Reflecting On Hip Hop Legend Tupac Shakur On the 21st Anniversary of His Death

“I am not a gangster and never have been.  I’m not the thief who grabs your purse.  I’m not the guy who jacks your car.  I’m not down with people who steal and hurt others.  I’m just a brother who fights back.  I’m not some violent closet psycho.  I’ve got a job.  I’m an artist.” — Tupac Shakur

Prophet.  Poet.  Gangster.  Thug.  Hip hop icon.  During the life and times of Tupac Shakur, he was labeled many things, but after his death, the polarizing, legendary rap artist was universally accepted as an extraordinary and influential talent.  Personally, whenever someone asks me about Tupac Shakur, the immediate thought that comes to mind is “tortured soul.”

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Prophet. Poet. Hip Hop Legend. Happy Birthday Tupac Shakur

“I am not a gangster and never have been.  I’m not the thief who grabs your purse.  I’m not the guy who jacks your car.  I’m not down with people who steal and hurt others.  I’m just a brother who fights back.  I’m not some violent closet psycho.  I’ve got a job.  I’m an artist.”

When I think of the late Tupac Shakur, my immediate description that comes to mind is “tortured soul.”  Tupac Amaru Shakur born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was born in East Harlem, New York City.  During the first 17 years of his life, he was raised by his Black revolutionary mother, Afeni.  Both of his parents and several other people in his family were members of the Black Panther Party, whose ideals were later reflected in his songs.  In his early youth, Shakur became involved in the performing arts as a theater actor and rapper.  Aesthetically-driven by the arts, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to gain greater opportunities.  Shakur received his big break as a roadie, backup dancer and MC for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground, thanks to group leader Shock G.

Continue reading “Prophet. Poet. Hip Hop Legend. Happy Birthday Tupac Shakur”

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