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Today marks the 15th year since Tupac died.  It got me thinking who, if any, of the current rap performers embodies his musical talent, social awareness, and charisma.  I posed the question on Facebook and Twitter and to the listeners on air and the responses were so different.  Lupe Fiasco, Common, Lil Boosie, Dead Prez, David Banner, Scarface, Eminem, and T.I. were a few of the front runners.  I believe they all have something special but to me I think quite a few of them came up short in certain areas.  I didn’t share my thoughts on air but I will here…

I think it’s Kanye West who possesses the musical talent, social awareness, and charisma that Pac had. Not one of the aforementioned rappers have been on an international stage and had the nerve to call out a sitting U.S. President the way Kanye West did after the Hurricane Katrina disaster.  Even though most of the other rappers do make conscious rap songs they don’t have the audience and charisma that Kanye West has.  He has an international superstar status unlike the less popular Common or Lupe Fiascos of the world and he speaks the heartfelt truth in his music.  (I invite any of you to pick up his first album and tell me he aint talking about the struggles of our people on College Dropout)

Overall, I do believe that it could be Lil Boosie or Yo Gotti or Jeezy or Lil Wayne or Talib…whoever one can relate to.  The great thing about this time in hip hop is that we have so many influential rappers it’s whoever is singing the message that reaches you and who influences you to be the best YOU can be and you can pull from the message.

Just one of the reasons I believe Kanye possesses all the attributes…

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