It's an ageless debate that can be rehashed time and time again: Who is the Greatest of All Time? And Irv Gotti was given this same inquiry while visiting Drink Champs recently.
In a nearly three-hour sit-down with hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, the producer and Murder Inc. co-founder gave his ultimate answer: "If it's one, it's [Tu]pac, nigga."
Further explaining, Gotti reasoned that his choice was due to Tupac's authenticity, saying, "He was too much. He was speaking to niggas giving him jewels. I like all the 'Pacs. I like the whole embodiment of 'Pac because that's who he was. The same nigga that said, 'I'ma kill you, nigga' was the same nigga that was like, 'Yo, we gotta be together and we have to fucking think.' It's his truths. He never lied. Whatever that moment he felt, he said it. He was a Gemini but, yo, if you wanna give it to one artist, I give it to 'Pac all day. All day."
Still, Gotti couldn't ignore another incomparable contender, laying out his perceived differences between 'Pac and his famed nemesis: "You know what I like to say? I like to say 'Pac was the realest nigga ever, but Big was the illest."
Gotti credited the Notorious B.I.G.'s eccentric flow for his distinction and emphatically rapped lyrics from one of his Ready to Die tracks to prove his point, getting goosebumps in the process.
"Like, when I first heard 'Unbelievable,' I swear to you I listened to that record, like, a hundred times. 'Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant / The livest one / Representing BK to the fullest.' It doesn't fucking rhyme! It doesn't rhyme, nigga. It doesn't rhyme! It doesn't rhyme! It's two bars! 'Live from Bedford Stuyvesant / The livest one.' He's supposed to [rhyme] 'one.' 'Un,' 'done,' 'son,' 'gun.' 'Representing BK to the fullest / Gats I pull it / Bastards ducking when Big be bucking / Chickenheads be clucking in my bathroom fucking. It ain't nothing.' It's like, nigga, his style was unorthodox."
Still admittedly bewildered by Big's delivery, Gotti continued, "Like, what the fuck? He did it on multiple records. He just flowed and I'm like, this doesn't make sense. This doesn't make sense, but it's the hottest shit I ever heard. Yo, I want everyone to go listen to fuckin' Big. I'm telling you, you're gonna see what I see. He broke every rule of rapping. And it was just him."
'Drink Champs' airs on REVOLT TV on Thursdays at 10pm ET.