Before his death in September 1996, Tupac Change the rap game, let alone the way us black people live life in the 90’s. HE will always be remember because he did things differently. A Rebel for the hell of it. I take some notes and put together a paper about amazing, short lived, “thug” life.
Research Paper: Tupac Shakur
Lesane Parish Crooks, was born in East Harlem, New York on June 16,1971. His mother, Afeni Shakur, Soon change her son’s name to Tupac Amaru Shakur. Tupac Amaru is Arabic which means “shining serpent” and Shakur meaning “thankful to GOD” (“Tupac Amaru Shakur”). He was name after Tupac Amaru II, an Incan revolutionary who led an uprising against Spain. Who was later executed (“Tupac Amaru Shakur”). She changes his name due to her involvement in the Black Panther Party. He didn’t know His biological father, the only man his life was his step father, Mutulu Shakur a BPP activist. He was partially in his life because he was sentence to life in 1986 for multiple felonies (“Tupac Shakur”). When Tupac was twelve he discover acting, by being place in a 127th street Ensemble, a Harlem theater foundation. He enjoyed acting, so shortly after, when his family moved to Maryland, Tupac attended the Baltimore school for the arts. He took classes with other future stars, such as Jada Pinkett Smith. While Tupac was living in B-more he struggle with friends, and just a social life in general. He later discover rap and started performing locally. In the late 80’s Shakur later moved all the way to the west coast. This would be the last stop for the family, and this Is where is music career would thrive. In Oakland, California he joined a hip hop group call, Digital Underground. This group recorded hits in the early 90’s, and was the foundation for his success (“Tupac Shakur Biography”).
Tupac was a revolutionary rapper. What gave him that title is what he influences was by. What made him different is that he didn’t believe in an “American Dream.” He said it wasn’t meant for him and his people. What he wanted to do was to get through to his people and open their eyes, like a wakeup call. But at the same time he was violent, and a good time. He brings things to light, that others would be afraid to say. His attitude towards things was like He sees a problem and addresses in a song. His music was so powerful because of the things he likes to do, the things he’s done, and who he has been around. Black Nationalism played a big part in his music. Tupac was a philosopher; he was so deep because he grew up when the BPP was relevant and strong. He would listen to his mom speeches and his step fathers (“Tupac Shakur”). Not to mention the other entire powerful activist. Tupac was an avid reader all through his life. He enjoyed reading Shakespeare’s work. When he was child, he performs multiple plays written by Shakespeare. In some of his songs, you here Shakespeare references. Most of his music focused on poverty, social inequality, and uplifting his people, but his spiritual aspect is very intellectual and like no other and was huge in the rap game, This really put a lot more depth in his music and he explains it in some songs as well (“Tupac Shakur”). He addresses it in a vibe magazine interview. “I'm the religion that to me is the realist religion there is. I try to pray to God every night unless I pass out. I learned this in jail, I talked to every God (member of the Five Percent Nation) there was in jail. I think that if you take one of the "O's" out of "Good" it's "God", if you add a "D" to "Evil", it's the "Devil". I'm not disrespecting anyone's religion, please forgive me if it comes off that way, I'm just stating my opinion. The bible tells us that all these did this because they suffered so much that's what makes them special people. I got shot five times and I got crucified to the media. And I walked through with the thorns on and I had sh** thrown on me and I had the thief at the top; I'm not saying I'm Jesus but I'm saying we go through that type of thing every day. We don't part the Red Sea but we walk through the hood without getting shot. We don't turn water to wine but we turn dope fiends and dope heads into productive citizens of society. So I believe God blesses us, I believe God blesses those that hustle. Those that use their minds and those that overall are righteous. I believe that everything you do badly comes back to you. So everything that I do that's bad, I'm going to suffer for it. But in my heart, I believe what I'm doing in my heart is right. So I feel like I'm going to heaven. I think heaven is just when you sleep, you sleep with a good conscience-you don't have nightmares. Hell is when you sleep, the last thing you see is all the f***** up things you did in your life and you just see it over and over again, cause you don't burn. If that's the case, it's hell on earth cause bullets burn. There are people that got burned in fires, does that mean they went to hell already? Hell is jail I seen that one. Trust me, this is what's real. And all that other s*** is to control you. If the churches took half the money that they was making and gave it back to the community, we'd be alright. I believe in God, I believe God puts us where ever we want to be at. That makes sense that God would put us in the ghetto. That means he wants us to work hard to get up out of here. That means he's testing us even more. (“Tupac Shakur”). Deep.
