At the onset, the title of Boosie Badazz's upcoming album, BooPac, may feel like a slightg against the legendary Tupac Shakur. But for the Baton Rouge MC, the purpose of this moniker is quite the opposite.
"I named it BooPac because it was a lot of pressure from my fans to name it BooPac, too," he told XXL. A lot of people didn't grow up on 2Pac. He affected me in a way where he made me want to rap and tell my story. He wasn't afraid to talk about what I went through. So 2Pac was a heavy influence on my career as far as me wanting to not fabricate my story, me wanting to really rap about what I really went through."
In an act of homage to both rappers, we have decided to compile a list of things Boosie and 'Pac have in common. Scroll through to see what similarities these two share.
Outside of the exclusive hip-hop circle, Tupac made a big name for himself on Hollywood’s big screen, too. Juice, Poetic Justice and Above the Rim are just a few cameos of the gifted West Coast icon, showing Pac in his thug life element and his softer interior as a lover boy. A mic wasn’t the only thing Boosie picked up either, memorizing his share of movie scripts for films like the 2010 Ghetto Stories, which took place right on his Baton Rouge home turf. Like Pac, Boosie was able to bring his street hustler origins to life on the silver screen in his respective movie appearances without watering down his music career.
While Tupac was believed to be one of the leaders of the West Coast movement, Boosie has often been regarded as the "Tupac of the South." The "Independent" rapper has suggested that it has something to do with their meaningful and relatable music that ultimately touches a lot of people in their hometowns. "We both got heartfelt music," Boosie told Complex in Mar. 2014. "And when you got heartfelt music, you get put in that category with Tupac. And I always did make that music that touched people, man."
What drew so many admirers to the late Afeni Shakur, the iconic political activist, Black Panther heavily active in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and beloved mother of Tupac Shakur, was her transparency. So it was no secret that she struggled with drug addiction during Tupac’s younger years, a sensitive subject matter he often spoke to through his music and was posthumously addressed in his biopic, All Eyez On Me. Though Afeni was able to rehabilitate from the addiction, that unfortunately wasn’t the case for Boosie’s father, who also struggled with substance abuse until his 1997 death. Thus, Boosie knows the growing pains of life without a father and has been an exemplary influence over his young ones as a father of eight.
As a result of their celebrity and "gangsta" lifestyle, both Boosie and Tupac have experienced brutality at the hands of the police as well as profiling. Boosie has previously alleged that police mistreated him during routine stops and have even stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry from him after he was arrested leaving a Louisiana mall back in April 2017. Likewise, throughout Tupac's career, he suggested that the authorities were out to get him and that they used his lyrics pertaining to women and criminal activity as tools to send him to jail. He also talked about the mistreatment on several of his records. "Can barely walk the city streets / Without a cop harassing me, searching me / Then asking my identity / Hands up, throw me up against the wall / Didn't do a thing at all / I'm telling you one day these suckers gotta fall," he raps on "Trapped."
At the tender age of 14, Boosie tried his hand at a rap career by joining a local Baton Rouge collective by the name of Concentration Camp. Spearheaded by rappers C-Loc and Young Bleed, Boosie was ushered into the group as the youngest member and one of the many faces of Louisiana's burgeoning sound. But it wasn't until the age of 18 that Boosie finally made his debut on wax with a guest spot on C-Loc's fifth studio album, It's A Gamble, in 2000. Similarly, Tupac began his star-studded career at the age of 20 as a backup dancer and member of Digital Underground. Although Pac began recording music in 1987, his rap career didn't take off until he was featured on the West Coast group's smash hit "Same Song."
At the height of their careers, both emcees faced troubling legal woes which only fueled their desire to create more music. For Boosie, the possibility of facing the death penalty inspired him to record his fourth studio album, Incarcerated. Shortly after Tupac was sentenced to jail time for allegedly sexually assaulting a fan, the lyricist released the deeply introspective Me Against the World. The album debuted atop the Billboard charts and stayed there four weeks, making Pac the first artist to have a No. 1 album while serving a jail sentence.
(Photo from left: Ron Galella/WireImage, Joshua Applegate/Getty Images)