2Pac is often debated amongst the Hip Hop greats and Melle Mel believes the late Death Row rapper’s impact on the culture exceeds that of JAY-Z or Biggie.
Speaking to The Art of Dialogue, Melle Mel explained his reasoning for siding with ‘Pac over B.I.G. and Hov in the impact department.
“2Pac is a greater rapper than Biggie and I would say the same thing for JAY-Z,” he 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 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five rapper further detailed how ‘Pac changed the landscape of Hip Hop, which gives him the leg up when it comes to greatness.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
The conversation stemmed from the heated debate around Billboard‘s greatest 50 rappers of all-time list, which JAY-Z topped with 2Pac coming in at No. 4 and Biggie holding down the No. 6 slot. Melle Mel made the cut on the list as well, coming in at No. 48.
Meanwhile, rare 2Pac and JAY-Z items have been put up for sale as part of a new “Hip Hop Legends” auction.
Music memorabilia website Gotta Have Rock and Roll is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop with a massive auction featuring items from some of the most celebrated artists in the culture’s history.
Items include a red bandana owned and worn by 2Pac, the late rapper’s “MOB” ring from his “All About U” music video and a handwritten letter he wrote to his girlfriend while in prison.
For the handsome sum of $10,000-$20,000, fans will be able to get their hands on JAY-Z’s worn and autographed Roca Wear jacket that he dedicated to reggaeton singer Hector El Father.