Tupac Shakur: Still The Greatest Rapper Ever

I meant to publish this on the day but got a little behind so I am publishing it now.

I know that people get very emotional about this topic. Either you love Tupac or you hate him, it’s that simple for most. It really comes down to either you are a Biggie fan or a Pac fan, most people don’t straddle the line. Today, marks the 12th anniversary of the death of Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 — September 13, 1996) but his music lives on.

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We Still Think You Are The G.O.A.T.

The first time I heard Tupac was on my cousin’s “Me Against The World” CD and I have been hooked ever since, I was seven years old. Even as a young child his music touched me somewhere deep, I couldn’t really understand it at the time but as I got older I did. Tupac was a very complex individual and his music demonstrated that. From introspective tracks like “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Still I Rise to hard hitting viscerally charged tracks like “Hit Em Up” and “Bomb First”, Tupac Shakur was a man full of demons, trapped between who he was and who he wanted to be.

No disrespect to Biggie, I liked his music but I loved Pac’s. Both were cut down too soon in an example of how violence perpetuates and escalates itself until it becomes uncontrollable. The lyrical genius that was Tupac has yet to be surpassed in my opinion. Feeling nostalgic, I put Makaveli: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory in my car and just let it bump. As I listened to songs like “Hold Ya Head” and “White Man’s World”, it become very apparent to me just how much what the community considers good rap music has changed. I mean I am a huge fan of Lil Wayne, T.I., Pastor Troy, Plies, and others but when you put their lyrical content and message up against Tupac they just don’t hold up.

People knock Tupac for being contradictory in his songs going from songs insulting women and calling for change to songs that degraded women and called for violence, I think he music was simply as complex as he was. In fact, the majority of his content from “Me Against The World” on was more focused on uplifting content and challenging the black community to be better. A lot of his later content that has been released posthumously shows how much growth he had made and from all available sources it seemed he was ready to make a huge change in his life.

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Tupac Shakur was only 25 years old when he was killed.

When Tupac died he was 25 years old and he had plenty of time to do all the things he wanted or at least he thought he did. He was engaged to Kidada Jones, daughter of Quincy Jones, and appeared ready to finally settle down. Makaveli was the third and last album he was contractually obligated to release on Death Row due to “All Eyez On Me” being a double album, the first double CD rap album in history I might add. So he was essentially primed to leave Death Row to start his own label and finally take full control of his career.

After 12 years, a lot of today’s listeners don’t really appreciate Biggie’s or Pac’s music in the way they should. Today, the unchallenged “Greatest Rapper Alive” is none other than Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter probably followed very closely by Lil Wayne and T.I. All I know is this while I love all those guys, there is no doubt in my mind that they would not be as big as they are today if Pac and Big were alive, I mean how could they be? How could Jay claim the title of the King of New York if Big was still around, he couldn’t.

There are a lot of great rappers, but there can only be one G.O.A.T and to me that’s Pac. All you have to do is look at his body of work, his lyrical depth and versatility, the power of his records. The man could tell a story, he could move people to action and in his later years that would have made him a force to be reckoned with not only musically but politically as well. He was a young man on a journey and just when it looked like he was about to find his way, someone cut him down. No some will say you live by the gun then you die by the gun but all I say to this if you had been shot 7 times and lived in the high energy, violent world he lived in how would you be?

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Last pic ever taken of Tupac only moments before he was fatally shot on Wilshire Blvd in Las Vegas.

For some only the numbers matter, well let’s talk numbers. Tupac has sold over 75 million records worldwide, the most of any other rapper in history save possibly Jay-Z, but I haven’t been able to verify. What makes that 75 million records even more impressive is that when you look at what is commonly recognized as his active period as a solo artist from 1991-1996, no other artist in the 50-74 million category even comes close to having as small of a window as Pac did. There have been over 10 posthumous releases of his music and they have all gone platinum.

