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Tupac Shakur – Still Overrated...

I.B. Blackman
I.B. Blackman Members Posts: 3,323 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2011 in The Reason
pac-feat.jpg

*Taken from a November 19, 2009 XXL Blog written by Byron Crawford*


Tupac. No disrespect. But come on, B.....


NOTE TO READERS: This was written with no intent to disrespect the dead. XXL pays me to share my honest thoughts, views and opinions. And I do just that.


I originally wrote this about this 5 years ago. Back when it was unpopular to question Tupac’s legacy, to objectively analyze his impact on pop and hip hop culture, in short to ask “Is Tupac Overrated?” It’s no question Tupac was charismatic, and yes he did drop some good songs. Still, the way many have carried on since Mr. Shakur’s untimely death, how merchandise and posthumous albums continue to sell, I feel it’s time to revisit this issue.

Like most, I was extremely saddened by Mr. Shakur’s death in 1996. Being that I wasn’t a fan of his, I went out and purchased all of his cd’s that I hadn’t owned. There’s been more than a lot of talk about how 2pac was a poet, a leader of our generation and so on. I don’t question his talents as a poet, I question his skills as being hailed as one of the “greatest” rappers of all time. Poets are cool, I like poetry. Sometimes. I’m just not trying to hear Maya Angelou spit no types of fiyah on the mic. Associating all this “greatest” talk with the kind of sentiment surrounding one’s passing, I was more than intrigued by how Pac has become a legend of rap. Truth be told, over the years, all that talk got annoying. 5 years ago, I was in the process of going through my digital music collection to see, out of all his albums, which songs recorded by Pac were keepers and which ones were deletable. Long and short, I decided to give 2Pac a second chance, see what his stans fans were talking about, just in case I had missed something.

I listened to his first lp, “2Pacalypse Now”, released in 1991. Being a true rap fan with no types of hate in my heart, after a couple of listens, there was no way around it. That album was wack. There’s no decent song on it and I still can’t decide what’s worse, his feeble attempt to rhyme or the sub par production. Even the “breakout” hit single Brenda’s Got A Baby was lacking in sound, but being that it was the first rap song ever dedicated to single mothers in the hood, in every city across the country, it was deemed to be mad prolific. Yeah, I get that, but really, eff that. That song was weak by any hip hop classic standard. Straight up and down. “2Pacalypse Now” got deleted from my files with the quickness.

Next up was his 2nd Lp, “Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.S” released in 1993. First and foremost, [||] for that title. I don’t know if the periods embedded in “N.I.G.G.A.S.” is supposed to mean something “deep”, whatever, it seemed dumb to me then. Still is. The only song on that album that comes close to being dope is I Get Around, actually the first song by Pac that I liked. Still, I saw that as being a Digital Underground song featuring 2Pac as their up and coming weed carrier. Being how his first LP was wack, Digital Underground probably decided they would help their lil homie out. Production on that song was tight, Pac’s flow improved dramatically, but Shock G stole the show with his classic line “I’m Shock G, the one who put the satin on your panties.” But cool, I’ll give Pac the credit. Unfortunately, the rest of the album was really really really bad. So other than I Get Around, every other song on the album got deleted. Knowing how “Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.S” was released around the time Pac delivered his “stunning” acting debut in that “Juice” movie, a whole bunch of people probably got caught up in his portrayal of his “Bishop” character and went with the hype. To me, Bishop wasn’t gully, just a Harlem cat suffering from severe mental issues. Since I knew real dudes like that in Brooklyn, I was no types of impressed with Bishop. Especially since them dudes from Brooklyn were suspect up until they had a gun in their hand. What’s gully with that? Think about it, if Tupac was such an incredible rap artist and “Juice” was considered to be his movie, why was it that none of his songs made the album? A lot of people bought into it, but I for one didn’t sip the juice.

