“100 rappers wanted to be like Tupac. I’ve never heard anyone say they want to be like Biggie”
American rapper and member of the Furious Five, Melle Mel, shared his views on why Tupac had a much greater career and influence in the world of rap compared to Biggie Smalls. Mel sat down to speak his mind on “The Art of Dialogue” Youtube channel, going in-depth in his comparisons between two of the best artists in history.
Mel started by saying that he feels Tupac’s songs and personality had a greater effect on the entire landscape of rap, compared to other amazing talents like Biggie and Eminem. Mel was quoted in claiming that “100 rappers wanted to be like Tupac. I’ve never heard anyone say they want to be like Biggie”. The member of the Furious Five even mentioned Eminem, implying that he didn’t influence an entirely new wave of white rappers, remaining strictly on his own throughout his blistering career.
Mel continued to dissect Shakur and Smalls’ styles by looking at their technique. Mel went as far as admitting that Biggie was probably unmatched in the way he was able to produce punch-line after punch-line. Mel reckons that no one could ever match the structure of Biggie’s songs, which is reason enough to give the B.I.G the title of “best-ever rapper”.
Melle did, however, point out that what made Tupac the greater overall rapper and artist was the ability of his songs to connect and influence the lives of people from all over the world. Something, he believes, Biggie could never come close to achieving. Mel thinks Biggie, for the most of it, was nothing more than a fabulous “shit-talker”, whilst his lines never managed to go beyond that barrier. He reckons that Tupac was more direct with his lyrics, with less emphasis on the metaphoric side of thing, but ultimately was able to get a stronger message across to the public.
Mel finished off by admitting that he would’ve been intrigued by how Pac and Biggie would develop and what their songs and lyrics would sound like nowadays. Melle points out that people with that kind of talent always find ways to evolve their artistic cravings and stay in touch with society, and he would’ve been fascinated how age would’ve changed their point of view. The Furious Five member would’ve been especially keen to see Biggie’s development since his lyrical style was much metaphoric, even “hieroglyphic”, as described by Mel.
Biggie Smalls and Tupac in the world of 2021? I’m sure a lot of us could agree with Melle that it would’ve been a sight to behold.