The Life of Tupac
“Blood of a slave, son of a Black Panther, and a heart of a king” Revolt. Tupac Amaru Shakur knew who he was from an early age and saw it as his responsible to be the voice of those who need to be heard. His in your face attitude, outside the box mentality, sharp tongue was able to capture the hearts and impact millions of people in his very short life, after his death and even today. Needless to say he was an important figure. While his music portrayed the life of black people in the ghetto, police brutality, drugs, love etc his life and presents portrayed much more than that. And that is why even after his death ,twenty two years later, he is still strongly remembered. His influence on society is very clear, some were shedding light on society awareness, motivate people to believe in themselves, drawing to attention to poverty, influence education, promote activism, and change the music industry and even shedding light on police brutality.
Tupac has always been very vocal of his feelings and he has no problems expressing himself. He always felt the need to shed light on social awareness. He knew everyone had their own us and downs, but “I like to stand up for most folks because we have more problems “Revolt (Tupac). People in the ghetto get forced into unfortunate circumstances just to survive; therefore have always been targeted by the police.In regards to going out ” You don’t ever hear about anybody telling you about “White folks wasn’t allowed in this place, They never had that problem” but Tupac had so he felt he could speak from experience about it Revolt (Tupac). Similarly, black people are stereotyped; Tupac said that “You can’t say that all black folks is inherently lazy and evil.” Revolt. Tupac sings about life in the ghetto “Changes” sheds light on the lives of black kids in the ghetto. Due to the limited opportunities given to kids in the ghetto especial if they are black many have succumb to the easy way out,a life of easy money, drugs and violence. “Changes”
Tupac has encourage people to believe in themselves. Tupac has always been himself no matter who he is around or talk to he is what you see what you get type of person and songstress Zendaya is motivated by that the ways in which Tupac have impact people lives is endless and his audience sees this and find strength in themselves. More people are comfortable expressing themselves. Artists such as Jhene Aiko draw comfort from his unique way of expressing himself in whatever he did. (LeDonne).Furthermore, people are inspired to follow their dreams. Tupac words spoke truth and passion and that’s why many people can relate to him; consequently try to follow their passion and develop themselves as artists and as a person.(Robinson) A writer such as Mika Robinson is one of many who have been inspired by Tupac. As a black American woman hailing for an inner city community she felt that she could relate to his life. He has inspired her to speak from a place of truth. (Robinson).Another writer and activist who could relate to Tupac is Kevin Powell, he too hailed from a inner city community and is no stranger to the many hardships and pain that the ghetto offers.(Robinson).
Thirdly, Tupac was born in a place where poverty was stifling; he grew up in the ghetto so when he draws attention to poverty he speaks from experience .Hailing from a poor background Tupac knows what it is like to have nothing and getting no help but with his voice he made other people aware by shedding light on the lives of poor people. From single mothers living on welfare, young girls being abuses, overcrowded buildings to kids who weren’t guaranteed a future, This was the life of many people living in the ghetto. “I was born not to make it, but I did. The tribulations of a ghetto kid” (Cates) motivates people that there is a life outside poverty. He gives hope to those in the struggle and see no future for themselves .Furthermore, people are encouraged to make a change. In Changes, Tupac was very vocal in the necessity for a change to survive. He said “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” (Robinson).He knew that society could be different, not in his time but in the future (Bristout) so he did what he could to spark that change.
Moreover, he influenced education. Although he was poor Tupac was exposed to formal education; and due to this
Tupac acknowledged that to be heard and taken seriously, one had to be armed with formal education (How did Tupac Shakur).
He saw the importance of education so he encourages youths to grow outside the school system. (How did Tupac Shakur) Inner city youths are encouraged to be educated. Tupac felt that schools aren’t preparing its students for the real world (Porter), while this might stirred controversy for many people he encourage the tailoring of the school curricula(Porter). By adjusting the curricula to the needs of the generation based on the world we live in and for the future (Porter). According to Porter, in today’s society the advancement of technology have given schools the opportunity to adjust the essential of its students and better understand them.