Next up was “Me Against The World” released in 1995. Now I gotta hand it to 2Pac in that the hype surrounding this album’s release was beyond incredible. It was around the time he got shot up with five hot ones in a New York City recording studio. Way before it became cool for rappers to get shot up a whole buncha times. A day after the shooting incident, Shot Up Pac then checks himself out for “security” reasons and also, because he had to make it to court, him being in the middle of fighting that 🤬 charge. I remember seeing the image of Pac on the news, getting wheeled out of the courthouse, all bandaged up with his middle finger pointed straight to the heavens, and thinking “what a crazy 🤬 this dude is turning into!” He then gets sentenced to a bid in jail and starts blaming the entire East Coast for all of his woes.

Dear Mama comes out and it’s the first time dude has great production, rapping skills are intact and he’s rapping about 🤬 everyone on the planet can relate to. That song right there is genius in the same way Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday is. A Mother’s Day song. The only other song on Me Against The World worthy of a playback is Old School what with its tight production and Pac rapping like he’s brand new. The rest of the album is ehh, lukewarm, not as bad as his prior two releases, but bad enough, especially since the hype behind it made it damn near impossible not to wonder what his crazy ass was talking about. Other than them two aforementioned songs, the rest of the lp got the delete treatment.

1996 was the year “All Eyez On Me” hit the streets. With this lp, the world was introduced to the “new and improved” Tupac Shakur. Now riding with the infamous Suge Knight and signed to the most dangerous record label of all time, Death Row Records, Pac was geared to drop a classic, especially since he was armed with one of hip hop’s greatest producers of all time, Dr. Dre. In addition, Pac (and Suge) were deep in the middle of orchestrating that bizarre East/West coast beef. Pac was on a roll, talking slanderous in every interview about Bad Boy, Diddy, B.I.G. and almost all things East related. Album wise, 2Pac was at the top of his game, dropping instant classics like Ambitionz As A Ridah and Hearts Of Men [||]. Problem was he allowed too many unknown weed carrier rappers rap (poorly) on the album. Snoop, Richie Rich and Nate Dogg I can understand, but what the eff was a Big Syke and a Rappin 4 Tay doing on this joint? Even Got My Mind Made Up featuring Method Man and Red Man sounded forced, like if 🤬 and Red flew their verses in via email. Then the fact that it was a double cd. Too many cuts, too many wack sounding weed carriers, too long. Would’ve been a better (not classic) cd with like only ten songs. You already know mad deletion took place.

Finally “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” recorded right before and released right after his death in 1996. (I’m in no way counting the hundred or so other albums released after his death.). This was Tupac at his very best. With his new character Makaveli sounding raw and angry, Pac really let you know he had gone way the 🤬 off the deep end and had become one savage individual. Crazy too. The rabid kind. Beats were better than anything ever produced for him, 2Pac spitting pure venom, boy did he let everyone have it, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, De La Soul, even his own producer and label mate Dr. Dre got called out. Pac started a war that no man was safe from. And it was a beautiful thing. Not calling it that, but this was the closest he came to having a classic album. The reason it fell short? 25 more unknown weed carrier features on almost every cut. With blazing tracks like Hail Mary and Intro/Bomb First, allowing third rate cats to 🤬 up them songs = FAIL. Word bond. That being said, “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” had like six solid joints. Throw in my favorite Hit ‘Em Up (sans weed carriers) and you have a decent discography of like 18 strong records (actually 12 strong records once weed carrier and side artist elements are factored in). Taking all of this in, I can understand the Tupac hype, which really boils down to two points:

1) Tupac, if he deserved any types of accolades as a rapper, was that, throughout the course of his career, he never let go of that Bishop character from “Juice” and lp by lp, he continued to perfect that role until he became Bishop in his songs and in real life. If anything, he should have been nominated for a new type of award, one where the rapper/actor down the line really and truly becomes the character he played in a movie from a few years earlier. BET might have to look into that.

