Nikki Giovanni Speaks On The Domination Of Black Music & The "Assassination" Of 2Pac

(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.

[ALSO READ: 50 Cent Speaks On Kanye West’s Interview With Sway]

“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.

[ALSO READ: Reported Source Claims Jimmy Henchman Was Actually Behind Bogus 2PAC/Bad Boy Shooting Article]

Watch Nikki Giovanni’s interview with Sway below.

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  • All black men are rapists

    thats why you can never compare a biggie to PAC.biggie was just an entertainer tupac was and still is a cultural icon.he was bigger than the music industry.

    • Dacfrickwon

      Feel you bro

  • Brooklyn Stoop

    Nuff Respect

    • lola lovely la’shaun

      short and best said!!!

  • yesanditcounts

    Medger Evers was assassinated, Malcom X was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Tupac was a Blood who got killed for beating up a high ranking Crip in Las Vegas. I love Pac’s music and movies just like everyone else but let’s not make him something he wasn’t……a martyr.

    • Brooklyn Stoop

      “Tupac was a Blood who got killed for beating up a high ranking Crip in Las Vegas.” LMAO…….you must be young

      • yesanditcounts

        Go back and listen to All Eyes on Me. Most Crips just thought Tupac was just talking shit because of his relationship with Suge. Then he went and put hands on Orlando Anderson and that made it real. L.A. to Vegas is around a couple of hours away. Do the math. Beside when Suge later got locked up he told Monster Kody it was Anderson’s people that did it. If you don’t know all of this you must be young.

      • Vinsanity

        The crips also had a safe house in vegas i think it was Orlandos uncles spot. The crips were also doing bodyguard work for Biggie when he came to Cali and in vegas. When the crips took out Pac, the bloods tooke out Biggie.Lots of murders followed their deaths. You 100% correct dont listen to anybody else.

      • yesanditcounts

        Unlike me you need to do your research. Do you even know that Tupac’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against this alleged Crip member and the Suge admitted to another high ranking Crip while locked up together that it was this person?

      • Brooklyn Stoop

        “Suge admitted to another high ranking Crip while locked up together that it was this person?”

        “Go back and listen to All Eyes on Me. Most Crips just thought Tupac was just talking shit because of his relationship with Suge.”

        “L.A. to Vegas is around a couple of hours away. Do the math. Beside when Suge later got locked up he told Monster Kody it was Anderson’s people that did it”

        Afeni filing a wrongful death lawsuit means what again? during that time the orlando guy was the main suspect. fast forward to now we all (should) know tupac killing was deeper then some gang shit…………so again, Pac is dead in 96 (i was 15) the wrongful death suit was filed in 97 and the orlando guy was killed in 98…………..

        LMAO…….you must be REALLY young

      • yesanditcounts

        Dude just to prove to you, you have no idea of what your talking about you say you were 15 years old in 1996. I was 27. Sometimes things are just what they are and not what we want them to be. I loved Pac’s music and believe he was growing as a person and artist, but he was emotional. Even he would admit that.He made a mistake that night. A big mistake. Do your research and stop just throwing out stuff.

      • Brooklyn Stoop

        So that makes you 12 years older then me. I’m 33 which makes you roughly 45…….. Now as a forty five ish (give or take) year old, u really think that the Orlando guy set up the killing of PAC that quick when ALLLLL the evidence point to the police involvement. And I guess it was the big bad super crips that killed the only witness to PAC murder too. C’mon man if you believe that then let me ask you this, do you believe James earl Ray killed MLK too? Then you brung up Afeni filing a wrongful death claim…….what do that mean, what was the outcome of her lawsuit since you did the research? Riiiiiiight, big bad super crip gets killed, what a coincident. What about the Poole guy who was fired from lapd who said police was involved. If you said this in 2000 you woulda have a leg to stand on, but this is 2013/14 man and waaaaaaay more evidence came out since then debunking that claim that this was gang related. I mean damn the Feds was watching big and PAC so if it was simple gang violence then this case woulda been done……can’t use no snitching cause negus was talking……can’t say lack of evidence cause it was in the middle of a highly active location. But if you wanna believe that PAC jumped Orlando (which makes the wrongful death suit null and voided, actually Orlando peoples coulda filed that on pacs estate) and Orlando called crips (maybe they was just on stand by since he high ranking) and they boxed PAC car in, killed PAC…….bounced undetected AND was able to make some one give a WRONG description (the description of a black man wit a now tie who had to be a marksmen so they say) and to this day no one have been charged in this open case…….then you right, them was some super duper crips from cripsville. But all evidence point to LAPD involvement and the fact PAC wanted off death row and wanted his masters

