more emotion and passion.

  • karizmatic

    @ Moi
    Common is nice but I feel like his Electric Circus and his last album Universal Mind Control were disappointments.

  • JAY

    @ #3
    “if 2pac had been a poet not a rapper, he’s still be the g.o.a.t”
    He WAS a poet. He wrote poetry long before he was a rapper. Pick up “The Rose that Grew from Concrete” and read his poetry. The words in that book were never meant to be a rap song. The general public doesn’t realize that Tupac was more than just a rapper, unlike Biggie, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Pun, everyone else in the game. Sure Jay-z is a business-man but f*ck the corporate world. Jay-Z caved to “white america”. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that but Pac never changed for anything and was successful on his own terms. He knew who he was and where he, and his ancestors came from. He was an educator and revolutionary FIRST, THEN a rapper. He may not have been the best rapper as far as mic skills go, but he was by far the most relevant lyricist… and still is. To the haters, go listen to Panther Power. He wrote that at 17 years old.
    May he rest in peace.

  • karizmatic

    @ Celts Fan Black Thought should be at the top of everyone’s list if we’re just talking about rhyming period, he’s definitely in the top 5 all time at that.

  • Mikey F Baby

    At some point over the last 10 years it became trendy to hate on 2Pac. I liken it to those who hate on Kobe, Lebron, Durant etc just because they’re the best at what they do. Ignore these jokers and keep it moving.

  • control

    How in the fuck can you put “lil’ wayne” on a list that has other great fucking rappers? The guy has changed the rap industry…into a heap of shit. He goes and records 40 tracks in 1 day, with maybe 1 or 2 being decent, and the rest being pure utter garbage, and that makes him a great rapper? You have heard about 1 million monkeys on 1 million type writers haven’t you? With the amount of shit he puts out, statistically he had to get lucky with a few of them. Guy is a spray and pray rapper. Who is next on the list, souljaboy?

    Regardless of if Pac was overrated or not, can we all agree that the current state of the rap industry is completely bullshit compared to what it used to be? When it was more of an underground genre of music, the artists had SOOO much quality, now that it’s so commercialized, people can’t actually make music about anything that means something…it’s only about Beemers, Benz, Bentlys, Bling, and Fake Bangbang. Fuck that shit, tell me a fucking story, open my eyes, make me fucking think or aware of some sort of issue going on in the world.

  • derek

    ive read all the comments and i agree that when you talk about pac your talking about an artist who surpassed the genre. he was a poet and he had a message. biggie is a rapper and probably the best rapper of all time (though jay z clearly is close, if not equal). 2 pac is in a class of his own.

    so much people love lil wayne’s fow but hate that he doesnt speak about certain topics enough. like poverty, racism and other inequalities. and maybe he should, but judging from what he has done, lil wayne is one of the greatest rappers of our generation and if he keeps growing he’ll be top 10 when he stops rapping.

    p.s. cant believe no one has mentioned eminem in the comments, when we’re talking strictly lyricism and not rap as a whole, eminem arguably the best.

  • derek

    yea we do need more story telling music but that doesnt mean we need to get rid of the music that makes us wanna dance, makes us feel good, there just needs to be a 50/50 balance instead of the current 80/20(20 being ‘real rap’) but her where is andre 3000? at some point you gotta put the onus on those who you expect that material from. p.s andre 3000 is another dude that should be mentioned in the comments.

  • ejay225

    Beanie Siegel??? You have to be kidding…

  • Celts Fan

    @Jay – Pac had already started a movie career and passed on well before he’d’ve had to change his career (it’s tough to take a 50 year old rapper seriously, right?) He probably woulda did just what Jigga did. and BTW, Jigga didn’t cave to anyone, and he conquered GREEN America. Say what you will, he went from rich to wealthy in a decade. Hate if you want (and I will on his new music, his last few CDs have sucked,) but he did what we’d all do if given the opportunity…

    @Karizmatic – you’re right man. Just didn’tw anna have my list be like 20 people long, but ya, I’d take him over most guys not named Jigga, Big, or Pac.

