(AllHipHop News) Legendary author, activist, and college professor Nikki Giovanni stopped by Sway Calloway’s Shade 45 radio show to promote her latest book Chasing Utopia. While on the program the 70-year-old poet spoke about the legacy of Black music and her 2Pac inspired “thug life” tattoo.
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“Europeans came to America and they really remained Europeans. We are the only people that came to America and became Americans, because we had to completely recreate ourselves,” stated Giovanni. “We did that mostly with song, and it’s one of the reasons that we still dominate. No matter what else it is, the Black American sound dominates. Everybody wants to sound like us.”
Dr. Giovanni has inspired many people associated with Hip Hop and admits the culture influences her as well. She even has Tupac Shakur’s signature phrase “Thug Life” inked on her forearm to “show that the old ladies care.” Giovanni puts Pac’s killing on the same level as some of the murders of 1960’s cultural/political figures.
“That was an assassination, and it needs to be considered with the assassination of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King,” said Giovanni. “He was assassinated to change America, because they didn’t like where he was leading. Tupac was a leader.”
Giovanni also expressed her criticism of Barack Obama and her praise for Queen Latifah, Beyoncé, and Jay Z. She called on people to continue to support Winnie Mandela as well.
Watch Nikki Giovanni’s interview with Sway below.