Jay-Z made Outlawz member E.D.I. Mean’s top 5 list pushing Tupac and Biggie to the side when he appeared on Yukmouth TV for a rare exclusive interview.
Anytime someone is asked to give their top artists of all time list, it most certainty does not go by without discussion. Hip Hop has given us many artists from different eras, all which are up for debate on anyone’s list and at times are selected due to personal preference. At times, those selecting these artists may have a bias opinion on the outcome of the list.
For E.D.I. Mean of the Outlawz, his dead or alive top 5 is no different. Closing out his interview on Yukmouth TV, the Outlaw vet was asked to name his top 5 artists dead or alive. E.D.I. had no issue giving his top 5, but had one condition. No Tupac and no Biggie on his list. “Off top Ima leave two rappers off that list, that I feel like and feel expect me to say,” E.D.I. said. “So, that’s Tupac and BIG. I ain’t even gonna put them on there.”
From there on, it came down to different eras in hop hop. Kicking off E.D.I’s list was Rakim and Big Daddy Kane for the 80s. Scarface and E-40 represented the 90s on the list. Last but not least was Jay-Z for the 2000s who closed out E.D.I.’s top 5 dead or alive. “Shout out to Nas and there’s a whole lot of ni**as from the 2000s that’s raw,” E.D.I. added. (Full episode here)
Why Did Tupac Diss Jay-Z?
Some die hard Tupac fans may not disagree with Jay-Z making E.D.I.’s list. From a fans perspective, Tupac dissed Jay-Z on various songs before he passed including on his first posthumous release, the infamous Makaveli album.
Tupac’s dislike for Hov dated back to Jay-Z collaboration with Biggie Smalls on the song ‘Brooklyn Finest‘ which appeared on Jay-Z’s debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’. The Dame Dash and Clark Kent produced track, has Biggie Smalls taking aim at Tupac with, “Me and Gutta had two spots / The 2-for-5 dollar hits, the blue tops / Gotta go, Coolio mean it’s gettin’ Too Hot / If Fay’ had twins, she’d probably have two Pacs / Get it? Tu… Pac’s?”
It is well documented that Jay-Z allowing Biggie to diss Shakur on a record, instantly added Hov to Tupac’s hit list. Tupac had a response for Jay on a song later released in 2001 titled ‘All Out’ featuring the Outlawz. Immediately in the beginning of the song Tupac can be heard calling out Jay-Z. “You got a lot of nerve to play me, another gay rapper / Bustin’ caps at Jay Z and still avoid capture / While y’all caught up in the rapture, still after me I’m in Jamaica sippin’ daquiris, no doubt,” rapped Tupac.
The first song which kicked off the Makaveli album in ‘Bomb First (My Second Reply)’ also took aim at Jay-Z on the intro. “and several other New York rappers. Jay-Z, from “Hawaiian Sophie” fame, Big Little whatever. And several other corny sounding motherf**kers,” was read by an unknown individual.
Jay-Z Shows Love To Tupac
In 2009, Jay-Z would donate $25,000 to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation. Afeni Shakur received the donation along with Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace who also received $25,000 for the Christopher Wallace Foundation. The donation was presented at a sold out MSG in New York during a Jay-Z concert.
Six years prior, Jay-Z was granted permission by Afeni Shakur, allowing the Brooklyn rapper and his girlfriend Beyonce to sample a Tupac classic. With the help of Kanye West, Jay-Z went on to release his own version of Tupac’s ‘Me and My Girlfriend.’ Featuring Beyonce, ’03 Bonnie And Clyde’ landed on the Billboard top 100 at number four. In the music video, Jay-Z paid tribute to Tupac with a spray-painted mural with the words “Tupac Rifa Siempre,” meaning “Tupac Rules Forever.”
Who’s Better, Tupac or Jay-Z?
Back in 2019, hip hop artist T.I. also spoke about Tupac’s impact over Jay-Z. Hip-Hop’s greatest 50 rappers of all time was a hot topic for 2019. The debate would continue when T.I. appeared on The Breakfast Club. This time the discussion came down to two artist. Jay-Z and Tupac. Prior to his appearance on the morning show, T.I. shared his list during an episode on his ExpediTIously podcast. His top list had Tupac as number one, Jay-Z as number two followed by Biggie as number three, and Snoop Dogg at number four.
T.I. recalls the time he spoke to Jay-Z on the phone, and was questioned by Hov regarding the Top 50 list. “Hov called. We was talking about something else. Something completely non related, and then he says ‘Oh, and by the way, you really believe that?’, I said yeah.”
Explaining his reason why on the Breakfast Club, T.I. says it comes down to one thing, “Impact.” Not to take anything away from Jay-Z who is still at number two on T.I.’s list. “I think Hov, is the greatest rapper alive,” says T.I. (Watch: Jay-Z or Tupac? STM Podcast Co-Host And T.I. Make Their Pick)