Joey Bada$$
3.1.2017

Joey Bada$$: ‘I’m a Better Rapper Than Tupac’

Last year, Joey Bada$$ told Rap-Up that he wanted to be the voice of his generation. Now, he reveals how Tupac Shakur influenced that goal.

“I believe that every generation that comes after has the opportunity to outshine the previous generation,” he told Genius in a recent interview. “Look, they gave you their best. Now, they set the bar.”

One of the rappers who set the bar for Joey was Tupac. “I believe I am one of the minds that ‘Pac said that will spark the change [in] the world,” he added. “I believe I am one of those. But I’m probably not the one that’s gonna change the world. Probably the one after me.”

Going along with this theme, the “Devastated” MC went on to say that he already feels he’s a “better rapper” than ‘Pac was. “There’s a part of me wanting to have their messages travel further,” he explained. “Their messages resonate with me and I know there’s a lot of people out there who resonate with me who doesn’t necessarily resonate with them. I already know I’m a better rapper than Tupac is. That’s just facts. One on one battle, I’ll flame ‘Pac,” he added with a laugh.

Beyond that, the “Land of the Free” spitter said he’s setting himself apart from his peers in some vital ways. “When we talk about just being vocal and putting those messages out there,” he added, “I don’t believe no one’s doing it in the way that I am.”

Following the interview, Bada$$ received backlash for his Tupac statements. Taking to Twitter, he explained his stance. “When I said I was better than PAC (my favorite rapper of all time) I was referring to rap skill. Bar for bar. Not accolades or influence,” he said. “And I back myself 1000 times to that fact… media like twisting up the words but that’s I meant when I said it for all you butt hurt bozos. Being said that I’ll leave any further addressing to the #BadassDefenseSquad.”

Last year, the New York rapper told Rap-Up that his sophomore album, the follow-up to his 2015 debut B4.Da.$$, will help showcase an “elevated” Bada$$. “People will definitely feel an elevated, evolved Joey,” he said at the time. “It’s gonna be way more high energy, high performance. I’m really just gonna speak for my generation.”