People have argued for decades who is the best between rap legends Tupac and Notorious BIG. Most people just choose which artist they love.

Who would come out as the objective winner by the following statistics:

  • Influence on other artists and the rest of the world.
  • Impact in the community.
  • Top charts hits.
  • Overall Sales.
  • Music made - Overall number of albums during each artist's time in the industry.
  • Top charts and sales can be objective and supported with facts, but I can't see how to define "Impact in the community", "Influence" (these two seem to be the same), and I don't understand what you mean by "Music made".
    – Bebs
    Jun 13, 2019 at 12:20
  • you will excuse my English its not my 1st language, what I mean't by Influence is the number of people that he influenced to rap and follow on his footstep a number of people that are Top musicians that have said it in their music and interviews that they were influenced by each of the two. The IMPACT in the community I am referring to the movement that came with a rapper's raps and what each have done in the community. music made compering the time frame for each rapper and hit that each have been associated with during that time. I hope that is clear.
    – Maneza F8
    Jun 13, 2019 at 13:43
  • How about who was the greatest gangsta rapper, and who was the greatest actor singing gangsta rap?
    – user6591
    Jun 26, 2020 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


Notorious BIG

  • 3 studio albums + 3 posthumous studio albums (including collaborations)
  • 3 #1 albums, 2 #1 singles
  • Subject of 4 documentaries and 1 feature
  • 2 Billboard Music Awards, 4 Grammy nominations, a MTV Music Award, and a Soul Train Award
  • described by AllMusic as "the savior of East Coast hip-hop".
  • Named greatest rapper of all time by The Source, Rolling Stone and Billboard
  • His Life After Death went Diamond
  • 17 million records sold (US)


  • 5 studio albums & 7 posthumous albums (including collaborations)
  • 5 #1 albums (no #1 singles)
  • Starred in 6 movies, subject of 16 documentaries, 1 feature
  • Wrote 1 book (poetry)
  • Voted "#1 MC" by MTV viewers
  • Named greatest rapper of all time by Vibe
  • Named one of the top 100 artists of all time by Rolling Stone and VH1
  • Inducted into the Hip Hop and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame
  • His album All Eyez on Me went 10x platinum
  • His song "Dear Mama" is one of 25 songs that were added to the National Recording Registry in 2010
  • 75 million records sold (worldwide)

The Notorious B.I.G. had better charting singles, more awards during his life, and was considered the greatest rapper by a wider number of sources. He perhaps had the higher standing during his lifetime in America, in the black American community and specifically among hip hop fans (and of course, on the East Coast).

Tupac was more prolific, and has cast a longer shadow after death. He also crossed more boundaries, as a actor and poet as well as MC, and was considered more socially conscious in his lyrics. Considered overall, he had the better selling albums (by nearly 5x). Tupac is more of a global and a crossover star (as well as specifically being a West Coast hip hop superstar).

Source for all info: Wikipedia

So, it's a close call, but, strictly by the numbers, I think the edge goes to Tupac.

  • So as I see its also a close call but when it comes to numbers and music made Tupac is taking it but not taking anything for BIG has done his part and made a huge mark.
    – Maneza F8
    Jun 14, 2019 at 6:15
  • 1
    Hi Chris, in case you are interested, I suggested this answer to a game.
    – Bebs
    Oct 25, 2019 at 13:38

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