All Eyez on Me was the fourth studio album,  a double album (the first double rap album ever) and was released on February 13, 1996. According to the RIAA, over 9 million copies of the album were sold in the United States by June 18, 1998 (the album has since reached diamond status though not officially recognized by RIAA because no recount has been requested). The man sold 9 million copies in the U.S. alone in two years, I mean who does that? No you can say sales were spurred by his death but even if noboby does those kinds of numbers. He followed this up with his last studio album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory which sold 663,000 copies its first week making Tupac the first rapper to have 2 #1 albums in the same year.  One of his posthoumous releases Until The End Of Time was the best selling rap record of 2001 going triple platinum and beating out the likes of Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule 5 years after his death.  Think about this in 2001, Tupac was by far the best selling hip hop/rap artist of all time and #20 all time as far as solo artist in any genre go.

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Pac is still the best selling rapper of all time with over 75 million albums sold and counting.

In the end a lot of people only knew of Tupac Amaru Shakur what they saw on TV and read in magazines but his real fans know the truth, that he was a complicated soul that was only with us for a short time but has had a profound change on our culture and lives he influenced. He was much more than a thug, he was a poet, actor, writer, producer, and executive. He said in an interview once that he didn’t think he would live long and he didn’t but I think he served his purpose. His true fans still miss him like the day he left us. He was truly ahead of his time. In closing, I leave you with this quote from him that I think says everything you need to know about him.

“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.”

-Tupac Amaru Shakur

 

* All statistics used in the post are the most recent and accurate I could find and if anyone has any more accurate or up to date statistics with a reference I will be happy to update this post.

19 Comments

  1. chas says:

    yea tupac is the best of all time then biggie and T I to me

  2. someoen says:

    tupac 7th day theory has sold wordwide 28 milion and is 9 times plantinum adn his greatihst hits was in 1198 9 times plantinium i think there both now dimanod

  3. WOW says:

    haha…Pac got shot on 7th September 96 right?…so why there is 9th August 96 on the right bottom corner??? that’s weird

  4. kisha says:

    ooooh tupac luk so sexy

  5. niece says:

    it shows sept 8th 96

  6. don says:

    yes this is because it was a leap year so it shows the 8th when it is the 7th cameras back then didnt set them selves for the leap year

  7. sheikh juned says:

    the freemacen killed him ask anyono in burnley

  8. it think tupac was the gratest rapper thear was and still is i love all his musi and respect everything he ever did -love in memery
    -yessenia

  9. AG says:

    I wish he was still alive! He will always be the king of Rap. There will be no other like him. Rest In Peace Tupac. xoxo

  10. La'Star says:

    SEE PPL LIKE YOU ARE DA ONES WHO KILLED BIGGIE N 2 PAC… TAKING SIDES THEY BOTH WERE VERY TALENTED ARTIST… DIED BECAUSE PEOPLE WANTED TO TAKE SIDES!!!!

  11. nino says:

    he is makaveli u all knows, on the 7th was an escape day 4 pac 2 hiddin. if not it could be diffecut 4 pac 2, 4, fill. as makaveli he is alive i saw him in my dream going along with one tall brother. this is tru.

  12. nino says:

    he has been shot be 4. he knows how it is in vegas
    a city of gabling why he die at time 403>7 spt 7 he got shot were is pac vest? his glock girlfriend i mean his gun. suge love his death was fake. he is m a k a v e l i.

  13. nino says:

    he has been shot be 4. he knows how it is in vegas
    a city of gabling why he die at time 403>7 spt 7 he got shot were is pac vest? his glock girlfriend i mean his gun. suge love pac his death was fake. he is m a k a v e l i.

  14. I never had the chance to really listen to Tupac’s music until later on. But as a person who is tired of all the social injustice and racism in the States I grew to appreciate Tupac’s music! Rest in Peace Tupac! You won’t ever be forgotten!

  15. lloyd says:

    the greatest rapper of all time. cant forget big he introduced the modern rap i wish he was still alive then will see where jay would be.

  16. lloyd says:

    2pac the best thing that ever happend for rap music we will always love you as your fans. you are the greatest rapper of all time.

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