  • sh!tfaced

    Of course, any fuck celebrity who dies unexpectedly will always be overrated. James Dean, Elvis, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, including Pac…

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    Marshall is the GOAT.
    And Jay-Z sucks
    There, I said it

  • Big Island

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say he is overrated because he was really, really good. The problem is that he died. We never got to hear what he would’ve done going further. We don’t know if Len Bias would’ve been THE MAN in the NBA, but we can say that he could’ve been. I used to say he wasn’t that great, but I was wrong. As far as BIG, who I personally liked better than Pac, he would’ve been 10,000 times better without Diddy on every damn song going “bad boy baby, can’t stop, won’t stop, eh eh, eh eh..” He still pisses me off.

  • Bruce

    2Pac over-rated? Give me some of that weed you are smoking!

    The greatest rapper EVER!

  • xot

    yes, he’s overrated. but considering your top 3 austin, he’s underrated. Jayz icecube and Big, three more of the fake commercial mcs talking about their stupid clothes and fake mobster lifestyle, the godfathers of this wack lil wayne era in hip hop. just like Wayne, Pac was a phony who talked about pulling 187′s, and we all know that real people listened to his music to get amped before actually pulling 187s. Nonetheless he shined on the mic, top ten probably. everyone forgets about lauryn and “welcome to the terrordome” is a million times better than anything the garbage mcs in your top 3 have ever or will ever make. but for me the best hip hop comes from groups not solo mcs: wutang, geto boys, de la soul, bone etc

  • Bruce

    What makes 2Pac and Biggie special is — Their legacy withstood the test of time! As of today, we still listen to their music! And we will continue to listen to their old albums!

  • isotope

    In no particular order:

    Lyricism: Eminem, Common, Nas, Pac, Rakim, Slick Rick, Mos Def, Guru (RIP), Jada, etc.

    Delivery: Black Thought, Pac, Rakim, Eminem, Biggie, Ice Cube, QTip, LL, etc.

    Controlling the Mic: Rakim, JayZ, Pac, Ice Cube, Wayne, KRS, etc.

    Making music for the masses: JayZ, Pac, Kanye, LL, BEP, Wayne, Biggie, etc.

  • derek

    just because a rappers talks about money, cars and clothes and another talkes about injustices, poverty and the like doesnt make one better than the other, thats where a lot of people got it twisted. it’s the rhyme structure, lyricism delivery, creativity in how they rap. biggie rapping about money cars clothes and hoes is better than a lot of these dudes who talk about those things or injustices or whatever because of HOW he does it.

    this is why a lot of people hate lil wayne and a lot of peple love lil wayne, with lil in between. people recognize his skills and talent oand others hate that he only raps about the things he raps about( not true btw wayne has some really deep verses you just gotta find them and also listen to pre-carter 1, 2 3. wayne is the king of mixtapes too, and the best at guest feauring( though eminem last 3 features were amazing)

  • LMNOP

    Pac is the most overrated man in the history of music.
    there are hundreds of better MC’s who have made Hundreds of better LP’s.
    how can a guy who put out one or two good, not great, albums be the GOAT.
    if his beef with biggie, and then death, hadn’t blown him into the media spotlight no one would give a fuck.
    Biggie, Big L, Big Pun, Dirty and Guru have all released better LP’s…. so pac ain’t even a top 5 dead rapper.

  • K Dizzle

    The question is damn near blasphemy.
    So blasphemy that when dudes post that Pac is overated, they try to backtrack in their explanations and then end up realizing that he wasn’t overrated. Pac was big before his death and no doubt, after his death, is now the most INFLUENTIAL MC of all time. I don’t remember rappers writing songs to the ladies/mommas before Pac. And I know LL did, but not like how Pac did it. It was a risk cuz you could be seen as soft but Pac straddled that line and could talk about runnin a drive-by on your ass and in the next, be rappin “Dear Mama”, “Wonder why they call u bitch” “Keep ya head up” or “Baby, Don’t Cry”
    No other rapper gets as many shout-outs even to today.
    There aren’t really no half-way fans. If you a Pac fan, you got a fave album, fave song, fave verse. The reason Pac gets all that love cuz his music kept evolving, kept gettin more real as he grew up and had more experiences. It’s like watchin that Tyson documentary and Mike is tryin to explain what he was goin thru at the time.
    It’s funny with that Chappelle skit where they playin a “Pac” track at the club and it’s all happening. That’s what put Tupac above all. No matter what you goin thru, you can find a track that relates exactly to you. Rap got lost when artists started lookin for sizzle, startin lookin for bangin hooks, autotunin, talkin about they wealth, but really not sayin nuthin.Pac said shit.
    But I grew up in Pasadena so maybe I just see it like that.
    p.s. And for the record, I liked Pac’s work in Poetic Justice and Above the Rim

