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October 21, 2003

Tupac Epiphany

I listened Monday at my housepainting engagement to more Tupac Shakur than I ever have in my life. I understand.

I am both impressed and saddened by this enlightenment. One can only be impressed with the skills of this rapper. I can't tell you why Tupac is Makaveli, but I'm sure there's a fansite with the full scoop. This album, the one with 'To Live & Die in LA' and 'Me and My Girlfriend' - if those are the proper titles was the one I heard. But anyone with the feeblest knowledge of hiphop knows that rappers today are still making entire songs, if not lifestyles, out of stuff Tupac said in passing.

Tupac flows in a way that is deeply narrative. Everything about the arrangements serves the purpose of his rhymes, and his rhymes are all stories, tales of woe. There is something about the way it works together (and if Dre is the man behind the music, it's obvious why he does so much soundtrack work) that makes it very listenable. It's a smoother sound from the huge boom and shouting of Mystikal, DMX or Jay-Z. Tupac by comparison is downright lyrical. It is this state of affairs that brings to mind some kids playing it over and over again.

The other vibe I got very strongly from the music was the powerful sense of dedication and love in a hard world that overburdens the relative purity of youth. Tupac evokes an environment in which everyone over 30 is dead or weak and all the power struggles are over the minds and bodies of the shorties coming up. Imagine a place where a 20 year old woman with one child needs a 24 year old man to be every stability, and there is no other strength greater than the gun. No church, no economic stability, no older generation, just the egos of the principles determined not to leave the world without respect where daily bustas get beat down.

That's a soundtrack for a generation unable or unwilling to venture into another world; a Lord of the Flies philosophy as old as time itself. Anyone who cannot let go of Tupac is not leaving that world anytime soon. That's sad.

Posted by mbowen at October 21, 2003 11:24 PM

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Tupac was a poet. His life was far from perfect and he didn't pretend differently. This is a man with an amazing appeal and raw talent. His voice still sends chills down my spine. Powerful stuff on his CDs and in his writing.

Posted by: Liz at October 25, 2003 06:49 AM

So true. Tupac speaks of the his life in a 2 ways. in a negative light dedicated to those with better lives and the people who can help those who are living the way he grew up. and in a positive light dedicated to those who do live it so that they may gain a new hope, and so they can be happy with what they have but knowing that they will have better. But when the wrong people listen misinterpret the message, his urban poetry is all misinterpreted. He taught many to keep thuggin. To earn theirs. To "Keep Ya Head Up". To try and make "Changes". His message does not only appeal to young black males living a "thug life" but to anyone living a "thug life", whether they be young or old, white or black or brown or asian, it wasnt about physical features...its about heart. From his heart to yours...

Posted by: Andy at April 13, 2004 07:39 PM

Sorry y'all, but I don't get it. Tupac as an MC was okay, but definitely not great. I'm trying to understand what this great attraction to him is; why people seem to think he was so good is beyond me. I think it has more to do with the fact that Tupac as an individual was charasmatic than anything he recorded. I guess there's nothing wrong with that, but I guess I just can't relate. Tupac can have his "thug life." I'm with Posdnuos of De La Soul, who said, "You cry keepin' it real, yet you should try keepin' it right."

Posted by: Avery at April 14, 2004 10:44 PM

I dont understand why tupac didn't get one single award while tupac is the best and the one only rapper with the meaningful realstic poetry I realy sham on the BET staff.

Posted by: Daniel Teame at September 27, 2004 09:53 PM

Tupac is by far the greatest artist of all time.
The way he put his heart in his music. How we can look into our lives and see something that Tupac touched on. His hard life of living homeless in four states and seven cities. De La Soul and others didn't have that passion in their music, not just them but many rappers don't have that passion in their music. Tupac experienced a lot more than many MCs experienced and that's why he has so much passion in his music. I know people in their sixties that love Tupac for being intelligent and the subjects he talks about in his music. Pac touched on so much in his 25 year life span than De La Soul has been doing their whole career. Tupac kept it right by telling the truth and not chastising the youth with lies. Listen to his catalog, its real and true hip-hop is a reflection of self. From that Tupac is the Greatest Artist of All Time. A few hate but countless many understand you and love you Tupac.
Those who believe in what's right, the truth, and what's real, trust in Pac's music. Tupac is the Jeremiah of this generation and De La Soul is like the false prophets who sugar coat the truth.
Jeremiah the Prophet was despised for his prophecy of the Jews if they did not take heed to Yahweh's word. And Tupac words are timeless if you look at the world in its current state

Posted by: gifted_king at December 30, 2004 07:30 PM