For a while now, fans have been comparing Lil Boosie and his recent release from serving a nearly five-year prison sentence to the late Tupac Shakur, widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time. And before you scoff it off—no one, at least no one as far as we've seen, has actually put Boosie's rapping up against 'Pac's—it's not the worst comparison in the world. For one, the two rappers were both icons of their cities and regions, held up as bigger than the music during their recording careers; 'Pac was the most visible lightning rod for Cali during the East Coast vs. West Coast battles of the 1990s, while it's hard to overstate Boosie's influence and impact over Louisiana and the South in general.

So many people have been bringing up the two in connection with each other that Boosie was actually asked about the comparisons after his press conference following his release, where he chalked up the juxtaposition to the fact that they both make "heartfelt songs," calling it "a privilege" to be put in the same category of the late great.

Well, that was enough for us. XXL decided to break things down and see if the comparisons actually check out. The scale and time differential are tough to reconcile—'Pac was simply a bigger artist in a time when record sales were gargantuan—but it's still a fascinating look, side by side. For comparison's sake, we've included 'Pac's career up through The Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory, the last project he completed before his untimely death Sept. 13, 1996. Without further ado, let's go. Layne Weiss and Dan Rys 

boosie tupac

Lil Boosie

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Debut Album: Youngest Of Da Camp, Jan. 27, 2000
Age at first album: 17
Number of albums officially released: 5; Youngest Of Da Camp, Jan. 27, 2000; For My Thugz, Jan. 1, 2002; Bad Azz, Oct. 24, 2006; Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz, Sept. 15, 2009; Incarcerated, September 28, 2010
Collaborative albums: Ghetto Stories with Webbie, July 22, 2003; Gangsta Musik with Webbie, May 25, 2004; Trill Entertainment Presents: Survival Of The Fittest with Trill Ent., May 15, 2007; Trill Entertainment Presents: All Or Nothing with Trill Ent., Nov. 9, 2010
Number Of Albums Released While In Prison: 1 (Incarcerated)



Hometown: Harlem
Debut Album: 2pacalypse Now, Nov. 12, 1991
Age At First Album: 20
Number of albums officially released: 5 finished before his death; 2Pacalypse Now, Nov. 12, 1991; Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z, Feb. 16, 1993; Me Against The World, March 14, 1995; All Eyez On Me, Feb. 13, 1996; The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Nov. 5, 1996 (posthumous release, though completed before his death on Sept. 13, 1996)
Collaborative albums: Outlawz, Still I Rise (released posthumously Dec. 21, 1999)
Number Of Albums Released While In Prison: 1 (Me Against The World)


Official Singles: 6; "Give Me That" with Webbie featuring Bun B; "Zoom" featuring Yung Joc; "Wipe Me Down (Remix)" featuring Webbie and Foxx; "Better Believe It" featuring Jeezy and Webbie; "Better Not Fight" featuring Trill Ent.; "Turn The Beat Up" with Mouse, Lil Trill, Foxx, Lil Phat and Webbie;
Mentors: Pimp C, C-Loc
Record Labels: Trill, Bad Azz Entertainment, Atlantic Records, Asylum, Warner Bros., C-Loc Records
Notorious Record Label Heads: Trill Entertainment—Turk and Mel, later charged with attempted murder, eventually pleading guilty to battery charges in the shooting death of Bruce "Beelow" Moore; Pimp C, arrested for aggravated assault for flashing a gun at a woman in a mall
Frequent producers: C-Loc, Pimp C, Mouse On Tha Track, BJ
Frequent collaborators: C-Loc, Pimp C, Bun B, Webbie, Foxx, Lil Trill, Lil Phat (Trill Fam)


Official Singles (Through The Don Killuminati): 20; "Brenda's Got A Baby"; "If My Homie Calls"; "Trapped" featuring Shock G; "Holler If Ya Hear Me"; "I Get Around" featuring Shock G and Money B; "Keep Ya Head Up" featuring David Hollister; "Papa'z Song"; "Dear Mama"; "So Many Tears"; "Temptations"; "California Love" featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman; "How Do U Want It" featuring K-Ci and JoJo; "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" featuring Snoop Dogg; "All Bout You" featuring Dru Down, Hussein Fatal, Yaki Kadafi, Nate Dogg, and Snoop Dogg; "Life Goes On"; "I Ain't Mad At Cha" featuring Danny Boy; "Toss It Up" featuring Danny Boy, K-Ci and JoJo and Aaron Hall; "Runnin'" featuring The Notorious B.I.G, Dramacydal, Buju Banton, and Stretch; "To Live And Die in L.A." featuring Val Young; "Hail Mary"
Mentors: Dr. Dre, Big Daddy Kane, Leila Steinberg, Suge Knight, Digital Underground (Shock G)
Record Labels: Death Row, Interscope, Amaru Entertainment
Notorious Record Label Heads: Death Row's Suge Knight—charged with assault in 1996, serving five years in prison; assaults a parking attendant in L.A., serves ten months in prison; is later arrested no less than eight additional times
Frequent producers: Atron Gregory, Shock G, Johnny "J", Daz Dillinger, Easy Moe B, Tony Pizarro, Big D The Impossible, Afeni Shakur, himself
Frequent collaborators: Outlawz, Digital Underground, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube


Age He Went To Prison: 26
Went to prison for: Third degree drug possession; originally sentenced to two-years, but judge later doubles his sentence after it is determined that Boosie has violated his probation. While incarcerated (in 2010), Boosie is indicted for the first degree murder of Terry Boyd, to which he pleads not guilty. In 2011, Boosie pleads guilty to trying to smuggle codeine into prison. He is sentenced to eight years (his lawyers would later argue that the codeine charge was a "set up" because the informant offered to give Boosie, a codeine addict, the codeine in exchange for his "help"). In 2012, he is found not guilty in the murder of Terry Boyd.
Time Spent In Prison: 1,584 days
Age He Left Prison: 31
Charges He Beat: The murder-for-hire of Terry Boyd
First song out of jail: Lil Boosie And Webbie, “Wartime”
First Interview out of jail: Jeff Weiss for XXL


Age he went to prison: 23 (for sexual abuse charge, his longest bid)
Went to prison for: Misdemeanor assault against another rapper in 1993; Assaulting Menace II Society co-director Allen Hughes (1994); Sexual abuse of a woman in a hotel room in 1995
Time spent in prison: 264 days; 10 days in 1993, 15 days in 1994, 239 days in 1995
Age He Left Prison: 24
Charges He Beat: 1992 shooting of 2 off-duty police officers; weapons and sodomy charges in 1995
First song out of jail: "California Love" featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
First interview out of jail: Chuck Phillips, L.A. Times


Celebrity Supporters: Webbie, 2 Chainz, Bun B, Pimp C, Jeezy, Game, Gucci Mane, DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, Jim Jones, T.I., French Montana, Yo Gotti, Lil Snupe, Waka Flocka Flame, Trouble, Plies, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Starlito, Hurricane Chris, Mack Maine, Meek Mill, Rocko
Movies: Step Up 2: The Streets (2008); Ghetto Stories (2010)

boosie webbie

Celebrity supporters: Mike Tyson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Snoop Dogg, Madonna, Mickey Rourke, Tony Danza, Jennifer Lopez, Stephen Baldwin, Suge Knight, Dr. Dre
Movies: Nothing But Trouble (1991); Juice (1992); Poetic Justice (1993); Above The Rim (1994); Murder Was The Case: The Movie (1995, uncredited role); Bullet (1996); Gridlock'd (1997); Gang Related (1997)

Snoop with the late Tupac Shakur