Tupac uses his words to uplift people in general but he uses his song ” Keep Ya Head Up” specifically to motivate black women in poverty.The song touches on a number of issues from colourism,women on welfare,emotional abuse,women being wronged ,parental abandonmen etc.He highlight black women in the ghetto by rapping about colourism. “Some say the blaker the berry,the sweeter the juice,I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots.I give a holler to my sisters on welfare” Also, “But please don’t cryyou’re your eyes,never let up.Forgive but don’t forget,girl keep your head up.” “And if he tells you you aint nuttin don’t believe him,and if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him.Cause sista you don’t need him”.Tupac uses these lines to not only encourage black women to never give up but also to motivate them to uplift and love themselves amongst all odds.He reassured them that “Tupac cares ,if nobody else care”.He furthermore, shed light on parental abandonment ” You know it makes me unhappy,when brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy”, this is the unfortunate situations of many black women in the ghetto.
During the 80s and 90s record label played and vital role in an artist career and even Tupac Shakur’s was once a young upcoming artist who later signed to Death Row Records (Rindskopf);he grew into an amazing artist who helped to changed the music industry.According to (Rindskopf) In today’s society ,an artist success is not dependent on whether or not they are signed to a label, rap collectives such as Odd Future provide s more opportunities available for independent artists. “The inter-coastal fued that led to the deaths of Tupac and his rival The Nortoriou B.I.Gdeath” (Rinddkopf) was as a result of a gang feud between the east and west coast. In addition, feuds were quite popular in the 80s and 90s ;Tupac Hit Em Up was seen to be speaking about the feuds of that time (Rinddkopf) .Although after the death of Tupac a lot of people included artist have feuds, in recent times a lot of those have been squash and more collaboration are being promoted. Even though Tupac died before his genre receive significant recognition, rap music has gotten more attention and over the years have become dominant t(Rinddkopf).
According to Meline , in 1991 Tupac encountered with the law, was chokeheld and arrested, he took the matter to the court which brought realization on police brutality. The lyrics in Changes gives the idea of the type of relationship black people has with the police. Tupac used lines such as “Cops give a damn about a negro” tells the harsh truth of the discrimination black people face. According to Bristout in a standout quote Tupac goes in depth on what it is really like in the ghetto and why it’s inevitable to have a run in with the police. He goes on by saying that the same crime element scares both black and white people, but black people gets no protection so they have to protect themselves and by doing so the police misinterpret their actions and target them. Furthermore, like he did in his time, people are fighting back (Bristout). Oakland native Alicia Garza and others formed the Black Lives Matter movement which are helping people are speaking up; and coincidently following the words that came from Tupacs mouth twenty two years ago. Also more black Americans are taking up self defences to help them in police brutality. This was also something Tupac always talked about wanting for black people (Meline).
In concluding, Tupac will always influence the society and the people within it. Some of his influences were, shedding light on social awareness, motivate people to believe in themselves, drawing attention to poverty, influencing education, motivate black women in poverty, change the music industry, and shed light on police brutality.
- “2Pac- Changes ft Talent”. YouTube
- “2pac-Keep ya Head Up”.YouTube
- Bristout, Ralph “Five Tupac Shakur Interviews that still resonate with black America”. Revolt. Revolt.tv.13 June 2018.Web. 2 November. 2018.
- Cates, Ben “The lasting message of Tupac Shakur”.The News & Advance.www.newsadvance-com.cdn.ampproject.org..13 September.2016. Web. 1 November. 2018..
- “How did Tupac Shakur change/influence the world or society in 3 ways?”Quora. www.quora.com .29.June.2018.Web. 2 November.2018
- LeDonne, Rob “22 Famous Fans Who Praise Tupac Shakur” billboard. www.billboard.com.
- 13 September.2016.Web.28 October.2018.
- Meline, Gabe “Remembering the Time Tupac Shakur Sued the Oakland Police for 10 Million”www.kqed.org. 16 June. 2016.Web.10 November.2018.
- Porter, Max “Tupacs Take on Education is Still Surprisingly Relevant” GoGuardian Blog. blog.goguardian.com. 19 November. 2015.Web. 2 November.2018.
- Rindskopf, Jeff “5 Ways Rap Music Has Changed Since Tupac Died” ENTERTAINMENTCheatSheet. www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment. 25 Septemeber.2017. Web. 23 October. 2018.
- Robinson, Mika “Tupac taught me how to use my art to inspire my community”HELLOGIGGLES. hellogiggles-com.cdn.ampproject.org .13 September.2017.Web.2 November.2018