"How hip hop would be if 2Pac and The Notorious BIG were still alive and well"
This was quite possibly the easiest choice for this post. Almost 20 years after their senseless murders, this subject is still talked about to this day, and with good reason. Allow me to share my thoughts.
*The state of hip hop*
Saying that the complete landscape of hip hop would be DRASTICALLY, DRAMATICALLY different if Pac and Biggie were still alive is one of the biggest hip hop understatements any of us can make. Hip hop hasn't been the same since their deaths (and likely will never be the same again), whether we find out who committed those murders or not. And the fact that the guilty person(s) haven't been brought to justice remains sad. A LOT of artists that have come in the game since the dawn of the 2000s would've never seen the light of day during a different time and era, trust me (and in the interest of time, I won't create an extensive list here). Don't get me wrong, hip hop would've still evolved post 1996-1997, but it would've done so in a way that makes you proud to be a fan and supporter of the culture, instead of consistently talking about how the game has been lacking for so many years.
*Record label situations*
Let's start with Pac on this one. To this day, I still feel that Pac would've left Death Row after the Makaveli album. The plan definitely was for Pac to start Makaveli Records with The Outlawz as the label's first act. Splitting from Death Row would've been another lost for the label after Dre's departure in mid-96, and I feel Pac would've remained successful, he would've released a few more albums, and he would've attained that legendary status that he has now. Biggie, on the other hand, likely would've remained with Bad Boy Records. After all this was the label that essentially gave him his start, taking him from nothing to something. Looking back on it, it would've been possible that Biggie would've took Lil Kim, Lil Cease, and the rest of Junior Mafia under his wing in a separate venture after the lukewarm response to the "Conspiracy" album; no way was Puff going to have all of them on his roster along with Lox, Black Rob, Mase, 112, Faith Evans, etc. I could be wrong though.
After the scatching "Hit Em Up" and the subliminal "Long Kiss Goodnight," they would've reconciled and settled their differences like men (they were friends in the beginning). It was inevitable and the "East Coast vs. West Coast feud" would've came to a screeching halt immediately. We definitely would've got more than one collabo with them and we'd still be listening to and talking about them today. Was a collaboration album possible? I think so and it would've been one of the biggest albums in hip hop history, complete with dope lyrics, introspection, aggression, conceptual gems, and slammin' production.
I'm convinced that they still would've been classified as legends had they still been alive. The impact Pac and Biggie had on hip hop was felt in many ways during the mid-1990s and it'll remain forever. It's bittersweet when I talk about this topic, in that it's always good to look back and wonder how their careers would've turned out, but the smiles turn to "smh+facepalm" when you continue to realize they're no longer here and they were taken away from us entirely TOO soon. RIP to them both.