Tupac Shakur Was ‘Mad Talented,’ Phife Dawg Recalls

Phife will appear on 'Yo! MTV Raps: Classic Cuts' on MTV2 on Sunday.

During its history, “ href="http://www.mtv.com/shows/yo_mtv_raps_classic_cuts/series.jhtml">Yo! MTV Raps” documented the rise of hip-hop’s most revered artists. One of rap’s most iconic figures, Tupac Shakur, gave the show many memorable moments; one in particular found a fiery ‘Pac airing out his beef with “Menace II Society” film directors Albert and Allen Hughes. Still, as controversial as Tupac was, he sure did get a lot of love.

“Dude was just mad talented,” Phife Dawg told MTV of Tupac. “He’s a human being, he’s made some mistakes along the way, blah, blah, blah, but the love was there. You couldn’t tell the ladies nothing about Tupac. Now that I live on the West Coast, I really see for myself firsthand how much love that dude gets.”

Phife, a former member of href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/tribe_called_quest/artist.jhtml">A Tribe Called Quest, will appear on “MTV2 Presents: Yo! MTV Raps: Classic Cuts” on December 4. He made his bones in the early 1990s, much like ‘Pac. While they both hailed from New York, Shakur called California home. “A lot of people forget he’s originally from Harlem, went to school in Baltimore with Jada Pinkett Smith — they forget that he’s actually from the East Coast,” Phife explained. “But one thing I heard ‘Pac say is, ‘I learned the game of life from the West Coast.’ So I guess he can say West Coast is home.”

When the topic of the greatest MC of all time comes up, Shakur’s name is usually mentioned, but in Phife’s opinion, when out in California, there’s not even an argument: Tupac reigns supreme. ” ‘Pac is king on the West Coast,” he said. “Nobody touches Tupac out there.”

Watch href="http://rapfix.mtv.com/2011/11/17/mtv2-bringing-back-yo-mtv-raps/"
target="_blank">“MTV2 Presents: Yo! MTV Raps: Classic Cuts” on December 4 at 12 a.m. ET, immediately after the “2011 Sucker Free Awards.”

Mentally been many places, but I'm Brooklyn's own. Hip-hop gives me life!
@RobMarkman