2) You know how every chick with mental/emotional issues loves that Sade? Seems like Tupac’s left footprints on the hearts of every gangbanger, thug and thug wannabe. [||] I’m sure most of those dudes stay eff’ed up in the head what with them losing homies weekly due to gunfire and gang warfare. Instead of going to see a therapist (we don’t seek mental help in the hood) they turned to 2Pac for therapy. Pac became like their version of Sade. I once read somewhere about how this one dude would sit in his truck to listen to Tupac, and everytime he did, he’d start crying tears, bubbling and heaving, all that. For real B. So yeah I get it, Tupac is like a thug’s Sade. Thug Sade. Only difference between Tupac and Sade being that Sade dropped four classic albums.

So with all that being said, the late Tupac Shakur still remains way overrated.

What do you think?

http://www.xxlmag.com/bloggers/2009/11/tupac-shakur-still-overrated/
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Comments

  • international
    international Members Posts: 4,166 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    i think its a hating ass article, but its from xxl, so it doesn't suprise me...
  • nujerz84
    nujerz84 NJMembers Posts: 15,418 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    I agree with the premise..........
  • I.B. Blackman
    I.B. Blackman Members Posts: 3,323 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    i think its a hating ass article, but its from xxl, so it doesn't suprise me...

    Lol... . I'm sure alot of people will feel the same but you'd be suprised as to the amount of people who low-key feel there's some truth to this blog. I just dropped it to see what discussion it would spark in the Reason.
  • DatNiggaB1
    DatNiggaB1 Members Posts: 6,066 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    This is just another mans opinion and if dude posted here he would be called a Pac hater.


    Fact is tho he's right. Tupac is not a legend cause of his rapping skills. Anyone who thinks so is delusional.


    When it comes to the artform Biggie>>>>>>>>Tupac


    When it comes to subject matter Tupac>>>>>>>>Biggie


    Pac was way more conscious. But was not a great rapper.


    For the Pac stans, sometimes truth can be Harsh!!

    Plat thread on the way.
  • gns
    gns Bleeding 24/7 Members Posts: 21,285 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    DatNiggaB1 wrote: »
    Fact is tho he's right. Tupac is not a legend cause of his rapping skills. Anyone who thinks so is delusional.

    .............................
  • Esiam
    Esiam Banned Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭
    edited October 2011
    He's got a point, and Tupac has been my favorite rapper since I first bought an album with him, I'm gonna be honest I actually think I didn't buy one UNTIL he died, but I'm not sure I was so young back then I didn't care too much about music and songs BEFORE I heard a Pac-album, that was when I started REALLY listening to lyrics and 🤬 .

    His songs NO they aren't the illest mc-wise, lyrically he doesn't spit many awesome metaphors and clever wordplays BUT he does bring the realness pure raw uncut emotion to his songs, and that's why he's so popular.

    That's also why alot of awesome wordplay/metaphor-rappers that kills that 🤬 don't make it big, because they lack emotion they are too smart and forget the heart alot of times, Pac was all heart and all about "this is me, and I'm not apologizing, I can be thugged out and I can be smart, I can be humble and deep, and I can act straight ignant" he was like the ultimate artist.
  • gonemad44
    gonemad44 Members Posts: 21
    edited October 2011
    To each their own

    I won't try to discredit anyones opinion but I say this. People who think Pac was great relate to his music(count me in). For those that don't like it so be it but don't try to tell me its wack cause you don't like it. I pick up so much music based off of public opinion and listen to complete trash in my opinion. As for the whole trying to be/turn into Bishop I think its nonsense. Pas told yall him self that he wasn't turned out he was raised that way. He had a long family history of exactly who he turned out to be: Black Panther, struggling mother, school of performing arts, and lived in mutlipy hoods from the east to west coast. How could anyone expect anything other than what we got from him regardless if you like his music or not.
  • international
    international Members Posts: 4,166 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    Lol... . I'm sure alot of people will feel the same but you'd be suprised as to the amount of people who low-key feel there's some truth to this blog. I just dropped it to see what discussion it would spark in the Reason.

    i mean its clear what the journalist tried to achieve, or whatever he is, he clinging on to that 'hood ish', like his music only represent the ghetto and only speaks to ppl in that context, basically some cliche 🤬 and expected from ppl that live to try and discredit Pac, they pick on that same angle, but its clear how further Pac went and how deeper Pac...and ppl want to talk bout the 'persona' so much, but they fail to take in account the CONTEXT, whatever it is that your goin thru that is likely to reflect in your work, specially if your an artist, the art normally reflects your reality at that time, so its clear to see why he made music in the way that he did and what triggered it...

