East Coast vs. West Coast
Throughout the nineties there was an movement in hip hop, the infamous East coast rap vs West coast between rap musicians. It was a separational movement that caused both sides to end the lives of two most influential rappers in the music industry, Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur. Both rappers with similar backgrounds have changed the music scene completely with one sudden movement. Known mainly for their rivalry against one another and compared because of the backgrounds, these two artist had quite a distinctiveness to one another. Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur are great influential artist in the music industry and had similar backgrounds but distinctive enough to cause a separation that influenced the music industry then and now. I had watched a documentary, based off of the infamous rappers and their start up in the music industry, titled Tupac and Biggie where I got information on both sides. To begin with both rappers had similar upbringing for instance, were born in the state of New York, Tupac in Harlem and Biggie in Brooklyn. However, Tupac did move around growing up to Baltimore, Maryland in 1984 and finally to Oakland, California in 1988 by the age of 17. Biggie had more of an interesting beginning, unlike his soon to be rival, he had been raised by a single mother who was a teacher and had lived in a 3 bedroom apartment, not how he claimed on his song ‘Juice’ as a “one-room shack”. Meanwhile, Tupac was also raised by a single mother, however had been a part of the anti-government group the Black Panther Party, which would later be a foundation to his rap verses on political stans. Like most rappers they both would have a rough upbringing, and Biggie would start drug dealing at the age of 14 to help support his family, till discovered musically. Interestingly enough, Tupac had an interest in acting and attended performing art schools and create his passion for poetry, turned later to rap rhymes. Tupac was the fortunate one, and was able to join a music group to help his career while Biggie had to perform out in the streets, as the footage shows. Also, in the film, they discuss how both rappers dropped out of high school around the same age, 17,and both to pursue their music passions and help support the family they had. The upcoming of both rappers would influence each on their music that would have an impact on the top charts. Musically, both rappers had distinctive sounds, Biggie was known to have a better flow and well produced beat that was more Top 40, while Tupac had a greater influence on lyricism because of his deep passion for poetry and political stans. Tupac was well known to speak his mind explicitly and rhymed about topics such as, women rights, african american discrimination, and police injustice. Something most seem to forget is that Biggie used to have open shows for Tupac before the notorious rapper would have his own high fame, this also showed that both rappers had a great friendship before a great dispute The documentary shows rare footage of the two hugging after Biggie’s first album release and great success. The two were loved by audiences and fans but had showed within the top charts throughout the nineties. On ratings Biggie was in the lead with fewer singles that reached higher spots on the charts. Meanwhile, Tupac delivered over 15 singles, and not as many reaching high spots as Biggie had with only 10 singles. Although, both lyrically did have similar writing, rapping about poor upbringings, whether it was an alter ego for Biggie or reality for Tupac, fans wanted more of this profound explicit music. Undoubtedly the two are compared to see which was better, personally cannot judge which was better because of the differences they had on their music, biggie flowed, but tupac spoke. Another great influence these both rappers had for their music and personal lives, was the cliques they surrounded themselves with throughout their high...
Cited: Biggie and Tupac. Dir. Nick Broomfeild. Perf. The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Nick Broomfeild. FilmFour, 2002. DVD.
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