  • http://myspace.com/40sand9s loc

    Me against the world challenges any rap album ever

    and Lil wayne, mann, dude is ok, but I honestly think the way i dig pac cause when I was 13 he was the man, is the same way 13 or 15 year old kids think now. Wayne is their dude! He is this generations #1 rap superstar.

    A lot of our heroes are old as fuck lol, I read today Em is 37, same age as Grant Hill and Kurt Thomas.

  • karizmatic

    @ Celts fan

    Yeah except we disagree about Jay, as far as I am concerned he’s bitten too many of his rhymes from other cats to be considered one of the greats, but that’s just me, I understand a lot of people think he’s the greatest ever.

  • Luigi

    hey something to think about. to what extent was 2pacs untimely death help propel him to be the GOAT of Rapping?

  • Ian

    overrated i dont know. tupac is the only rapper i can name.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @xot — “Jayz icecube and Big, three more of the fake commercial mcs talking about their stupid clothes and fake mobster lifestyle, the godfathers of this wack lil wayne era in hip hop.”

    Man, you really need to listen to more Ice Cube. “Fake commercial”? Really? Start off with Death Certificate, then listen to The Predator. Go on from there with AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted or even the newer Raw Footage. Cube makes conscious and often revolutionary music, he didn’t just talk about “stupid clothes and fake mobster” stuff.

  • My Favorite Superhero

    So everyone is smoking the same crack as Austin, I see….And since when do we categorize rappers??? “best stage presence, best lyrically stamina, best word order, best blah, blah, blah…” This is hip-hop, not hte freaking Oscars!

    Only person I can agree with today is karizmatic…

    Pac is easily in the top 3….Rakim (ahead of his time), KRS (just listen), Pac (all-around skills)

    Lil’ Wayne? Beans? Come on Son!!!!! These popcorn artists today, shouldn’t even be considered in the same sentence as true hip-hop artists! And how you gonna disrespect Big Daddy Kane?!!!! Jay-Z wouldn’t be Jay-Z if it wasn’t for Kane!!!

    Seriously, all these other artists were/are great, but they didn’t put it together the way Pac did! Pac could give you popcorn rhymes, political rhymes, thug rhymes, etc…Eminem is the closest to doing that today, Jay-Z as well

    Seriously people, put the crack down

  • Student Of The Game

    Pac overrated???? haha..

  • derek

    some 2 pac poems (at the age of 18) :http://www.2pac2k.de/poems.html

  • My Favorite Superhero

    Corection, K Dizzle and Karizmatic are speaking today!

  • isotope

    I hear a lot of people from the “Tupac is the greatest ever” camp use “what he talked about” as their major point. So it is more about what he was rapping about not so much how he was rapping. As much as I love content, it’s not a good way to assess the greatness of an MC. Imagine if Ice Cube (old school) and Eminem weren’t so graphic or graphic but used that same skill to write love stories and party music lol.

  • karizmatic

    @ Austin

    I’m with you on Ice Cube and don’t forget about my personal favorite Lethal Injection

    There isn’t anything commercial about that.

    Most of Ice Cube’s catalog is far from commercial.

  • karizmatic

    @ Isotope

    My argument #19 didn’t stem from what he talked about so much as how technically ill Pac was especially on Me Against the World. What Pac talked about combined with his technical ability is what puts him in the top 3.

