Troy Ave just can’t catch a break.
First he’s implicated in a fatal shooting at a T.I. concert in New York City, where he took a bullet in the leg. Then he got shot again. Then, in his spare time between court appearances and hospital visits, he managed to alienate most of the global hip hop community (to judge by the Twitter response, at least) by comparing himself to Tupac in a public interview.
Is this gangster bravado or straight-up delusion?
In April 2017, Ave appeared alongside Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee in a 90-minute round-table on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club. At some point during the meandering conversation, Ave saw fit to say the following:
“In the clubs, in the streets where they’re playing all the f***ing trap music and all type of s***, n****s go crazy. ‘Oh s***, that’s Troy Ave!’ N****, it’s the second coming of Tupac. It’s Newpac.”
The Twitter backlash was swift and brutal. @Al_Patron probably summed up the feeling in the room best when he tweeted, “Troy Ave is the biggest embarrassment to NYC Hip-Hop ever.”
Others were more measured in their approach. “This Troy Ave interview is so sad to me,” tweeted @jussdin. “I pray for this brother.”
Lots of the Twittersphere just commented with LOL emojis and SMH memes. Suffice it to say, though, that hip hop fans don’t respond well when a lesser rapper likens himself to one of the greatest in history.
Ave’s choice of timing seems to make Tupac’s name in his mouth even more distasteful for the fans. The same week that Ave implied he was as great as Makaveli, Suge Knight ended up back in the headlines with reports that he told his lawyer the real story behind Pac’s death.
According to these reports, former CEO of Death Row Records told his lawyer, Thaddeus Culpepper, that a documentary called Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton actually got the theory of Pac’s death right. Knight’s ex-wife, Sharitha Golden, and his former security chief, Reggie Wright Jr., planned the drive-by, the mogul reportedly said.
Culpepper denies the reports. So does Knight’s son, Suge Jacob Knight Jr. However, the stories, rumors, and news both fake and real regarding Tupac are coming faster and harder than ever. So it’s probably not the most respectful thing in the world to compare yourself to a man whose reputation is still being threatened decades after his death.
Charlamagne Tha God picked up on this darker thread to Ave’s comments during the Breakfast Club interview. He asked Ave how he planned to “avoid going out like Tupac.”
Ave said that he just had to stay blessed.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I don’t know. Just take precaution. I can’t sit up here and lie and tell you all kinds of s***. God willing, I don’t go out like Pac.”
Check out the entire interview here. If you’re a huge Troy Ave fan, you might find his comments illuminating. If you’re like most of Twitter, though, you’ll probably find something to disagree with.