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Comparison of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.i.g.

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In the 1990’s rap music came to fruition in pop culture. Numerous amounts of fans started to surface and worship rappers and their music. Many rappers emerged during this time and gained stardom. Two rappers that embodied the rap emergence in the 1990’s are Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. also known as Biggie Smalls. Both rappers were extremely similar, but their minor differences led to their significantly different rapping legacies.

Tupac and Biggie differed in their styles of rapping. Tupac was a poetic and authoritative rapper. He made sure his point got across, and he always had meaning, and purpose in his work. His loud and intimidating demeanor put prominence on his lyrics. Tupac was also known to be a poet, and used his talents in both art forms. Biggie had a smooth and effortless way of rapping. He was able to make compound-rhymes seem simple, and he had impeccable rhythm. He had the talent to be able to tell stories within his raps, and had a more theatrical influence in his music than Tupac. It has been argued by many that Tupac and Biggie are the best rappers in the game. Even though they are agreed to be the best, it is hard to come to a conclusion of who is better because of their unique rapping styles.

Even though Tupac and Biggie both are known as the best rappers of all time, they had different ways of reaching that title. Tupac did not become a well-known rapper until he released his fourth album. Tupac was not considered one of the best rappers of all time, until he passed away. People had respect for Tupac and his art, but his fourth album was when people took him seriously. On the other hand, Biggie gained respect and was considered one of the greatest after his first album. It only took Biggie one album to reach the status Tupac had after four albums. Biggie’s first album “Ready to Die” is considered more of a classic than Tupac’s highly esteemed “All Eyes on Me” and “Me Against the World” albums combined. Even though both are highly respected and influential in the music world, Biggie was able to rise to fame more quickly, and effortlessly than Tupac.

Tupac and Biggie had vastly different images and ways of displaying themselves to their audiences. Tupac was seen as the embodiment of young African American men during the 1990’s. He was very raw and real with his audience and showed all of his emotions. Tupac was able to touch the hearts of everyone, because he was able to show his success when he once embodied the struggle of humankind. Biggie had similar struggles to those of Tupac, but had a more pleasant way of displaying them. Biggie was able to have sad and dark messages within his music, but made it more entertaining. Biggie did not cater his music to people who were just struggling, but made his music for everyone. Even if you were not able to relate to Biggie’s lyrics you were still able to enjoy it. Tupac and Biggie were both strong musical figures, but had contrasting ways of conveying themselves to their audiences.

Even though it may seem as though the only thing Tupac and Biggie have in common is that they were both rappers in the 1990’s, but that is untrue. Tupac and Biggie were both born in New York, even though Tupac is a symbol of the west coast. Both Tupac and Biggie grew up in similar environments. They both grew up in ghettos, with drugs, murders, gangs, and violence. Both did not have a father figure present in their lives and had very hardworking mothers. At one point both young men fell into drug dealing to make a living. They both died at a very young age, Tupac at 25 and Biggie at 24, because of gang violence. They were both part of rivaling gangs, these gangs butted heads and it led to drive-by assassinations of both young men. Even though many will argue about the difference between Tupac and Biggie, many forget that they were once good friends and were inspired by each other. 

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Comparison Of Tupac Shakur And The Notorious B.i.g. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from
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