      • yesanditcounts

        Bro, some of the stuff you are talking about was Biggie’s murder. You are combining the two. If you know L.A. and you know Vegas it’s all possible to do in a matter of hours.

      • yesanditcounts

        Also you say he was claiming Blood. His exactly line from the song Against All Odds “F**k the rap game, nigga this M.O.B, so believe me we enemies.”

      • Ryan

        He only started shti with orlando because of a stolen chain you guys are dumb. Gov killed tupac all this other shit is just shit that had to be done to settle this huge murder. Cops were involved and everything.

    • Inmadopicouroz✓QUEENSᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      nicca stfu u don’t know NATHAN! U new niccas is funny. Pac loved NY and it was respect even through all the bullshi*T! QUEENS!

      • David Gonz


      • Inmadopicouroz✓QUEENSᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        u ant nobody stfu nicca.

    • Young Goku

      Homie that ain’t how & why he got killed, Do your research…

      • yesanditcounts

        Then tell me how & why?

      • n_perspective

        Although we will never know the how; it is easy to speculate the why. Everyone speaks on Pac like he was just an Artist, but few ever mention his role as an activist. Pac was one of the chairmen of the New Afrikan Panther Party. He was on record stating that the Black Community was “asking” with the Black Panther party and look where that got them. “What are we going to do now, ask?” Those of you that know your history, saw how quickly the gov’t. took down the Black Panther Party. Do you honestly believe they would sit idly by while a more radical group of self empowered black men was being cultivated?Tupac was a natural born leader that would have undoubtably become something greater had he been given a chance to nurture his message. We are speaking of a young man that was in his mid twenties, highly political, well educated, strong understanding of the law, and love for the black community as a whole. I do not believe for one second that his murder was simply in retaliation. It is easier to chalk it up as a “gang” shooting, because the truth would envoke something real. Remember our war because we found “Weapons of Mass Destruction;” misdirection will always be a useful tool when people rather stay in the dark.

    • Lboogie

      Amen my brotha. That’s exactly the truth. I loved the guys music and movies but he should never be put in the same category with those mentioned. And I’m from the Westcoast and was active in the streets around that time and personally know a Compton Crip who was murdered in Compton because of Pac’s murder. At least a dozen people were shot and several murdered behind that sh*t in Vegas. But whatever let people believe what they want – makes me laugh actually.

      • yesanditcounts

        Thank you Bro. I have people in L.A. and Vegas to and anybody who knows the streets of L.A. and the layout of Vegas knows that if you want to hit someone in Vegas from L.A. all it takes is a phone call and a few hours.

      • Lboogie

        That’s true. And on a big fight night in Vegas there’s already plenty of killers from L.A. and everywhere else posted in Vegas for the weekend. For those of you who don’t know, it’s called the Ballers Convention, so don’t step on someone’s Stacy Adams without saying sorry. Ha.

      • Ace

        U do understand “they” rely on pple to brush off stuff lyk that as jus accidents and gang related murders bt wat u need to knw thers deeper connections. For PAC it could have been jus a street revenge murder but don’t start looking at it from the night he got hit, look at the bigger pic and make your own conclusion. Some pple think deeper than others while the rest keep it to the surface (shallow end)

      • Inmadopicouroz✓QUEENSᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        u broad band bloods and internet crips is funny. stop all this reckless talking . FU(K EVERY WEST COAST SET. QUEENS!