    The first albums he was obviously very much in touch with the hood and political and social issues, i mean 🤬 look at how 🤬 was bein represented and ignored, then the 🤬 gets more fame and faces more diversity and controversy, ala deloris tucker and etc, another justification to how his music would sound, then he gets shot 5 TIMES, I'M SURE that would affect anyone mindset and approach to things, and feelin betrayed and bein accused of 🤬 , i mean all these things obviously would hve an IMPACT ON ANYONE, its like i say take into account the CONTEXT, then dumb 🤬 would stop tryna act like he was actin an how he changed an blah blah blah, i mean what the 🤬 would yall expect, how would yall be affected by those things goin on in your life??? Really think about it...

    Bloggers or whatever really need to inform themselves more and take other things into account if they tryna persuade one's view or impose their views on others, not take some superficial bullshyt ass route and not expect others that are clearly above their intellectual level to co-sign and conform to their simplistic views, whoever wrote that gets a big FOH.
  • Lab Baby
    Lab Baby Parts Unknown via BrooklynMembers Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    DatNiggaB1 wrote: »
    This is just another mans opinion and if dude posted here he would be called a Pac hater.


    Fact is tho he's right. Tupac is not a legend cause of his rapping skills. Anyone who thinks so is delusional.


    When it comes to the artform Biggie>>>>>>>>Tupac


    When it comes to subject matter Tupac>>>>>>>>Biggie


    Pac was way more conscious. But was not a great rapper.


    For the Pac stans, sometimes truth can be Harsh!!

    Plat thread on the way.

    C/S. Rap has evolved from "bang bang boogie and up jump the boogie" to where we are now... so people shouldn't be mad when they put new rappers above the older cats. There were rappers on a technical level lightyears ahead of Pac. The thing is tho, NO ONE has reached the people, ie "move the crowd" like Pac did. So is he the best RAPPER? Not by a long shot. But is he the best MC? I say he is.
  • DatNiggaB1
    DatNiggaB1 Members Posts: 6,066 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    Esiam wrote: »
    He's got a point, and Tupac has been my favorite rapper since I first bought an album with him, I'm gonna be honest I actually think I didn't buy one UNTIL he died, but I'm not sure I was so young back then I didn't care too much about music and songs BEFORE I heard a Pac-album, that was when I started REALLY listening to lyrics and 🤬 .

    His songs NO they aren't the illest mc-wise, lyrically he doesn't spit many awesome metaphors and clever wordplays BUT he does bring the realness pure raw uncut emotion to his songs, and that's why he's so popular.

    That's also why alot of awesome wordplay/metaphor-rappers that kills that 🤬 don't make it big, because they lack emotion they are too smart and forget the heart alot of times, Pac was all heart and all about "this is me, and I'm not apologizing, I can be thugged out and I can be smart, I can be humble and deep, and I can act straight ignant" he was like the ultimate artist.

    lol at the sig, but ever since you got here a certain other swedish poster has disappeared, his gimmick was Nas stanning and claiming he a crip until he got exposed as swedish.

    What you know about that?
  • Esiam
    Esiam Banned Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭
    edited October 2011
    DatNiggaB1 wrote: »
    lol at the sig, but ever since you got here a certain other swedish poster has disappeared, his gimmick was Nas stanning and claiming he a crip until he got exposed as swedish.

    What you know about that?

    Haha, I know nothing bout that, I used to post as Ghost Dog Emcee in like 2001-2002, and I'll be honest I was a kid then and I intentionally never once said I was swedish then because I thought that people would not listen to what I had to say about what rappers were good etc... But like now that I decided to join here again I was like 🤬 it, I'mma grown ass man now I'm not gonna pretend to be something I'm not just because people "won't like me"...

