Today (September 13), Hip-Hop fans across the globe bow their heads in remembrance of one of Hip-Hop's most prolific icons. Gone but surely not forgotten, fans are likely playing Tupac's music across the globe from Africa to Europe, from South Central L.A. to the Bay, from Brooklyn to Baltimore. From his humble beginnings as the son of a Black Panther engaged in the arts, to his final days at Death Row amidst a swirl of negative media attention and governmental pressure, Tupac aspired to be impactful and influential to our urban communities.
To this day, the Thug Life brand is etched in Hip-Hop history like words etched in stone, as rappers, fans and loved ones will never forget the passion, enthusiasm, and care that 'Pac put into his rhymes and his music for ghettos across the globe. Tupac's fans were of all races, faces, and places, but he was especially a voice for young, Black males.
Tupac Speech about Thug Life
With all of the information that we at AllHipHop.com have uncovered as pieces of the Biggie and Tupac murders come to the surface, it's important to remember that no matter how much we loved 'Pac, and no matter how much we learn about his life post-humously, we still can't bring him back to this life. As the holograms proved earlier this year at Coachella, Tupac can never be duplicated, as close as some may come to recreating his persona. Perhaps 'Pac and Biggie were Hip-Hop's lesson to be better to the ones that are here to entertain us as musicians. Today, remember 'Pac, but also remember Biggie, remember Whitney, remember Michael Jackson, remember Dilla, remember MCA, and all of the artists that gave their lives to this artform we call music.
And, as we remember Tupac Shakur on September 13, 16 years after he was gunned down, assassinated in the streets of Vegas, let's stop and think about how 'Pac would have wanted us to live our lives, and in turn, he will live through our actions forever. Tupac's spirit will never die, no matter how many times he was shot in his final moments here on earth, because the legacy of his iconic aura lives on through generations of fans impacted by his songs. Icons don't die, they live on even beyond their time on earth, and if that is true, we can safely say...
...heaven does have a ghetto.
"I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto"
With that, we leave you will a few quotes from the seventh and final member of Tupac's protege group the Outlawz, Young Noble. Being as close as he was to Tupac himself, let his words bring you a little closer to the man that taught us that "roses grow from concrete."
What are your thoughts on the government's role in 'Pac's murder?
Young Noble: "You gotta think, you know even prior to that [media scrutiny/harassment], with his family history, his mother being a Black Panther, and his uncle was Geronimo Pratt, Mutulu Shakur who really shook the country, like they are in the history books for this sh*t, people who you can Google and see what they were about back in the Panther day. The government knew that, and thought that he was a threat, he was awakening the people that they didn't want awoke, and he was awakening the conscious mind.
"To be honest, it's a lot of stuff that the world doesn't know that's not meant to be talked about in interviews, but at the end of the day, as far as the government finding out who killed 'Pac, I never expected that. He threw up the middle finger at every chance that he had to at the establishment, but Tupac didn't have a chance to have no peace in his life."
In your eyes, what is the legacy of Tupac, not only on the West Coast, but in Hip-Hop?
Young Noble: "'Pac belongs to the world; he was bigger than the Outlawz, his family, and the music. 'Pac belongs to the world. We have to sit back and really embrace that. There's so much about 'Pac out there, that if you look at everything that's out there as far as evidence, it will drive you crazy, and none of that is going to bring 'Pac back. So we just have to live our lives how 'Pac would want us to live and make him proud. He would want us to raise our kids, stay out of jail, and stay alive by any means necessary. Raise our kids right, and do what we gotta do."
Tupac's Interview from Jail