In the pantheon of hip-hop, there are very few rappers—dead or alive—whose names hold as high of an esteem as the late greats Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.
'Pac, a rapper, actor, poet, activist, and perhaps even a prophet, is arguably the most influential artist of the culture and is the most well-known MC in the known universe 22 years after his passing. Biggie, widely considered the best to ever spit by his rap peers and knowledgeable fans alike, is firmly chiselled on hip-hop's Mt. Rushmore. But as the generation gap widens, there have been more and more instances of new artists failing to put respect on these rap icons' names.
Even other rappers are noticing the trend. "Every new rapper that disrespected Biggie and Pac blew up," Maryland rapper .idk. tweeted back on March 7. "Look I love the new rap I love the old rap, please nobody disrespect Big on his death date for clout. Keep opinions to yourself at the very least for today... #RIPBIG," he added two days later, on the 21st anniversary of the death of Big.
While many are of the mindset that Tupac and Big's names should be protected at all costs, XXL has complied a list of SoundCloud era rappers who have belittled the accomplishments of—or outright dissed—the rap legends.
Chris Kidd Calls Out Tupac Shakur on "Message to Makaveli" Track (2015)
In 2015, rapper Chris Kidd seemed to take great pleasure in creating an entire diss song about 'Pac on his track, "Message to Makaveli," where he calls out the rapper as being a hypocrite. He takes it even further than that: "If y'all ever call 'Pac the realest again/I'ma bring him back to life and kill him again." Kidd later claimed to have received death threats over the song.
Lil Yachty Can't Name Five Songs by Tupac or Biggie (2016)
Back when Lil Yachty was new to the game, he admitted he couldn't name five songs by either Tupac or Biggie Smalls. "But if I'm doing this my way and making all this money," he reasoned, "why should I do it how everybody says it's supposed to be done?"
Lil Yachty Calls The Notorious B.I.G. Overrated (2016)
In 2016, Lil Yachty again drew the ire of many rap fans by calling Biggie's music overrated during a sit down with Pitchfork. He later apologized in an interview with Ebro on Beats 1.
Kodak Black Says He's Better Than 'Pac and Big (2016)
Alabama Rapper Pink Bich Disses 'Pac and Biggie (2017)
Alabama rapper Pink Bich has made a name by dissing rap legends while rapping over old-school beats and claiming the SoundCloud era's superiority. In 2017, he sent shots at Biggie and 'Pac by claiming they could never come up with a song as complex as Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang." "Lil Pump came up with a song that used two words back to back/Tupac or Biggie would have never came up with that," he rhymes.
XXXTentacion Claims He's Better Than Tupac (2018)
In January 2018, XXXTentacion got type heated when he was asked about Tupac during an interview with DJ Akademiks. "I'm better than Tupac, bro," he responded, agitated. "Please don't compare me to him... please don't."
Lil Xan Downplays Tupac's Impact on the Culture (2018)
Kodak Black Says Tupac and Biggie Are Only Revered Due to Their Deaths (2019)
After claiming to be better than Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. in 2016, he logged onto Instagram three years later with an update:
"I'm the hardest young nigga. I'm the hardest rapper in the game, I promise. Like, when you talk 'bout me, you should put me in a category of like 'Pac, B.I.G, Nas, dem niggas, you feel me? Like really listen to my shit. I don't care about how I act, like, on the 'Gram."
He doubled down on his feeling the next day, during another Instagram Live session, insisting, once again, that he's better than the rap legends, and adding that Biggie and Tupac are only legends because they are no longer here in the physical.
"People try to say I can't put myself in a category with Tupac and them, actually I'm better than them. You know why? 'Cause I live what I rap about. Them...[they] just legends 'cause they died. I really live what I rap about."
See Photos of Biggie’s Different Looks Over the Years