Tupac Shakur was a hip hop artist who told the story of the ghetto as it was. I would say he was a kind of poet. Because his lyrics just hit that creative spot that leaves you ga!ga!ga!… he knew his craft so well that his lyrics just bounced off his tongue into the mic like he was born rapping. His lyrics were carved out of his very soul and were very piercing but as real as the air we breathe.
He rapped what he knew, what he lived, what he saw, just basically the live that he tried to exist in. hip hop then was pure and undiluted. Real hustle. It was simply letting the world know how it is to live in America as a black rapper of human being. As much as rapping in the 80’s and 90’s was seen as glamorizing and glorifying crime, murder, sex, extreme wealth and even unlawfulness, there was still a true substance to it.
Life was referred to as a hip-hop song where the really brave ones survived through being aggressive. Still artists sang what they lived through. Hip hop then had a story to tell, warnings to spread, hope given in lyrics albeit some violent in nature. You’d actually listen to the music and make sense of it, understand who the rapper is and his story that he/ she had to let you in on.
Tupac was the epitome of being a celebrity, every young and even old person wanted to be him when they grew up. I have one of my best girl friend who has a hand drawn art work of Tupac hanging on her wall. Not really surprised, she has almost five tattoos on her. That’s how much Tupac is still influencing people be it, male or female. I mean the guy’s music is still a favorite to many people several years after he died. Now that is music, which transcends time and generations. It doesn’t matter if you were born in the 80’s,90’s or yesterday, his music is still fresh, lyrics still hit that note, still creating rappers who want to emulate him.
Why am I ranting about Tupac? Well I happened to listen to one of his songs “Changes” and there was a line where he says ‘…we ain’t ready to see a black President…’ He never lived to see that happen. He never saw the changes he sang about a world without being judged for the color of your skin, youth dying because of crime and drugs, abuse and eventually premature death. Those things still happen but less often compared to his time then.
He seemed to have accepted that things will never change but still hoped that if we try hard enough things WILL change “…take the evil out of people…because there’s no black or white…” he sang on. He accepted that the only way to have peace is to realize that there is not difference between black and white.
President Barrack Obama came with a message of “Change we can believe in” “Yes We Can” so it’s like kind of a prophesy being fulfilled in some sort of unconventional way…almost everything Tupac sang in the song ‘Changes’ we need change. Things can change. If we just stop all the perceptions of judging people based on their, social status, color, creed, religion, gender, country even family. Then life would be different, we’d see changes happening.
So I was thinking, if Tupac was alive to see the first black President of the most powerful continent in the world, what would he think or even say. I wonder whether he thought it would ever be possible when he was rapping that song. It might have been a dream he had or maybe he had full hope that one day ‘Changes’ would happen. If he were alive today, he’d churn out a hit about the change he sang about coming to pass.
Times have changed, America is trying to become better, and after all, it is the melting pot of the world. Everybody in the USA owns a little bit of America…in some sort of degree anyway. Tupac spoke of everyone taking responsibility to make that Change which is what we strive to do. Change is possible if you decide to begin with changing yourself. He sang it, you can make it possible. Like a famous American President said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” and it applies to every country, individual in the world. It’s time to take PERSONAL responsibility to birth the change we so look for in the world.
So what would Tupac ask President Obama if he was still alive? Well, I guess we’ll never know will we?
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