“2Pac’s imprint on the game is greater than JAY-Z” — Melle Mel.
Jay-Z’s number one position on Billboard’s Greatest 50 Rappers Of All Time list continues to attract mixed reactions from hip hop fans, music critics and industry peers.
Following commentaries from the likes of Lil Wayne, Ice Cube and Big Gipp. Hip hop veteran Melle Mel has shared his own thoughts about the list. Speaking with the Art Of Dialogue, the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five member believes 2Pac, who was ranked the fourth greatest rapper of all time by Billboard is greater than Jay-Z and The Notorious B.I.G.
“2Pac is a greater rapper than Biggie and I would say the same thing for JAY-Z,” Melle Mel said. “JAY-Z has a better rap game than 2Pac. 2Pac’s rap game, I’m not gonna say is basic but it’s predictable … but he had more of a range of what he could say.”
“I think JAY-Z has a better spit game, but to say that makes the better rapper that is being judged on one criteria … I feel 2Pac’s imprint on the game is greater than JAY-Z. JAY-Z is a better rapper than 2Pac. It’s the same thing I feel about Biggie, Biggie is a better rapper than 2Pac.”
The 61-year-old goes on to conclude that Pac’s traceable footprints in the streets, which he says “changed the landscape” of hip hop is what edges him above Hov and the others.
“His imprint in the game [was huge] because things changed. All that Thug Life shit, it came from him. If you change the landscape, that’s greatness.”
“In JAY-Z’s position, it’s harder to change the landscape because he’s a billion-dollar dude. You’re not gonna have a thousand billion-dollar dudes coming behind JAY-Z, but you did have a 100 guys that wanted to be like 2Pac. The greatness is in how he changed the game.”
Good to see Melle Mel remain consistent when it comes to his opinion about Pac and Biggie’s impact. During a 2021 interview with the Art Of Dialogue, Mel explained why it’s Tupac over The Notorious B.I.G.
“If I had to make a choice between who was the better rapper between Biggie and Pac I will choose Biggie,” he said emphatically. “But now if you had to say who was the greater rapper, you would have to choose Pac.”
“I don’t recall a record of anybody saying that they wanted to be like Biggie,” he added.