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In a clip of the interview shared to Instagram by The Art of Dialogue, Will.i.am explained that he didn’t prefer the music of either artist when he was asked who he preferred as an artist.
“Like when people say 2Pac and Biggie, I’m such a Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul head that I don’t like 2Pac and Biggie,” he said. “That kind of music doesn’t speak to my spirit. I like Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One, I like – if it’s like 2Pac or Biggie? It’s KRS-One. Why those two?
“If it’s 2Pac and Biggie, I don’t hold them up like that. I hold Eric B. and Rakim like that. 2Pac’s dope – don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I don’t think he’s dope. It spoke to the projects. My escape is De La [and] Tribe out the projects. It took me out the projects while I was still in the projects.”
You can see the clip here:
Will.i.am went on to describe how Rakim, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest inspired him growing up.
“It took me out the projects physically, as far as being able to reach my dreams, that was my path out,” he continued.
“And it took me out of the projects as far as while I was in the projects, the world is painted for me. It kept me safe while I was in the projects. Had I loved 2Pac and Biggie while I was in the projects, I probably would have been stuck in the projects still.”
Meanwhile, a collection of NFTs to be released in partnership with the estate of the Notorious B.I.G. will include the rights to license an iconic freestyle the rapper delivered when he was a teenager.
Sky’s The Limit: The Notorious B.I.G. Collection, which is being sold through the crypto platform OneOf, will include 3D NFT figurine characters inspired by Biggie. Everyone who purchases one of these will be given the rights to license audio of the freestyle, which B.I.G. rapped on a street corner in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn when he was 17 years old.
Prior to now, the audio has not been officially released or made available for downloading or sampling. The full collection is now available via OneOf’s website. “Biggie’s music is a very important part of hip-hop culture and its global impact,” said Wayne Barrow, manager of B.I.G.’s estate, in a statement.
“Our business partner, Elliot Osagie of Willingie Inc, came up with the concept of coming together with OneOf to share the infamous freestyle that showcased to the world the icon that Biggie would soon become through an NFT, and sharing it with his fans in this way we are certain would make him proud.”
Biggie’s estate recently celebrated what would have been the rap icon’s 50th birthday last month in a variety of ways, including a Lil Kim-hosted gala event at which his son, CJ Wallace, performed his late father’s verse on the song ‘One More Chance’.