  • Baby Huey

    well, here is the order Eminem himself puts them in:

    “It goes, Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie, Andre from Outcast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me”

    that’s good enough for me

  • http://www.facebook.com/dworlds David Brandon

    AB, youre cool, so i’ma let the fact that youre supposed to reppin’ the best coast no matter what, but i do see where youre coming from. lyrically, is he on that level? i get it. i actually listen to more east coast rap (mos, talib, nas, jay, ‘ye, lupe, the roots, blah blah blah), but i’ve always been partial to ‘pac. if nothing else, solely b/c he’s CA product. admittedly, preference is blind sometimes. will i acknowlege that to me big was better as a lyricist to me? …yes, and i’ve got no prob w/ that. it almost comes down to which style you prefer. i dont think pac was ever overrated either. everything he’s gotten i think he’s gotten b/c he’s just that nice. ppl that i think are overrated? jeezy. young money. rick ross. man, basically if youre always on the radio, i’m more prone to think youre weak cus they dont play real shit on the radio. that simple.

    but yeah austin, for a split second, you almost had the card pulled indefintely haha

  • Monkey Nutz

    Very simply stated…yes

  • jay

    i prefer biggie but pac has to be top 3 at the very least…not in this order jay, pac, and biggie. common is great as well. I personally like fab and he has been in the game long enough so he is not viewed as a one album dude! i know he is more popcorn rap and more on the nelly side but hey he does produce good tracks.. take it for what it is worth!

  • DO

    you can’t really compare 2pac with the others. Different styles. 2pac had that bay area style. if you’re from new york, you might prefer nas, biggie, jay-z.
    personally, i believe that pac was the g.o.a.t, hand down.

  • Dapro

    Lyrically Pac was nice when he put forth the effort listen to his first and secod albums to gain insight into his lyrically ability. He realized what sold records and used that to his advantage. He along with Big created another persona and played it to the fullest. As far as topics, Pac spoke from heart. His words were felt so you can say lyrically he was on point but he recycled alot of words and rhymes. Overrated somewhat but so is Biggie and every other great Mc we place on a pedestal.

    For the record, I respect Wayne as an artist but lyrically he is subpar. His rhymes are catchy and he drops punchlines but the substance is lacking. As for Beanie Sigel, his lyrically ability is underrated. The dude can spit please believe .

    Right now the rap game is in serious jeopardy. Being hot or being the “best” at the moment is rarely associated with longevity.

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    Lil’ Wayne….really? C’mon son.

  • Random

    this article ruined my day

  • Big T

    2pac is the GOAT.

    Jay Z is a fuckin poser… Hard Knock Life my ass. The only “hard” shit he saw, was his boyfriend’s dick while he was getting pounded from behind.

  • J. Wells

    As soon as you mentioned lil Wayne…I could no longer take the article seriously. I’ll catch you on the next one AB.

  • Jazz man

    Austin Should Be Put On Administrative Leave Without Pay For Even Bringing This B.S. Up…PAC Was A Master Of Ceremony Its Not All Lyrically…Just Think How His Music Made You Feel…The Passion…Now Back To Basketball

  • Randomized

    Lil Wayne great if you are a 15 year old wigger fake ass wannabe thug.

  • Conspiracy

    I just want to know who killed Pac and Big, then lets talk about who’s overrated.

  • LakeShow84

    YES AB YOUR WEST COAST PASS IS GONE..

    EVEN PUTTING THAT QUESTION OUT THERE IS BLASPHEMY..

    YOU KNOW WHO’S REALLY OVERRATED???>>>>>>>>>>>> JAYZ

    AND MAKAVELLI: THE SEVEN DAY THEORY IS ONE OF THE HARDEST ALBUMS EVER RELEASED.. DAMN NEAR EVERY SONG IS DOPE..

    GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE WITH THIS QUESTION

  • LakeShow84

    And to quote NAS on JayZ

    “Thats why Eminem murdered you on your own shit”

    And listen to “Renegade”.. JayZ was so weak on that CLEAN a$$ beat.. Em laced that track so hard..