    • Vinsanity

      Youre basically repeating what i said the other day. Very true.

    • Greezy_G

      Before he was shot, 2Pac and Suge were stopped by the police. They let the car get away. If a casino had been robbed neither the police nor the mob would’ve let that happen. It’s deeper than rap. It was a hit.

    • Da Ledgendary

      Pac was not a blood but Suge Knight was. Suge was influencing and controlling Pac to a certain extent because he put up Pac’s 2 million dollar bail and Pac felt he owed Suge, so he was willing to ride with Suge in any situation.

    • Ryan

      If you wanna believe that your DUMB and BLIND. He was a activist and a leader and wanted young black people to rise against the poverty that is going on. Listen to me against the world and other songs. HE WAS a icon just like JFK both shot because they wanted change FOR THE GOOD. BIggie just died to make 2pacs death seem a retaliation even i know that. Come on wake up

      • yesanditcounts

        Ryan you don’t get to define what a black leader is to a black man. If you don’t understand that you’re DUMB and BLIND.

      • Ace

        A leader is he who has followers, and PAC had/has followers. Ryan is ryt and Insted it’s u who looks dumb and blind to that simple fact

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  • David Gonz


    • Inmadopicouroz✓QUEENSᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      fu(k u wetback bit(h.QUEENS!


      lil cease bused his leg. he was one legged hahaha

  • DollasTX

    WISE beyond her years … to be able to have the fortitude and the foresight of generations before and after hers … and then to be able to understand the relevance and relativity of it all speaks VOLUMES.

  • MrNoName2K


  • Pierre Elliott




    • MrNoName2K

      ^2.. PREACH

    • Executive

      Tell em’.

  • Kevin Anthony

    From an artist standpoint, the man made great Music. Period. “Food for thought” now playing for free on souncloud. com Kevin Anthony-21

  • 2 pac’s life and achievements ===== Overrated.

    He was a great lyricist, but unfortunately not as
    smart in life.

    He was part of the same major label machine as
    everybody else. His lyrics were deep but not as
    intelligent. If you compare his lyrics with somebody
    like Greydon Square, then Pac would barely be average.

    • Xcal2k3

      Pac was more than a studio MC unlike these lames that are out now. His message reached further than just the radio. He spoke up about the hardships of blacks, police brutality, the impact of drugs in the black community. His message was always the same no matter if he was in the studio or on the street. Tupac was the informer of the black man, if not a leader, he was always willing to risk his life to let the world know what was really going on. Yes, labels are just a re-manifest of the rest but best believe if Pac was doing as the label standard, they would not have killed his ass for running his mouth about the best of the world…. No thats not a typo! Tupac informed your asses about the BEST of the world and how they became and remain the best!

      • He was the same guy who wrote brenda’s got a baby and then, walked in the streets of New york with jewelry of 30K value.
        and wondered why he was robbed.He acted gangsta and was
        0 connected which brought him even more trouble.
        He constantly brought himself into trouble, just to show his
        street cred. Before Pac street cred was not valued that high.
        He brought a lot of negative attitude into the game.
        I don’t deny his good sides. But I don’t like when people praise
        him as if he was supernatural.

      • Da Ledgendary

        Most of what you’re saying is right. Pac made a lot of mistakes admitted to his dumb shit, but his heart was always in the right place. Dude was very political and active, and though it wasn’t til after he blew up, he had hella influence in the street. Pac wrote a list of rules of conduct for street dudes for his T.H.U.G. Life organization he was putting together. He had a whole prison system full of street n*ggas ready to follow him do whatever he told them to do. Pac admitted himself that he was scared to death of that sh*t

      • Pac was also not the informer of the Black Man.
        What did Pac do better than PE,
        KRS One and other much more
        credible MCs of that era.
        It’s marketing dammit.