    I'm not with that faking 🤬 , I posted on other websites though and people based on how I write always think I'm american until I tell em I'm not and then they are surprised... Like I learnt alot of english from movies and music growing up and since I used to listen to ONLY rapmusic in my teens I sometimes use like "hoodlingo" but it's not me being a poser or anything it's just because english is my second language and all...
  • Adam|Ross
    Adam|Ross Members Posts: 179
    edited October 2011
    Manchester United > Everything.
  • DMTxTHC
    DMTxTHC Members Posts: 14,218 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    Lol...........
  • PiffyHaze
    PiffyHaze Members Posts: 1,906 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    2pac overrated? smh to each your own. he was not a rapper thou
  • international
    international Members Posts: 4,166 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    How can one be objective when it comes to an opinion? That's nearly impossible since it's based on something subjective.

    Its definitely impossible to be objective on something subjective, see what i'm gettin at, the author of that article on the same level as Tommy, how am I supposed to take this 🤬 serious? 🤬 like this gets dismissed with the quickness.
  • DatNiggaB1
    DatNiggaB1 Members Posts: 6,066 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    Esiam wrote: »
    Haha, I know nothing bout that, I used to post as Ghost Dog Emcee in like 2001-2002, and I'll be honest I was a kid then and I intentionally never once said I was swedish then because I thought that people would not listen to what I had to say about what rappers were good etc... But like now that I decided to join here again I was like 🤬 it, I'mma grown ass man now I'm not gonna pretend to be something I'm not just because people "won't like me"...

    I'm not with that faking 🤬 , I posted on other websites though and people based on how I write always think I'm american until I tell em I'm not and then they are surprised... Like I learnt alot of english from movies and music growing up and since I used to listen to ONLY rapmusic in my teens I sometimes use like "hoodlingo" but it's not me being a poser or anything it's just because english is my second language and all...

    Thats all bless bruh, I'm in UK so I know what ya mean, we a minority on this board and certain posters feel they can discredit your opinion cause you aint from the US.......thats where you get under there skin.......and expose there small mindedness......

    Then theres others who pretend to be from the US and they aint and thats supa wack. The swedish poster tried that 🤬 thas why i asked.
  • Smo-King Locs
    Smo-King Locs Banned Users Posts: 3,380 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    every body is entitled to their opinion...2 me Pac is the greatest of all times... 🤬 lyrics... music is all about feeling... ask jimi hendrix, r.kelly, mike jack, kurt cobain, james brown,led zeppelin, pharrell willams etc; what music is and they tell u it's about feeling... all that word play is cute n 🤬 , but ppl wanna fill music...N that's why Pac is/was the top selling rapper ...

    but i have to agree on the Mackaveli album which was ridiculous, and to think this 🤬 recorded dat 🤬 in a week, goes to show u badboy would of been out of service had pac saw 97'...but it would have been waaaaaaay better if he left off everybody... and it ain't they're fault, Pac was just @ a different zone, this 🤬 recorded dis album in a week, 🤬 couldn't move at that pace n still b on top of there game...


    pac 1st album was solid... yea i agree Strictly 4 my 🤬 was trash, i only like 4-5 songs on dat album n da rest was trash...MATW = AEOM= MACKAVELI straight classic...


    byroncrawford_feature.jpg
    but u can tell this blogger 🤬 is still hurting, from when pac was shytting on the east n had 🤬 hiding out in florida i remeber this 🤬 like it was yesterdai, i wass made young but my older cousin hoo put me on 2 rap was straight pac fans...

    n the funny thing is the blogger is implying that pac only has hood support... pac had as much impact in the hood as he had on the burbs... how many ppl across the globe 🤬 with pac?

    it's not a coincidence some of dukes songs is in da library of congress, popes playlist, presidents playlist, and is being studied at universities...
  • bankrupt baller
    bankrupt baller Members Posts: 12,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    If pac got on a track wit biggie,rakim,nas,common,jigga,big pun,jadakiss,ghostface,dre3000 and raekwon he would get bodied and be a fish outta water

    As a mc he is overrated tho

    His impact will never be overrated but gettin shot,arrested being a polarizing celeb is also enhanced his legacy

    Thats the thing I think pac's reputation outweighs his music and skills

    Cosign the bolded

    so pac was a fish out of water on deadly combination?
  • TheRicanKing
    TheRicanKing Members Posts: 2,351 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    so pac was a fish out of water on deadly combination?

