In today’s rap culture, the Tupac comparisons are abundant. From Boosie BadAzz to Young Thug and Childish Gambino, everyone wants to proclaim themselves the modern day Tupac. While they might have a laundry list of evidence to back up their claims, Genius and Spotify’s new podcast, Déjà Vu, is specifically exploring the parallels between Pac and the West Coast’s current hero, Kendrick Lamar.
In the one-hour podcast – which is titled “Is Kendrick Lamar the New 2Pac?” – host Stereo Williams and his guests engage in an in-depth conversation regarding the two MCs’ discography, philanthropy, philosophy and contributions to the California rap scene. VIBE‘s Editor-In-Chief Datwon Thomas and Genius‘ Head of Artist Relations, Rob Markman joined the panel discussion.
While Thomas agreed that there are many similarities between the two, he felt as though Tupac’s versatility in different mediums made him one of a kind. “Tupac is just something else on a political stance, on the poetry stance, on the movie run, music,” Thomas explains. “He was just more than a rapper. To be Pac you would have to that whole lineage of Black Panthers and having lived a life of multiple coasts. He’s made up of the ghettos of America.”
Pac may have been multi-faceted, but Thomas says he and Kendrick are similar in terms of the themes they discuss in their music. “Since Pac was such as three-dimensional character, when [Kendrick Lamar] is doing interviews and stuff, I don’t get that. I don’t get the Kendrick that’s on wax in the interviews, as far as the passion and the ferocity,” he continues. “But as far as the black love and all of those different things, and being able to bring those socially conscious black issues to the foerfront, that’s definitely K.Dot.”
During the discussion, Markman also recalls an old interview he conducted with Kendrick in which he said he “caught a vibe of Pac in the room.” He suggests that while the TDE artist may not be at that level yet, he is well on his way. “Pac was superhero iconic to him in that fashion and now he’s in the position where he can do a lot of the things that Pac was doing,” he says. “He definitely invites it, definitely embraces.”
This is reportedly the first episode of Déjà Vu. The podcast will run every other Wednesday for a total of eight episodes and examine the music of a modern day star. “Déjà Vu is a chance for us to close the generation gap a little bit,” Stereo Williams says. “Sitting down with some of the most brilliant music minds around and discussing icons of the present and past.”