The founder and producer of Wu-Tang Clan, RZA, recently sat down with the Lex Fridman podcast to discuss East Coast hip-hop, the 1990s and his transition into Hollywood.
While discussing the state of rap music in the ’90s, the New York emcee addressed the West Coast lyricist 2Pac and explained why he was a better artist than Biggie Smalls.
During the ’90s, no artist would dare comment on who was better or offer commentary on who had the edge over the other. However, years later and with clear memory, RZA (real name Robert Diggs) decided to share his opinion concerning the two late rappers.
Unveiling that he believed 2Pac was the superior musician, Diggs disclosed, “You go to Pac, once again, immaculate voice, but what Pac had, I think, was a way of touching us in all of our emotions. Pac had the power to infuse your emotional thought, like ‘Brenda Has a Baby,’ ‘Dear Mama,’ but then he had the power to arouse the rebel in you. You know?”
He continued, “And those two things…actually, he was probably more dangerous than Big. Notorious B.I.G., we could party with him, to this day we’re still… but Pac, we’re probably, going to point, he was more going into the Malcolm X of things, and society fears that.” Diggs elaborated on how Shakur, due to his Black Panther background, was more political, explaining, “Big communicated love, but he wasn’t starting revolutions.”
Although RZA believed 2pac was more powerful, in 1994, Diggs’s counterpart Method Man of the Wu-Tang Clan featured on Biggie Smalls’ album Ready To Die, on a track called ‘The What.’
But for the most part, The Clan were not involved or associated with Bad Boy or Death Row and during their prime, between 1992 and 1998, the Wu-Tang Clan released a lot of material, both collaborative and solo.