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Remembering Tupac (2Pac) Shakur June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996

September 13, 2012 Respect  No comments

I will never forget the day that Tupac was pronounced dead. It was a Friday, Friday the 13th to be exact. I was 12 years old and laying across my mother's bed with my oldest sister Sharmon, and my mother. We were playing "2500". I remember the 11 o clock news came on on Channel 6 and the "Big Story" was Tupac had passed away from gun shot wounds he suffered a week prior. I remember my heart sank into my stomach. The silence in my mother's bedroom after that announcement was deafening. Though I was not allowed to listen to a lot of his music because of the excessive use of profanity, his song "Dear Mama" & "Keep your head up" not only was one of my favorites, but my mother loved those songs, too. I remember she said, "Wow, that's the guy from the movie with Janet Jackson!" Yes, the critically acclaimed multi talented actor and rapper was gone. Who would have known the effects his death would have on hip-hop? I saw Juice when I was a really young kid but man, Tupac played the hell out of the role of "Bishop". And his role as "Lucky" in "Poetic Justice" was breath taking. You cannot deny the man had skills on the big screen when even Siskel & Ebert were giving him his props. In my honest opinion, his death along with the death of The Notorious B.I.G left a void in the hip-hop industry that has not quite been filled. Yes, Jay-Z is great. Sure, Eminem is awesome. But there was something charismatic about Tupac. He wasn't just a rapper. He had a commanding presence and had the heart to speak on some of the very problems we are still battling today.

First ship em dope let em deal to brothers
Give em guns step back watch em kill each others
It's time to fight back that's what Huey said
Two shots in the dark now Huey's Dead


Some people will argue that Tupac was an uncouth thug who only spoke of violence and degraded women. Yet some of those same people ride through the neighborhoods blasting the lyrics of new rappers who are either sampling beats & choruses from artists who came before them or incorporating lyrics from Tupac and other rappers from the 90s in their songs today. These little young thundercats may think what they're hearing is new. But it really isn't. I remember his song "You wonder why they call you B----". Pay attention to the lyrics. He's not calling all women b----es. He's speaking on women who go through great lengths to trap a man in hopes to gaining a big pay day. Women who have no standards- if the money is there, they do not care. If a zebra has stripes don't call it a cheetah. LOL! But he didn't just shine the light on those kinds of women. He paid homage to the everyday BLACK WOMAN who is the back bone and ultimate mother of our communities in "Keep Your Head Up".

And since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman and our game from a woman,
I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it's time to kill for our women, time to heal our women, be real to our women
...And since a man can't make one (baby) He has no right to tell a woman
When and where to create one.
So will the real men get up?
I know you're fed up, ladies. But keep your head up...


You cannot deny that Hip-Hop would be a lot better if Tupac and Biggie had lived longer. Greatness was sure to come from both of them. So from myself as well as from every other fan who appreciates what Tupac brought to the industry poetically, through his music as well as on the big screen, Philly pays homage to one of the best to ever do it. RIP Tupac- my Gemini brother! And on that note, I'd like to leave my readers with his poem "Tomorrow"

Today is filled with anger
fueled with hidden hate
scared of being outcast
afraid of common fate
Today is built on tragedies
which no one wants 2 face
nightmares 2 humanities
and morally disgraced
Tonight is filled with rage
violence in the air
children bred with ruthlessness
because no one at home cares
Tonight I lay my head down
but the pressure never stops
gnawing at my sanity
content when I am dropped
But 2morrow I c change
a chance 2 build a new
Built on spirit intent of Heart
and ideals
based on truth
and tomorrow I wake with second wind
and strong because of pride
2 know I fought with all my heart 2 keep my
dream alive

Tupac

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