Tupac: The Side of Him You Didn’t Know
What can you say about Tupac. He was a man who was often misunderstood, yet fascinating to hear and watch. He yearned to be accepted in a world that wasn't so accepting. He gave a voice to the voiceless. He screamed at the top of his lungs, yet he sometimes wasn't heard. Tupac influenced a generation and still continues to influence even 16 years after his death. He could rap about social issues of a black generation but in the same breath talk about making the bed bang. Who is this complex figure that was called Tupac?
Some call him a prophet, a visionary, or a philospher, but to some, he was a thug and menace to society. He brought up issues such as poverty and violence in the black community, that many wanted to ignore. No matter what you think of him, he lived, he shared, he exposed, he influenced. Though Tupac's life sometimes mimicked his "Thug Life" persona, many don't realize just how intelligent he was. Tupac studied at the Baltimore School of the Arts. He studied acting, jazz, ballet, and poetry.
Tupac came on the scene as a influential rapper from the begining. He rapped about the life he witnessed no matter how bad in may have seemed. As his rap career rose so did his profile. He had arrests, was shot 5 times, and often had themes of an early death for himself in his raps. One thing about his raps though, they told a story. Some of the lyrics were like beautiful poetry that told of a negative aspect of life and society that the most experienced novelist couldn't make up.
There was a side of Tupac that had a grace and sensitiviy towards the world around him. He wanted to use artistic expression to bring light to and express social commentary that society of his time wanted to ignore. He pushed a generation to demand change. Some of his most beautiful work of poetry was written well before he became known as such a public figure. If you take away anything from his life, take away the fact that your voice can make a difference. If you ever feel that you don't matter, know that you do! If you have a platform, use it. One of the most important aspects of Tupac was the power he had to make you think!
Tupac was killed in Las Vegas in September 1996 after a Mike Tyson fight. Even though he lived a life so fast and furiously, he made an impact that will last a lifetime. People like him only comes once in a generation.
Leaving you with one of the shortest, simplest, yet most powerful poems that Tupac probably ever wrote entitled The Rose That Grew From Concrete:
The Rose That Grew From Concrete (Tupac)
Did u hear about the rose that grew from a crack
in the concrete
Proving nature's laws wrong it learned 2 walk
without having feet
Funny it seems but keeping its dreams
it learned 2 breathe fresh air
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else even cared!
Book: Tupac Shakur: The Rose That Grew From Concrete