September 13, 2006 marked 10 years since Tupac Amaru Shakur's untimely death. A lot of people that don't know or can't copmprehend Tupac's music look at him and see a "nigger," and equate him with a gangster, a murderer, a rapist, etc. They see someone who used vulgar language in his lyrics, and whose music influenced children to pursue a "gangster" lifestyle. Some people celebrate his death. It's sad that these people are so blinded by their hatred towards him that they will never hear the positive message his music had to deliver. It's sad to me that other people can not learn to appreciate his music, because there is so much wisdom and inspiration his music has to offer, if one can only look past that explicit lyrics label. It's unfortunate that the way some people judge him is about as far from the truth as you can get.
For those of you that know me, especially those of you who knew me when I was younger, you know that I am a big Tupac fan. His music has been like gospel to me. I find inspiration in just about every line of his lyrics. Though I can't necessarily relate to the specific scenarios presented in his music, I can relate to many of the feelings and thoughts expressed through his songs. Being able to relate to his music at that level has kept me sane through some of my toughest times. People are often curious as to why I so zealously retort when anyone attempts to denigrate Tupac's music. I could attempt to explain. I could say that it is because I can relate to his music on a deep level, because his music can lift your soul, because his music covers such a wide variety of emotions that there is a song that can help you get through just about any phase of life, because his music is a work of art, poetry, and because it is like gospel to me, but that explanation would be meaningless to most people. To really know why I retort, one would have to have to develop a much deeper, almost intimate understanding of his music. Then that question would not exist anymore. Once you understand his music in that way, you respect it, you love it, and it would be outrageous if you didn't try to defend his music. But people don't have that much time in their day. After all, he's just some crazy nigger screaming "fuck the world."
Don't get me wrong, I don't adhere to any facades of him being perfect. He was a man, ergo he had his imperfections. Every man does. If you choose to accentuate these imperfections, feel free. If you want, you can dig up such imperfections about George Washington, Mohandas Gandhi, and Abraham Lincoln too. Feel free to hate anyone you want. However, if you look at the whole picture, there's always something a man has to offer. Though Tupac had his flaws, he had plenty to offer. Before you decide to hate him, find out what he was about.
On September 6, 1996 a senseless shooting left the hip-hop world in shock. Ten years later, nobody knows a thing about what happend on that night, even though it happend on a crowded street in the middle of Vegas, right after a Tyson fight. That is all irrelevant now. Yes, his killers should be brought to justice, but instead of focusing on his death, celebrate his life. He lives through the message he put into his lyrics.
I would like to end this post with a poem Tupac wrote on his own death:
In the event of my Demise
when my heart can beat no more
I Hope I Die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had Lived 4
I will die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow's Depth
so much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death
I have come 2 grips with the possibility
and wiped the last tear from My eyes
I Loved All who stay Positive
In the event of my Demise