  • jason

    wow….i cant believe i’m even reading this…tupac is the greatest rapper of all time…hands down

    let me ask you this who is a better basketball player michael jordan or kobe bryant? like if we could get a time machine and have michael jordan play kobe bryant one on one…who would win?…john salley said he played with kobe and kobe would win…and if u think about it, he is right…kobe can shoot better, dribble better, and can jump just as high as jordan…but yet we will always consider jordan as the best because of his relevance…because how he won 6 championships and his influence on the sport…how he inspired people worldwide to pick up a basketball….not because jordan will be able to beat any player we have ever seen in one on one…

    the reason i bring that up is its the same with pac…is biggies flow better…maybe but how many of his songs are meaningful…its easy to flow when u talk about bullshit…pac would have a song about a certain message or subject, and he wouldnt stray from that…a lot of biggie’s songs, jay-z’s songs, are all over the place…they’ll be tlaking about one thing then next thing u know it will be a completely different subject they bring up just to keep the flow going….who cares whose flows are better, tupac had the most influence

    the funniest thing i find is how people make comments like he only had two good albums…pac was in an era where music, particularly rap isnt even as popular as it is today, yet he and eminem are 1-2 in sales…despite pac never even trying to be pop…he never sold out like jay-z did (listen to reasonable doubt vs the bs he puts out now that everyone sweats)….yet he has sold way more records than jay-z!

    then people talk about how his flow is so similar and much of it was the same…he only was flowing for like 7 years…close to two years of which he was in jail…i mean thats not a lot of time for him to have evolved…much of the stuff we hear are songs he recorded in the span of 2 years when he was really grinding it out in the studio…so of course his stuff is going to sound similar

    its much harder to rap about intellectual meaninful stuff…which is y most these rappers dont do it…thats real skill

  • me

    yes, dude is crazy overrated.

    there’s easily 50 rappers better than him at rapping.

    his subject matter was the only thing that stood him apart, and even then it was only in a few songs.

    that, and death.

    his flow was the same in most of his songs.

    for every “brenda’s got a baby”, he had 5 or 6 “i’m a thuuuuuuug” and “i’m a geeeeee” songs.

    I like him but if he’s really anyone’s gold standard for rapping, they’re not really fans of rap because as far as actual rapping, he was average at best.

  • cdiz

    who’s the best pac, nas & big aint no best

  • K Dizzle

    @ me

    “there’s easily 50 rappers better than him at rapping.”

    name em. I’ll give you all weekend

    and please list the songs that Pac went “I’m a thuuuuuug” (Trick Daddy) and “I’m a geeeeeeeee” (maybe G-Unit, idk)

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Definitely overrated.

  • EN FUEGO

    If you wanna talk overrated then let’s talk about JayZ.

  • LMNOP

    off the top of my head here is about 50 better rappers than 2pac…. just for um… “me”… cos like he said, if 2pac is your gold standard then you really need to listen to more music.

    Nas
    Kane
    Rakim
    Pharaoh Monch
    Raekwon
    Ghostface
    Method Man
    Ol Dirty
    GZA
    Big L
    Big Pun
    Chuck D
    Redman
    Eminem
    Doom
    Kool Keith
    Krs One
    Masta Ace
    Sean Price
    Black Thought
    Andre 3000
    Prodigy
    E-40
    Vast Aire
    Ice Cube
    Slick Rick
    Guru
    Scarface
    Luda
    Common
    Slug
    T.I
    Immortal Tech
    Talib
    Aesop Rock
    LL Cool J
    Tash & J-ro
    stic.man & M-1
    Prince Po
    O.C
    C-Rayz Walz
    Sticky Fingaz
    CL Smooth
    Afu Ra
    Jeru the Damaja
    lil dap
    B-Real
    Lord Finesse
    Puba, Sadat & Jamar

  • http://prickymart.blogspot.com Russ

    All I’m saying is look at the subject matter on some of the songs from 2pacalypse Now. Now go back and realize they were written by someone during the ages 18-21. Even Strictly’s subject matter only @ 2 years older. He was on a whole ‘nother level. Listen to the subject content we get today from people up to 10 years older than that – and you see why how far things have fallen.

    I know I shouldn’t believe someone had the audacity to even ask such a questions – but damn…

  • http://www.kikaayacollegeschool.org smity far away

    @Austin

    hell no

  • Sweet English

    I was reading this and then someone mentioned fucking Lupe Fiasco as top 3 ever and then i died a little inside.

