While every new generation is unique, rap fans love to connect those dots back to the genre’s history. Moreover, a big part of that is a one-to-one MC comparison. Who’s the next Jay-Z, the next DMX, the next 2Pac? Benzino answered at least one of those hypotheticals. Via Twitter, the rapper and entertainment mogul said that Lil Baby is this generation’s 2Pac. Considering the success of his latest album It’s Only Me and his lauded pen and persona, it’s not hard to see why.
“I been around Hip Hop since day 1, out of this generation’s rappers @lilbaby4PF is the most influential and important at this time,” he wrote. “He like PAC’s influence can help turn around young black men to elevate their lives from the streets to a better life. He’s special trust me I know.”
“[Lil Baby is] really from and wit the s**ts and talks that street talk, but he also raps about positive elevation and change, (like Pac), he never beefs online, helps his people and raps about it and you can see his maturity, not just on the mic but in real life, he’s this generation’s Pac.”
Benzino ended his case with an important proclamation. “This generation needs more Lil Babys.”
Of course, many old heads might scoff or even scream at the idea. Tupac Shakur has cemented one of the strongest lyrical, cultural, and musical legacies not just in hip-hop, but across all genres. Not only did he reach massive commercial success and status, but his career was marked by how he moved in the industry.
Likewise, Lil Baby’s path has been defined by his conviction and approach to the game. He is the youngest artist ever to fill a quarter of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally, the Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta star made some compelling points about Baby’s positive message in his music. It’s one that extends beyond bars and into giving back to his community. Pac got into his fair share of public controversies and beefs with other rappers, which unfortunately turned fatal. However, the Atlanta native seems to have sidestepped those industry pitfalls.
As far as commercial success, the My Turn MC’s chart dominance is nothing to dismiss when compared to Shakur. No. 1 albums, Diamond singles… he’s backed up his knowledge with numbers. Maybe it’s not to the same degree as Pac, but consider how the music industry looked wildly different to what it is today.
What do you think of Benzino’s comparison. Is Lil Baby the new exponent of thug life or does someone else, if anyone, fit that bill? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to HotNewHipHop for the game’s latest reflections on legacy.