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Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 7:02am
Leave it to a U.S. senator to resurrect the East Coast-West Coast hip hop debate.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio weighed in once again on his love for the deceased rapper Tupac, who often rapped about the violence and racial tensions that plagued Los Angeles in the 90s.
During a wide-ranging interview with BuzzFeed that streamed live online Tuesday night, the Miami-born senator was asked why he's not a fan of Tupac's rival the Notorious B.I.G., a Brooklyn-based rapper who's also deceased.
"I think Tupac's lyrics are probably more insightful," he said. Rubio added that he attended college and law school during that time and "grew up" in the era Tupac's music was most popular.
"In some ways rappers are like reporters," he said. "At that time, there was a lot of reporting of what life was like in South Central, in the L.A. area. They were reporting what life was like."
Asked if he learned any political lessons from rap music, Rubio laughed, saying "probably not." Although, he did point out Tupac mentioned former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole in a song. The song, "How Do You Want It," also mentioned former President Bill Clinton.
"You'd never thought Bob Dole had anything to do with hip hop, but he did," Rubio joked.
The first-term senator released his "Spotify" music list earlier Tuesday, an eclectic mix of rap, Christian music, and electronic dance. Among the list of hip hop artists are Tupac, Kanye West, Jay Z, and Big Sean.
Surprisingly, Pitbull made the list--an artist who Rubio said in a magazine interview last year didn't quite meet his standards. His comments quickly drew criticism, as the musician hails from Rubio's hometown of Miami.
"I don't know what the issue is," Rubio said, answering the criticism Tuesday. The artist is most recently known for "Back in Time" (2012) and "I Know You Want Me" (2009).
Referring to Pitbull by his real name, Armando, Rubio said the point he was "trying to drive is that his music wasn't necessarily Tupac's in the sense that it was telling a story that way. It's largely music that caters to a party audience."
He credited Pitbull with being very "successful" but maintained the music was still nothing more than "party music."