  • mrparker

    Everyone is prone to say that their generation used to do things better than the current generation. If that were true the world would regress. Instead the world always progresses.

    Of course the rap game is different now. Rappers couldn’t self publish in the late 80s or early 90s. Anyone that was selling multiple albums was from Def Jam or Death Row or Bad Boy(some others I’m forgetting). What we were listening to had to be approved by Suge or Russell or Diddy. Who knows what those guys would have rapped about if they were allowed to speak on whatever subject they damn well pleased.

    The game has progressed. Rap is still the strongest industry in music. If you can’t get with the newer artists then the game has passed you by. You are too old to get it. You sound like the guys who didn’t want blacks messing up the pure game of basketball with their flashy moves. Who wants to be like those guys?

  • derek

    we all have our biases and preferences. me i like rappers who story tell, who use metaphors, similies, assonace, alliteteation and the like. i also like rappers who just have a nice flow. as much as i like bggie’s dead wrong ft eminem i like lil wayne’s got money ft tpain. It’s all entertainment. it’s easy to determine what is lyrically better but it’s hard to say what;s better overall because some songs have rappers who are trying to be lyrical, others are trying to make you laugh and thers are trying to make you dance.

    we need ALL of it, just a better balance

  • Colton

    before reading the post, i will tell you … no!

  • Kobe

    i never understood rap music. all they ever rap about are women, drugs, and money.

  • Charles Kirk

    I would like to say that without a doubt Pac is one of the all time greats of rap. But, I don’t think that in terms of lyricism he was as good as Big L, Big Pun, Eminem, and Biggie. His rhyme scheme wasn’t at all complicated it was simple much like Ice Cube. But, like Ice Cube they both had lyrics that were felt. I don’t like Pac’s material now because, on the songs they change stuff that he says.
    My Top 10 G.O.A.T. List is
    1.) Ice Cube
    2.) Big L
    3.) B.I.G.
    4.) Pac
    5.) Scarface (so underrated)
    6.) LL Cool J
    7.) Jay-Z (older stuff is better)
    8.) T.I.
    9.) Young Jeezy
    10.) Eminem
    Mind you this is coming from a 17 year old high school senior so Jeezy and T.I. being on this list is mainly because of my age.

  • Uncut

    Ok buddy boy, this is a stupid question Pac? That brother could touch you, make the back of your hair stand up, that passion to touch, that is what a true poet can do, is supposed to do and will do. If you need to critic, why don’t you just look at idiots like Nicki menaj who are not saying s***? I almost feel like throwing up each time I hear that girl touch the mic, she os so garbage that it is scary. Pac was the man, he unfortunately just did not know how talented and blessed he really was, death is the final stop and that is when people truly appreciate you. I loved Pac when he was alive, and I STILL DO. So unfortunately your question is just stupid, Pac was amongs the top three, not just for word plays but because of his passion and the ability he had to move you.

  • arislocote

    I started to embrace rap music immediately after hearing pac’s Life Goes On.

  • nkosi

    TUPAC IS A HIP HOP ICON, BIG IS A RAPPER AND NUTHN ELSE.AN ICON HAS INFLUENCE ON PEOPLE whereas ARAPPER PUTS OUT A SONG WHICH MAY BE VERY GUD BT HAS NO MEANING TO ANYONE.2PAC REPRESENTS PEOPLE BCOZ HIS ACTIONS AND LIFE EXPERIENCES REPRESENTED WHAT PEOPLE EXPERIENCED AND PEOPLE COULD RELATE TO IT GOOD OR BAD.HE MYT NT HEV TH BEST CONSISTENT RHYMES BT FRM MANY PAC SONGS THERE IS A MEANING TO IT WHICH MAKES HIM A MILLION TIMES BETTER THAN ANY RAPPER OVERALL

  • Baller

    pun is the shit man

  • http://www.download-hip-hop-beat.com/?inv Shaunta Brogan

    Eminem was much better when he started out. His music sucks now and is a prime example of what money does.