So I just saw “Notorious” the other night for the first time. I don’t know why I waited so long to see it. Probably because when it came out I was too broke or too lazy to go to the movies and see it, but I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I never knew much about Biggie and I didn’t particularly like his delivery so I didn’t listen to him much before the movie. I knew he was one of the best rappers of all time, but didn’t really understand how much of an impact he had on the game. I know the movie may not be 100% true, but it’s definitely close because the director of the movie had someone’s story to follow and plenty of interviews had to be conducted in order to tell Biggie’s story. I have always liked listening to 2Pac more than Biggie simply because of his delivery, the truth of his words, and the stories that he tells. He had a distinct way of telling his story and hip hop is definitely missing that. After seeing “Notorious”, though, I have a lot more respect for Biggie and I know now that his stories are just as important as 2Pac’s. But it makes me wish that 2Pac wouldn’t have reacted so harshly to everything around him, but that’s a lot easier to say because I don’t know what it was like. But a girl can wish…..

I feel like 2Pac was probably portrayed pretty accurately because I think he was a little crazy, but not that he tried to be. I think he knew what both sides of the fence were like: an education provided him with different thoughts about certain things and his “Thug Life” provided him with even more different thoughts. He was a contradiction because of his mother’s background and because of the life he started for himself. He thought people were out to get him like Biggie, but he never sat down and talked it out with him. If he had, I think they’d still be alive. Hip hop is about creating a conversation between all the rappers and their fans. 2Pac and Biggie’s conversation was a lot of confrontation and that actually laid the foundation for the rest of hip hop.

After seeing the movie, I have a new perspective on rap and the beef between Pac and B.I.G. They let their money and pride get to their heads and messed up a friendship and the rap game all at the same time. I don’t think Biggie had anything to do with Pac’s death. Some don’t believe that, but I do. They were true friends who let the music industry interfere with their friendship and ended up getting themselves killed. Pac came from a revolutionary mother who was a member of the Black Panthers. He was an educated young man, but got caught up in the glory of also being one of the greatest rappers. No one really knew what the two rap icons were worth until they were gone. If they had lived, the rap game would be completely different. I’m not sure where it would be, but I know  it would be way different. I think that’s why everyone says that hip hop is dead.

But that may be a little extreme. 2Pac and Biggie didn’t know they were changing the game. They were just being true to themselves and doing what they were good at. But Biggie wasn’t even trying to be a rapper at first, according to the movie. He found out he was good at it in jail, and with Diddy as his mentor, discovered it would be a better career than selling drugs. But then again maybe hip hop is dead because of that or maybe today’s hip hop is just different because times have changed. No one is trying to rap like Pac or Biggie because those guys can’t be replaced. That’s like saying Michael Jordan can be replaced. Lebron don’t count, people!

There are a lot of good rappers out there today, but I feel like most of them are getting so carried away with making money that they become too commercial. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing a rapper make a lame slow song or whatever just to please all the white boys and girls….or appeal to a broader audience I should say. But music is part of our culture and because of that, there will be changes made to please every race, age, etc. If we weren’t such a capitalist country, the music would probably be more authentic.

But I wonder…….Would the beef between rappers have increased if 2Pac and Biggie had not been killed? Or do you think they would have matured as artists had they just had a little more time to live and learn? I’m not sure. And we’ll never know, but it’s something to think about….