      • Ace

        Name one rapper from pac’s time to these tymz that has as much influence in the world, if u can name any then the next step is to evaluate their lyric content and message, he was calling for a revolution in America and he had influence and was stil developing making him a threat to the institution

  • drac215

    What some you must understand is even though I wasnt a fan of tupacs music his impact was one for the ages. In the eighties/nineties hiphop got the message to black american youth(urban mostly) to empower yourself with knowledge and understanding. In that time never has amerikka have so many blacks getting college degrees,businesses,million man march(hiphop brought out the masses),reading,writing,etc… That time was so empowering people like Krs,Public enemy,x clan,brand nubians,2pac,etc had followers black,white,mexican,etc saying f the police,keep ya head up,dont belive the hype,etc…Playing this music loud in the streets causing a movement only seen in the sixties. The feds got a hint of whats going on and now we have 2chaaaaainnnnnnnsss,lil waaaaaaynnnne,ect… How can we bring them back down??? By using their idols in a negative way via nickki minaj,and so many others. If i didnt know what color these rappers were i would think their old white racists from alabama who hate black people(see the change right in front of ya eyes!!!). peace yall

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  • CarlJohnson89

    she may be wrong, but pac is still known worldwide..

    I saw nothing but family, straight up down for me. Panthers, Pimps, Pushers and Thugs, that’s my family tree, I got nuthin but love

  • drac215

    Something to think about…In a national debate Mitt romney vs. chuck d,Barack vs. Krs,Clinton vs.Melle mell(message days),G.W. Bush2 vs.Humpty hump, who would win(got a stack on hiphop)???The 90’s was a step into the 2000’s. Chuck d, 2 pac. krs. or even one of the beastie boys if hiphop still had radio and media coverage in the same light could have easily beat barack in a debate and won!!! Believe me they saw it waaay before we did and stopped it before it could have a chance. Now hiphop is frown upon like its a idiotic thing or something.Da feds”I gave you power now im taking it back!!!” peace

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  • lola lovely la’shaun

    well tupac was hated when he was alive and now people are hating him while he is dead, many of the negitive comments being made is out of envy…Would you die for what you believe in….?
    He got it like he lived, if you don’t respect his fame so be it, but you can’t take his fame away!!he was what he was, what will be your legacy? Who will say that your a leader and besides, it’s her o pin i on!!! He was the shit and jealousy is in this feed, get over it… “I’m not a killa but don’t push me”!!!

  • AlbertoRipRon

    Oh please. Pac killed himself. You jump out of jail on Suge’s payroll looking like a puppet, flicking money into the air talking about West Coast like you were born and raised there. Then you instigated the West/East Coast feud. I know people like to make him into a martyr but by no means was Pac on the same mindset that he was before Deathrow. He chose his path…to lay in the bed with snakes.

    • golder1

      He was the same person. Check the history idiot! Pac was no puppet when he signed to The Row. He signed to get out of Prison but had his exit plan already set up after his 3rd albums was released. 2nd he didnt instigate the west/east coast fued the media did. He always said his beef was with one man which was Biggie. 3rd Suge wasnt The Row. So who were the snakes he laid with? And as far as him being from the West coast he never said he was born there but where he felt more accepted. As a kid he did live on the west coast but every one knows his roots are from the East coast. To be 100% factual he wasnt raised on any one particular coast since he moved around son much. So young nigga talk about what you know, which would be Bieber or S.B. I’m pretty sure you are too young to truly appreciate what Pac meant to Hip Hop as a whole.

  • granky161

    The LAPD corrupted Pac’s case. They’ll never solve his murder because it would exposed them.

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  • johnpotash

    see The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders: U.S. Intelligence’s Murderous Targeting of Tupac, MLK, Malcolm, Panthers, Hendrix, Marley, Rappers and Linked Ethnic Leftists. It also shows the Ramparts police precinct connection between the assassinations of Tupac and Robert Kennedy.

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