    That verse was crazy, that showed me Pac could spit on the level of other lyrical MCS when he really felt like it.
  • international
    international Members Posts: 4,166 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    If pac got on a track wit biggie,rakim,nas,common,jigga,big pun,jadakiss,ghostface,dre3000 and raekwon he would get bodied and be a fish outta water

    As a mc he is overrated tho

    His impact will never be overrated but gettin shot,arrested being a polarizing celeb is also enhanced his legacy

    Thats the thing I think pac's reputation outweighs his music and skills

    Cosign the bolded

    [email protected] Pac being a fish outta water, thats another thing, its known that Pac didn't put all his efforts on wordplay and lookin up words on the dictionary to come across as being 'lyrical', but the funny 🤬 is that still on collabos he never got left for dead, NEVER, he never got did on some Em/Jay renegade 🤬 , yet yall claim that those type of rappers would have left him in the dust, when at the time real lyrical forces like Kurupt, Redman, Method man, Snoop and etc...and like bankruprt baller just mentioned that Deadly combination and PAC OWNED THAT!!!
  • Smo-King Locs
    Smo-King Locs Banned Users Posts: 3,380 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    Pac aint make music for crackas why do u listen to him whiteboy? He made music for the blacks

    How do u relate?

    Lmao its clear u are a depressed suicidal individual if buddens and tupac are your favorite rappers btw

    And deadly combination is nothin but a throwaway track they made wit 3 dead rappers to sell

    Like the article said




    If you on suicide watch and are ready to die pac is your boy

    If you slam fistfuls of cash on tables and have 6-7 women in your rotation jigga is your boy

    Biggie is the best mc of all time

    birdman the #1 stunna is on suicide watch, j.cole, ja,50, em, weezy, kanye, rhiana beyonce ,ciara, amare stodemire etc. are all on suicide watch 85+ milli other ppl on suicide watch 2.
  • Niggas back
    Niggas back Members Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    I cosign the thread title
  • bankrupt baller
    bankrupt baller Members Posts: 12,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    Pac aint make music for crackas why do u listen to him whiteboy? He made music for the blacks

    How do u relate?

    Lmao its clear u are a depressed suicidal individual if buddens and tupac are your favorite rappers btw

    And deadly combination is nothin but a throwaway track they made wit 3 dead rappers to sell

    Like the article said




    If you on suicide watch and are ready to die pac is your boy

    If you slam fistfuls of cash on tables and have 6-7 women in your rotation jigga is your boy

    Biggie is the best mc of all time

    how did me asking you a question turn into you psychoanalyzing me?
    and yeah joe budden and pac are my favorite rappers but i wouldnt call myself depressed
    about being white would you prefer i act black but im really from sweden or just tell you im actually white?
    and i like how you side stepped my original question also
  • gee757
    gee757 Members Posts: 26,374
    edited October 2011
    thatz just sum1z opinion.,,[email protected] a white gurl like tammy tryna go off on another white person
  • Lab Baby
    Lab Baby Parts Unknown via BrooklynMembers Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2011
    Pac aint make music for crackas why do u listen to him whiteboy? He made music for the blacks

    How do u relate?

    Lmao its clear u are a depressed suicidal individual if buddens and tupac are your favorite rappers btw

    And deadly combination is nothin but a throwaway track they made wit 3 dead rappers to sell

    Like the article said




    If you on suicide watch and are ready to die pac is your boy

    If you slam fistfuls of cash on tables and have 6-7 women in your rotation jigga is your boy

    Biggie is the best mc of all time

    Irony......
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