2pac vs. Biggie: An Illustrated History of Rap's Greatest Battle

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9780760343678: 2pac vs. Biggie: An Illustrated History of Rap's Greatest Battle

Hip hop icons and rap innovators, the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur continue to influence, define, and change the genre years after their deaths. Despite the controversies surrounding the murders of Tupac and Biggie, ultimately it’s their art that remains their biggest legacy. The music of Biggie Smalls and 2Pac has inspired the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and more. The legacies of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace—a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. —live on. So does their rivalry, one of the greatest in music history. In 2pac vs. Biggie, hip hop experts Jeff Weiss and Evan McGarvey take an entirely new approach to investigation of that rivalry. Rather than focus on the countless conspiracy theories, they study the artist as artists, dissecting the lyrics of their hits (“California Love,” “All Eyez on Me,” “Changes” for 2pac, “Mo Money Mo Problems,” “Hypnotize,” “Big Poppa” for Biggie) and lesser-known works, performance and rhythmic styles, aesthetic appearances and what those meant, rises to power, and of course, their lives after death. The feud between 2pac and Biggie is broken down and looked at from all new angles, bringing to light little-known and surprising sides to each rapper’s persona and inner world.   Illustrated throughout with photographs, memorabilia, and artwork inspired by Tupac and Biggie, and with insert “versus” pages dissecting topics such as each artist’s presence in movies, critical reception, and literary influences, this book is a must-have for all rap and hip hop fans.

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From the Inside Flap:

Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace were born less than a year apart, less than twenty miles apart. From there, their lives intertwined and diverged at critical, then fatal, moments. Throughout, one fact remained consistent: They were changing rap forever. All rappers since havebeen influenced by 2pac and The Notorious B.I.G. In 2pac vs. Biggie, Jeff Weiss and Evan McGarvey explore what it was that allowed each artist to rise to the top, then stay there. Weiss and McGarvey explore where ’Pac and Big came from, how they first appeared on the scene, how they rose to power, why the feuds began and why they escalated, and just how massive their legacies are—and why. This is the definitive exploration of rap’s greatest rivalry. Like the music it discusses, it is grand and evocative. It commemorates two heroes, exploring their styles, words, messages, lives, afterlives. 2pac asked, “How long will they mourn me?,” a question practically answered by Big’s “You’re nobody, ’til somebody kills you.” The answer, here—for both rappers—is clear: We’ll never stop.

Jeff Weiss is the editor-in-chief of the website the Passion of the Weiss (www.passionweiss.com). He has written about music and culture for many publications, including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and Details. Evan McGarvey is a writer and teacher whose work has appeared in the Village Voice, Pitchfork, the Michigan Quarterly Review and Green Mountains Review. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From the Back Cover:

“Now we can focus on the real issues at hand facing America, like, ‘Did we really land on the moon?’ ‘What really happened in Roswell?’ And, ‘Where are Biggie and 2pac?”” – President Barack Obama Makaveli vs. Big PoppaWest vs. EastAll Eyez on Me vs. Life After DeathDeath Row vs. Bad BoyTHUG LIFE vs. flashy ways Each has been called the greatest rapper of all time. Each changed music forever. To answer Obama’s question: They are everywhere.

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