Over the weekend, Top Dawg Entertainment's president Terrence 'Punch' Henderson tweeted something that got a lot of people talking. "Cardi B is 2pac," he simply tweeted, which garnered over 600 replies. In DJBooth, he explained his tweet further for those who were either confused by what he meant, or just straight-up offended by the comparison.
"Over the weekend, I ruffled a few feathers," he starts the piece. "I understand why. First, I provided no context—which I don’t apologize for, it’s my Twitter account, and I don’t have to provide context. I can tweet a random thought whenever I want. I get the soreness, but everyone will be fine. I promise." He explains that he gets that people are offended when 2Pac is presented "as anything less than perfect," which is why any and all comparisons are often met with harsh criticism.
Throughout, he makes it clear just how much he respects Pac, writing, "2Pac is one of the greatest poets/lyricists/songwriters of my generation. Perhaps one of the greatest of all time." Getting to the core of his comments, he explains that even though listeners "believe every word that came out his mouth," Pac wasn't always telling the truth in his music.
He goes on to talk about Pac's iconic "Dear Mama," in which he raps, "No love from my daddy, 'cause the coward wasn't there/He passed away and I didn't cry." As Punch explains, Pac's biological father was still alive when "Dear Mama" was recorded, but it doesn't take away from the song. "It still gives me chills and goosebumps every time I hear it," he adds.
Here is where he starts to explain the comparison he made with the initial tweet. "If you browse 2Pac’s catalog of music, you'll likely come across plenty of lyrics that today's star artist would be lynched for. I'd like to believe that most of the material he wrote was true, but what wasn’t true we simply credit as poetic license. This ability speaks to the power of 2pac's voice. He could tell a complete falsehood with such conviction that it would change someone’s life."
Explaining himself further, he says, "I won't pretend to know as much about Cardi as I do about 2Pac, but from what I do know, she embodies some of those same qualities. She’s a straight shooter right from the hip. Her interviews are as raw as her music. She’s politically incorrect, yet, her charisma means you cannot stop watching and listening, whether you agree or disagree. She says exactly what she’s feeling at the time the question is delivered. And I believe her!"
Whether what he writes will further fuel detractors or cool them down, Punch does make some great points. "The biggest reason why Cardi is in the driver’s seat is that she employs the same winning honesty and self-deprecating attitude that Pac displayed throughout his career... Both expressed the same sentiment: THIS use to hurt me, but now it doesn’t. One of Pac's most famous quotes was, 'The reason I’m so harsh is because I’m so sensitive.' In a nutshell, that sums up why, I believe, Cardi B is 2Pac. She fully embodies this idea of being brutally honest so she can’t be hurt."
He reiterates that it is just a metaphor and that with only one album to her name, Cardi can't compare with his body of work, but she does embody a lot of his best qualities. Read his whole piece, which is worth digging into, here.