A Republican Senator may be the last person that comes to mind when the subject of Tupac Shakur is brought up, but Marco Rubio has a vast area of expertise. During an interview with BuzzFeed in which he responded to tweets about a range of topics, Rubio spoke on the infamous East Coast/West Coast rivalry.
He sided with Shakur versus the Notorious B.I.G., both of whom were prominent figures in the bi-coastal beef. “They weren’t initially rivals, that developed later on,” he explained. “It wasn’t my fight, I just think Tupac’s lyrics are probably more insightful. My opinion…. with all apologies to the Biggie fans.”
The Miami native was in college and law school during the height of Shakur’s career, but he hasn’t learned any lessons from the late rapper. “I don’t listen to music for the politics of it. In some ways rappers are like reporters. People kind of picked up on it [the music] the wrong way. They thought that these folks were condoning a certain lifestyle—maybe there was some of that in there—but mostly they were reporters.
“At that time, there was a lot of reporting of what life was like in South Central, in the L.A. area. They were reporting what life was like,” he said, bringing up the L.A. riots as one of the many issues prevalent in the ’90s.
Rubio also released his Spotify playlist which features Shakur, plus the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Big Sean. Aside from rap, his eclectic taste included electronic dance, and Christian Music.
Spanish rapper Pitbull was also on his list, despite previously expressing a lack of excitement for his work. “I don’t know what the issue is,” Rubio said of Twitter inquiries into his critique. “The thing about Armando, or his real name, Pitbull, the point I was trying to drive was that his music wasn’t necessarily Tupac’s in the sense that it was telling a story that way.”
Rubio credited Pitbull’s music as catering to “a party audience,” and praised the fellow Miami native—who grew up near his childhood home— for being a “very successful businessman.”
Check out the entire interview below.