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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Film Review: Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Was Pure Sci-Fi Bliss

What’s up guys?  Ralph a.k.a. the “Perennial Aesthete” is here.  It’s been awhile, but I hope you’re all in the best of health and happiness.  Speaking of being happy, to describe Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the sequel to Marvel’s 2014 swash-buckling science-fiction adventure, I’d have to say it was pure euphoric bliss.  It brought back memories from my childhood when I used to sit in my room drawing comic book characters and reading my favorite comics such as Iron Man, the Avengers, Spider-Man and the Mighty Thor.

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Happy 4th of July everyone! Dress Up Your Chest With These Awesome T-shirts

Hey t-shirt lovers!  In honor of today’s Independence Day, I have graphic t-shirts on sale for $10 for men and $6 for women in my online shop.  In addition, I am also offering my customers FREE SHIPPING on all domestic orders… how cool is that???  check out the online store and see which t-shirt you might want to rock for the rest of the summer.  Please note that the sale will end next Tuesday, July 12, 2016.  You can visit my site at: orangemoonwerks.com.

To all of my customers, your support has been greatly appreciated.  Have a happy 4th of July!  May you all have a safe and happy holiday!!

To my readers, I invite you to join me on Facebook and to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.  You can also reach me via email at:  rgilmore@orangemoonwerks.com. If you find any joy and value in what I do, would you consider providing support to help keep my blog going? Learn how by following the link here: Support = Love

 

Jesse Williams’ Empowering Speech on Black Oppression, Race Injustice at the 2016 BET Awards

Four days ago, Grey’s Anatomy actor and activist Jesse Williams won a humanitarian award at the 2016 BET Awards, and he pretty much stole the show.  Personally, I had to take a few days for all the noise on social media to die down and allow Jesse Williams’ words to marinate on my conscious.  The message that this brother dropped on the world was so deep, unflinching and POWERFUL.  It was one of the most coherent and sincere critiques of systemic racism, police brutality, cultural appropriation and exploitation and a heartfelt message to black women here and afar who have “spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves.  We can and will do better for you.”  There were so many grand moments of this speech, but there was one particular tidbit that stood out to me:

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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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