Tupac Shakur was a rapper, actor, poet, revolutionist, and more. Pac embodied a spirit before his time that lead to an early death. Full of anger, drive, hope, and a message, Tupac was able to translate all of what he had to say in his music despite his personal woes that played out in the media. His music often spoke about his demise, but we learned that his steadfast to music would leave his life immortal.
2Pac was a man full of music. It touched many topics over the course of his short-lived career. His music was often misunderstood and referred to as “gangster” music, when it was really soul music. It was his truth that would become his art, and his art was his revolution. He was a relentless man on a mission and would not rest until said mission was obtained.
“Driven by my ambition, desire higher positions, so I proceed to make G’s, eternally in my mission is to be more than just a rap musician, the elevation of today’s generation, if I can make ‘em listen. Prison ain’t what we need, no longer stuck in greed, time to plan, strategize, my family’s gotta eat”- Unconditional Love
Pac’s music spoke to the people of the post- Civil Rights Movement, and ushered in responsibility with music. Although his music would contain violent and vulgar lyrics, he was no stranger to providing introspective tracks too. “Dear Mama” is an ode to his mother where he candidly speaks about his childhood. It’s become a story Afeni Shakur shares with other mothers still this day. Delores Tucker was a participant of the Civil Rights Movement, and best known for her stance against gangsta rap music. Tucker took a stance with 2Pac for his “gangsta” music; she felt he was constantly degrading women. That stance sparked a war between the two, and Pac would later reference her in two of his songs. “Wonder Why They Call U B______” was made in response to Tucker’s allegations of Shakur referring to women as “bitches” in his music. The song tells the story of the good girl who turned bad, and how she became everything he despised. At the end of the track he directly addresses Delores. However on “How Do U Want It” he “indirectly” (updated version has her name removed) addressed her.
“C. Delores Tucker, you’s a motherfucker, instead of trying to help a nigga you destroy a brother. Worse than others; Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, you’re too old to understand the way the game’s told, you’re lame so I gotta hit you with hot facts.”
Following his death Delores Tucker filed a ten million dollar lawsuit against his estate over the line; however it was dismissed. What Delores didn’t pay attention to were other songs such as “Brenda’s Got a Baby” or “Keep Your Head Up” where he praises women and ask men for change.
“I think it’s time to kill for our women, time to heal our women” – Keep Your Head Up
Change was something that Shakur strived for. He wanted to make a difference. Although he was a musician, he knew he had the power of change and influence.
“I’m not saying I’m going to rule the world or I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.”
The fire and passion he left behind in his music has caused that spark in other rappers. Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West both carry that same fire and message Pac had. All three men are rappers who were born under the same Gemini zodiac sign, and have similar messages behind their music. These gentlemen have taken risk to move their cause and beliefs to new heights. We have three music revolutionaries, who’ve become spokesmen for the same Black Nationalism mission, in different eras.
The man’s music said volumes about who he was. You hear the poet, you hear the tortured soul, you hear the thug, and you hear the revolutionary. A lot of his music did speak about his death, and in some shape and form he predicted his time on Earth would be short. The courageous rapper wasn’t afraid to die, because he knew his life had purpose and was serving purpose. He was a survivor of all his life’s circumstances.
“5 shots couldn’t drop me, I took and smiled”- Hit “Em Up
His collection of songs formed his legacy, a legacy that will live on for generations. He dedicated his time to making music non-stop, which is why the music continued to come after his passing. He was aware of what his music did for the people, and how it affected the culture. He knew he could reign as long as the music was made. He was gunning for the supreme spot in the music industry, because he knew it would change things. To many he’s still alive because he has the music. They may have killed the man, but the music man is immortal.
“The music let’s you know that another person understands”- 2Pac