Anyone still stuck in the ’90s narrative of East Coast vs. West Coast in hip hop needs to listen the post-regional rap of “I Feel Like Pac, I Feel Like Biggie,” DJ Khaled’s new single featuring Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Swizz Beatz and T.I. with a special cameo by Diddy. The Khaled-curated track is the usual bevy of who’s who in the hip-hop world. The song, in advance of Khaled’s forthcoming record Suffering from Success, premiered yesterday.
“I feel like Pac,” Swizz Beatz raps on the song’s chorus. “I feel like Biggie/I’m feelin’ like these hatin’ n***as waitin’ to kill me.”
The song contains themes shared by the late Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.: paranoia, cutthroat competition and a street-life past being brought into the music industry, among others. But “I Feel Like Pac, I Feel Like Biggie” is also a stylistic exercise, filled with rappers who entered the industry after Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.’s murders, referencing their music reverently.
But not everyone from their hip-hop heyday is happy about it.