Is Tupac Really One Of The Top Five MCs Ever?

Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday that isn't a national holiday Rocks Off will have some of them hear discussing issues relevant to their culture.

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Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray
This Week's Panel: Trae, Mr. Lee, V-Zilla, Fat Tony, Candi Redd, Yung Redd, Kyle Hubbard

Not Invited: Blender

This Week's Prompt: In case you didn't know, today is the 14th anniversary of Tupac Shakur's death. Now, almost everybody seems to lump Tupac into the Greatest Rapper Ever discussion, and he's also generally regarded as one of rap's all time Top 5 MCs. But is that really the case?

Really, think about it. Jay-Z and Biggie absolutely have to be included there, which is two spots taken right there. What about Eminem? Big Daddy Kane? Nas? Rakim? Mike Jones? (Kidding.)

It seems like maybe Tupac gets thrown in there because of his sensationalized death or his personality's insane dichotomy/overpowering charm. Or is he genuinely a Top Fiver? If so, where does he rank? If not, who gets the nod?

Trae: Yeah, he's at the top, 'cause he showed true emotions and he was genuine with what he expressed. He could get on any level. And 'cause 99 percent of these other rappers ain't worried about life; they're worried about image.

Mr. Lee: He's Top Five.

V-Zilla: Honestly, I think Pac achieved an incredible amount of fame and infamy, as well as was one the most publicized artist in the history of music. However, as passionate and straight on he was with his delivery, he definitely isn't Top 5 by no stretch.

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To this day, he made music for the streets and people related to him lovingly, but with the amount of love he received, his album content was extremely repetitive. For every hit single he had, he had 4-5 songs that just didn't hit home in my ears. And not to mention his beef with [Biggie] was unfounded; I think jealousy got the best of him and his ego ultimately did him in.

It's hard to swallow the sentiments of man who would scream "keep ya head up" in one verse and switch to "you claimed to be playa but I fucked your wife" in the next. Glorified? Talented? Cursed? Indeed. Top Five? Not over Nas, Jay, Em, Big Daddy Kane or Kool G Rap.

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