Tupac was a straight warrior; he stayed strong through the years he lived. He was in and out the prison system for three years. He been through a lot, and being a megastar, you would suspect a little trouble, but from 1993-1996 he kept encountering obstacles. He would take one step forward, to take two steps back. In 1993, Tupac was charged with shooting two off duty police officers, those charges were dismissed. In 1994, Tupac was again charge with sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room one night. In Tupac words he denies it, and says everybody was having a good time when he feel asleep and that’s where you can’t do that, especially with groupies. He said he woke up and she was screaming he raped her. Tupac was sentence to 1 ½ – 4 ½ years in prison, but he only served part of it. He got out early on a pending bail but fail to pay that. There was a incident before he was found guilty of this charge, but ill get to that in the next paragraph. On February 14, 1995 Tupac started serving his sentence of 4 ½ years. He was blessed because, he release his album, Me Against the World, that went multi-platinum. He became the first artist to ever have album be number one on the billboard charts while in prison. Me Against the World stayed at the top for one month. The album sold more than 200,000 copies the first week. He focused on reading the works of Niccolo Machiavelli, and Sun Tzu. He thought about political philosophies, and also wrote a play. Then He was release because due to Suge knight, CEO of death row records at the time. He put up 1.4 million dollars as a bail pending. Tupac had to later put three albums under death row records (“Tupac”).
Tupac was involved in multiple shootings where he was the victim. All this was dealing with the East coast, West coast rivalry they had going on in the rap game. The first shooting escalated it and then the second one was the aftermath of it. Let’s go back to November, 1994. Before his sentence Tupac was in New York for business. He had no intentions in seeing New York Rapper, Christopher Wallace (Notorious B.I.G.), but they were cool at the time and when he saw one of Biggie’s prodigies call him up, he went up to see him at a recording studio. Tupac was shot five times and robbed by two men, who had guns on them, in the lobby. He would accuse Sean “puffy” Combs, Producer Andre Harrell, and of course biggie smalls. Accusing them of setting him up. They later denied it and its been a controversial situation ever since. On September 7, 1996, Tupac and his entourage when to a mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas. After the fight the entourage saw a member of gang that stole from one of the guys in the entourage. Suge knight told Tupac who he was, then a fight broke out. They later fled the scene. Around 11:10 p.m., while they stopped at a red light on flamingo road near the intersection of koval lane in front of maxim hotel, a white Cadillac rolled up on the sedans right side, and started firing their weapons. Tupac was rushed to the nearest hospital. He was placed in E.R. unit and was holding on for dear life. Six days later, Tupac died of internal bleeding (“Tupac Shakur Biography”). Sad news is, there is no overcoming this. We lost a great Human Being way too soon. Many people couldn’t believe because he already got shot five times, people thought he would pull through, but he never did.
Tupac legacy lives on forever, he will never be forgotten. Tupac wanted people to stay strong especially when dealing with adversity and he would you that in his music. See people didn’t want take the bull by the horns, people would give up or not even try at all. That was one of Tupac obstacles; it was how he live life. His struggle and his breakthrough’s made him an amazing person. Scandalous women, constant lawsuits, the media trying bring him down. People didn’t like Tupac because he wanted change for his people, and the problem is most people don’t won’t change, they like how everything is going for them. He didn’t like how we showed so much hatred towards ourselves which was breaking us apart. People say He used to many dirty words. You have to look past that and really listen to the lyrics. His revolution that he wanted hasn’t started yet but he will be looking form above smiling when it happens. “I’m not saying I’m gonna rule the world, or that I’m gonna change the world, but I will spark the brain that do.”