Biggie and Tupac weren’t formative artists for will.i.am.
Appearing on the “Hip-Hop Confessions” podcast, the Black Eyed Peas artist confessed that he actually isn’t that into the iconic and widely acclaimed ’90s rappers.
“I’m gonna say something… I don’t want to say it in a disrespectful way,” he told host Skillz. “When people say Tupac and Biggie, I’m such [an] A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul head that I don’t like Tupac and Biggie.”
He added, “That kind of music doesn’t speak to my spirit. I like Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One; if it’s like, ‘Tupac or Biggie?,’ I’m like, ‘KRS-One.’ Why those two?”
will.i.am also shared some other artists he looks up to in the world of hip-hop.
“If it’s Tupac and Biggie, I don’t hold them up like that,” he said. “I hold Eric B. [and] Rakim up like that.”
Despite not being a huge fan of the artists, he did admit to admiring Tupac.
“Tupac’s dope. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I don’t think he’s dope,” will.i.am said.
Talking about his love for groups like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, the musician explained, “It kept me safe while I was in the projects. Had I loved Tupac and Biggie while I was in the projects, I probably would’ve been stuck in the projects still.”
Biggie, who also went by the name Notorious B.I.G., was killed in a shooting on March 9, 1997, just months after Tupac’s killing on September 13, 1996.