Wednesday, September 13, 2006

All Eyez on Me

So many battlefield scars while driven in plush cars
This life as a rap star is nothin without heart
Was born rough and rugged, addressin the mad public
My attitude was, Fuck it, cause motherfuckers love it...

Today on the radio, TV, and in the blog world, you might notice an abundance of Tupac Shakur material. It was 10 years agao today that 'Pac died after he was shot down in a yet-to-be-solved murder on the Las Vegas strip.

My man Fresh Marcus best summed it up when he wrote about 'Pac, "That was one talented brother, wise beyond his years, just frustrated by his circumstances and without grounding. I'll not ever forget the reaction in NYC when he died and the fly mural of him that was up in the East Village within hours."
Back in the mid 90's I wasn't a Tupac fan. I never gravitated to his music, probably mainly because of the bullshit East Coast/West Coast thing and me being a huge East Coast guy. Also, his singles on the radio and MTV were not his most hard hitting and contradictory ("I Get Around" followed by "Keep Ya Head Up.") As the years have passed, I've picked up on him a bit. I've delved into his catalog past the surface and found out alot. I assume alot of other people are in the same boat as me.

'Pac was a complicated cat. He was esentially raised by a revolutionary, moved around from NYC, to Baltimore, to the West Coast. His musical influences were not only early hip hop, but rock and classical. He smoked weed, did drugs, but railed against police brutality and racism. He danced, acted, and wrote poetry. He valued and loved his crew, but then they were dangerously close to being his enemies. He loved the material life, but pointed the dire poverty throught the country.

Since his death 10 years ago, where has hip-hop gone? We've lost the other great, Biggie, and seen the music become lyrically weak, musically watered down, and devoid of substance. It's like every MC wants to be like Tupac, rather than be Tupac. That is they want to "ride", rap about how they done did their dirt, and be flashy. Yet, they don't have the thought process and ambition to call out the wrongs and focus on solutions.

If anyone hasn't already, check for "Tupac: Resurrection" on VH1 or at your local DVD spot. It is a great picture of the man, his life, his death, and legacy. One love.

Juice (1992) - All time great street movie, Tupac in starring role
Tupac Wikipedia info
Is Tupac still alive?

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