It’s not uncommon for artists to be compared to past artists who have been listed as the “Greatest Of All Time.” Two entertainers to who many artists are constantly being compared are Michael Jackson and Tupac. Of course, many would argue that these comparisons are erroneous and downright outlandish, but that does not stop them from happening. Also, some artists themselves have suggested that they are comparable to Michael Jackson or Tupac. Joining that list is rapper NLE Choppa.
Hailing from Memphis, Tenessee, NLE Choppa began releasing music in 2018 with the single “No Love Anthem.” But his 2019 single “Shotta Flow” changed the course of his music career. It became his first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, ultimately peaking at number 36. The single eventually was certified platinum by the RIAA and garnered a remix with west coast rapper Blueface.
Born Bryson Potts, the rapper grew up listening to, and influenced by, many unknown rappers in the city of Memphis, along with YGK and Lil’ Wayne. NLE Choppa also shared with NME that he listens to a lot of Bob Marley. So, where did the Michael Jackson and Tupac comparisons come from?
According to a recent interview with Power 106, NLE Choppa stated that he is often compared to both artists. However, when it comes to Michael Jackson, he says the comparisons come from being very energetic in his performance. He then shared that someone said they favor each other in the looks department. However, he doesn’t see it. “I don’t know where that comes from,” the rapper said. As for the Tupac Shakur comparisons, NLE Choppa claims they arose “because what I stand for, what type of principles I stand on outside of music.” He went on to say that his purpose goes beyond the music. “It’s about who I can impact, whose life I can change,” stated NLE Choppa.
Of course, the rapper’s claims brought on immediate adverse reactions from social media users. Countless memes erupted on Twitter from users asking, “Who said that?” Others stated that NLE Choppa’s claims were nothing but “cap.” One insisted that he was following a trend from other rappers who have compared themselves, especially Tupac, for website clicks. “Lmao, if you want to have [an] article written about you, all you have to do is either compare yourself to Pac or MJ or say you don’t know their music. It works [every time],” tweeted one user.
NLE Choppa noticed the backlash from social media and took to Twitter to clarify his statements. In a since-deleted tweet, he stated that the “comparisons got nothing to do with me MUSICALLY.” He then doubles down on his comments that it has “everything to do with what I stand for outside of it. I’m prolific; I stand for some that can change the world,” claimed NLE Choppa.
It’s not usual for Michael Jackson and Tupac to be compared to today’s music artists, but it happens. Following the release of his latest studio album, Certified Lover Boy, Billboard opened the debate that Drake could now be as massive as the Thriller legend. Not only did they issue a tweet questioning if the two artists were comparable, but they wrote an article labeling much of Drake’s accomplishments and dominance on the charts. From there, fans openly debated which of the two artists were bigger, surmising that even with Drake’s achievements, it was still not comparable to Michael Jackson’s. In a bold move, Future once appeared to state that he would have been bigger than Michael Jackson if his Hndrxx were released in the 80s. The rapper reshared a fan’s post of that sentiment, to which he captioned is, “just sayin’.”
Beyonce has also often been compared to the legendary singer. Some have claimed that the “Ring The Alarm” singer is the next artist to take the world by storm as MJ has. Recently, her husband, Jay-Z, also compared while in a conversation on Twitter Spaces with Alicia Keys and Rob Markman. After claiming that his wife would “get mad” at him for stating it, he went on to note that “Michael Jackson never had a Coachella.” Jay also referred to Beyonce as a “forever student” and the “evolution of” the King of Pop.
Controversial rapper DaBaby was also one of the recent artists compared to Tupac. Fat Joe made the comparison because of his belief that the North Carolina native lives what he raps and is a “real one.” And another controversial artist who proclaimed that they were like Tupac, specifically “The Gay Tupac,” was Jussie Smollett. Following his alleged attack, the actor/singer made the bold statement in front of a Los Angeles crowd.