By KIERAN MULLARKEY
A 100-person survey was taken over the last few weeks that consisted of one question, “Which rapper do you prefer? Notorious B.I.G. or Tupac Shakur.” I have taken business research methods so I do know a thing or two about surveys. Of the 100 surveyed, 61 people voted for The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, and 39 people voted for Tupac Shakur.
Although I prefer Tupac to Biggie, I think that most students like Biggie better because he is from New York City and most students at UMW are from the East Coast. Tupac is from the West Coast, Los Angeles in particular.
Most UMW students have probably been to New York City more times than L.A. These students probably feel a stronger connection to a rapper from that area. I also rarely see any L.A. Dodgers caps around campus but tons of Yankees caps.
After interviewing a couple students, I got the vibe that more college students preferred Biggie, but were fond of both rappers. Junior Steven Deltuva said, “I think Biggie is a better rapper, but Tupac has better content.”
Senior Rob Freeman revealed his preference for Biggie, saying, “I think Biggie is more genuine in his songs. He raps about personal experiences.”
After speaking with a couple students and analyzing the results of the survey, I developed the hypothesis: if this poll were taken at a college campus on the West Coast, especially the Los Angeles area, the college students would probably prefer Tupac over Biggie. It is easier to prefer a rapper that raps about an area that you are from.
I have argued about who is the better rapper with friends or random acquaintances at parties, and always argue in favor of Tupac. I love Biggie, but he only had two studio albums, not including albums produced and released posthumously. Tupac had seven finished albums before his death and all seven of them were released as studio albums. Tupac is easier to base a case off since he has more albums, but the majority of his songs are better.
Songs like “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,” “California Love,” “Life Goes On,” and “Keep Ya Head Up” are amazing songs, which I think are better than Biggie’s biggest hits. “Juicey” and “The What” are probably my favorite Biggie songs, but they do not get my heart pumping like Tupac.
Tupac’s songs have much more energy invested in them than Biggie’s. Tupac’s “Hit ‘Em Up” is one of the most energetic songs ever written and it transcends Biggie’s lively club hits by a long shot. In “Hit ‘Em Up,” Tupac says, “Now you’re about to feel the wrath of a menace.” He makes his wrath known in every song; Biggie does not.
This debate will continue among thousands of college students for years to come, but I made my opinion clear despite the 61 percent of UMW students that disagree with me. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only listen to one rapper, it would be Tupac Shakur hands down.