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Review: DJ Khaled’s “I Feel Like Pac/I Feel Like Biggie” Is Less Blasphemous Than You Thin

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T.I. saves the day on Khaled's latest posse cut

For the uninitiated, DJ Khaled’s “I Feel Like Pac/I Feel Like Biggie” could easily be perceived as business-as-usual. Yet another super friends production from the gregarious We The Best/YMCMB rap conductor, you may even get the sneaky suspicion that you have heard this one before. For starters, there’s the standard hide-the-women-and-children Trap sound that has become as overwhelmingly omnipresent today as James Brown samples in 1988. (Sidenote: Everyone from MC Hammer to Prince has gotten the song title treatment, which means we are entering dangerously into fad territory.)

Miami rap don Ricky Ross rides shotgun (“Ain't no co-defendant, do my dirt all by my lonely”). The big man’s live-wire protégé Meek Mill comes in for some hood soldier backup (“My momma said do school work/I was making that tool work”). Swizz Beatz mans the two-fisted chorus and an authoritative Mr. Ciroc—that’s Bad Boy founder P. Diddy Combs to you—reminds novices that claiming the names of the two biggest hip-hop icons takes inner greatness(!)

But there are not many great moments worthy of the late Christopher Wallace and Tupac Shakur here. Well, except one. Atlanta Trap music pioneer turned reality show family man T.I. not only comes through and crushes the buildings, he reminds you just how fun hip-hop can be when you allow yourself to fall deep into the conceptual rabbit hole. “When somebody gotta die, we gon’ march to the steps/They said Brenda had a baby but she left it in the alley/One shot that playa hater now we going back to Cali/Hit the Times, nigga I got a story to tell/My ambitions as a rider got me ready to die.”

This is what real MC’s do, folks. Tip’s effortless and quite witty juggling of Makaveli’s and Frank White’s song titles goes beyond mere gimmick. It’s a fitting tribute. —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)

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