This is the XXL cover honoring Tupac Shakur on the 15th anniversary of his death. The greatest and most influential rapper to ever pick up a microphone, Pac was murdered when he was only TWENTY-FIVE years old. There’s millions of articles out there celebrating him as an artist and I think every rapper to blow up since 1996 has quoted him on record at least one time, but I don’t think there’s enough appreciation out there for how much this man did in so short a time. Consider this:
- He is a year and a half younger than Jay-Z (Pac was born in 1971 and Jay in 1969). Jay-Z hadn’t even released his first record at the age Pac was killed.
- Only 3 of the 10 rappers on MTV’s latest “Hottest MC in the Game” list were 25 or younger (Drake, Waka Flocka Flame and B.o.B.) and none of them had (or have) released more than one album. Pac recorded 5 during his lifetime (not counting collaboration albums or posthumous material).
- The albums Pac dropped in 1996 alone, the year he was murdered, sold a combined 13 MILLION COPIES. By comparison, Watch The Throne hasn’t even sold 1 million copies yet.
- Staying on that year 1996, the 2 discs that Pac dropped, All Eyez On Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory are both certified classics (both got perfect XXL ratings from XXL magazine). The only comparison you can make with any rapper ever is Kanye releasing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and then Watch The Throne within 12 months, except if Watch The Throne didn’t have Jay-Z AND was 20% better.
- Look at the tracklist from his 1998 Greatest Hits album. Take out the 4 previously unreleased songs. That’s 21 required listening singles by age 25. Who else can you say that about? Not to mention that one of those unreleased cuts became one of his biggest hits (“Changes”).
I’m not done with my Pac shit today but I didn’t wanna take up your entire dash. Stay tuned.