From the Black Panthers to Tupac to BLM today
During one of your Nevuary segments, you marveled at how young he sounded on a specific track. It was then pointed out to you (was it Dave East?) that he never got a chance to sound anything but young.
It’s an interesting thought experiment to wonder what a 50 year old Tupac would have evolved into. Would he have continued acting and now star in a crime procedural on CBS? Would one of those many artistic facets you mentioned overtake the others and affect his relevance? Would he have struggled with the weight of being a sociocultural icon? Or is it a moot point because he was always destined to be silenced?
I have books on Tupac and have given the books to my son. Tupac spoke to your soul. Love him. Enjoy your weekend! Smile on 😁
Hi Ari, hope all is well. Another thoughtful, powerful and timely essay. I think he would have also been a big time movie star- he was so talented, his emotions so raw and on the surface. We’re all multidimensional, full of contradictions, light and dark, but grounded by our values and moral compass. (Well, not everyone obviously.)I see that in him. Extraordinary wisdom for his age. I think he was saying we all need to be fed- physically, emotionally and spiritually. He was asking for equality and respect. As were those who proceeded him and in our current times. “Love Your Neighbor” has always intrigued me- who is your neighbor? The person living next door or across the street or every human being on this earth? And if you loved someone wouldn’t you feed them? I wish Tupac and Malcolm X were here today, they’re not, but we are. It’s a shame we still have to fight for equality, fairness, and respect. Thank God for people like you who never let this go, never stop trying. A shining example.
WOW, I loved this piece because you give a glimpse of who Tupac was as a person (all facets) to those who could only see the tragic ending of a beautiful life. You ask, "could he have ever known that would happen" meaning him inspiring today's artists. I will simply say that some people are put on this earth to let their light shine to lead the way for others in life and in death. These are the people some want to meet and understand as you can see there is something about that person that makes them different. Reminds me of someone else who I believe has a sensitive poetic side, a party side, and a political side (albeit not sure it is revolutionary but maybe in his own way).🥰 Some people go their whole lives not even trying to make a difference in the world and others, like Tupac, set the world on fire trying to change it!
Stay safe stay well. ❤
why are you the only one continuing to cover this.?
Is it because you , like myself know and still care ?
As a young bewildered by life, white Irish-American teenager, I had the good fortune to get Lost taking an MTA train to the wrong place on one of the East Side Subways to, I think it was 116th Street. As fate led me up the station steps, I stepped onto the sidewalk to hear a little-older than me black man speaking thru a megaphone to whomever would listen. It was Malcom X. I did not know his name, nor what he looked like. BUT, I LISTENED TO HIS WISE WORDS
When I arrived at the Dinner Table that evening, to relay the Event of my day, by declaring "This guy really sounds like a reasonable man, but I was surprised that he did not seem to have an enthusiastic audience." Being the 9th of 10 children at the table, I was stunned to hear the Negative Responses to my depiction of the Event. It turned out to be my First Attempt at Reporting the News as accurately & impartially as I thought possible. As Mumia Jamal learned the hard, the truth must be ESTABLISHED FIRST OF ALL THINGS. If the judges of truth, or events, are left to their own prejudices/interpretations then God Help you on the Path to Establishing The Truth of the Matter.
As it later turned out. Malcolm X was announcing his 1st Doubts about the Strength of Elijah Muhammed's claims to deserve the Rights to Rule the Black Muslim Congregations of NY
My reporter's hunch was correct. There was a reason why, after LISTENING TO HIS SPEAKING, I thought out loud: "Hey, this guy sounds like a reasonable, rational human being!" What's wrong with that?
I hope Tupac and the new generation of artists "will spark the brain that will change the world." We did get Obama and Harris, but we also got new voter suppression laws, vigilante justice in Texas and very little police reform. The grip of the white supremacists in one political party will make us "pry it from their cold dead hands."
He has sparked the brain that will change the world. Just look back over the past year; how many protest anthems echo his themes? Some of the brilliant ones that stand out are Stevie Wonder’s “Can’t Put It In The Hands Of Fate” and H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe.” And of the course the film Judas and the Black Messiah, again with H.E.R.’s haunting theme song “Fight for You.”
Tupac’s genius, courage and soul live on.
Keep on spreading the word, Ari!
Ari, I remember when that happened and the Rodney King beating. It was horrible then and even more so now. Sadly it's getting worse and spreading. I know that I need to read up more on it (I was quite young when it took place), but NO ONE SHOULD BE TREATED THAT WAY !!! Thanks for all your great reporting and sparking out minds. Hope you have a great weekend QT See you in a hour (hopefully)
It's too bad this is the only way to communicate with you. I'd like to talk to you about the campaign against me, I've been thrown in jail with a dui in Laguna Beach, Orange County airport luggage system was shut down to harass me, leaving many without their luggage. I'm harassed daily, on and on. My crime is I don't believe in gods, not tolerated by the fools who persecute me.
I'm a revolutionary, I discovered a religion disinformation campaign several years ago, reported it to the fbi, tried to report it to you without success. I am now heavily persecuted. The latest is ATT has changed my account, so if I turn off wifi my phones stop working. If I leave it on one of my cats has a heart murmur. One last thing, regarding the conservatives on the court, yeah they're going after the easy stuff. But all of them are religious fanatics, religion has made every effort to destroy separation of church and state, if this country is to survive maybe someone should be thinking how these sick people can impose their religious nonsense on us. Believe it they will try, that's the ultimate goal.
As a kid listening to Tupac while he was still on this earth, I did not appreciate him as artist enough. I thought he was too hardened. Sure I liked him with Digital Underground and I loved his songs Brenda's Got a Baby and Dear Mama, but couldnt separate some of the other things associated with him. Mostly what was driven by media and I got pulled into that nonsense. It wasn't until later after his death, that I went back to listen to more of his work and looked at many of his interview, that I became a big fan. I don't know another solo rapper with as much heart as him and that's why he's forever in my top 5 for rappers. His story message of social injustice and inequity and just living the black struggle that goes beyond glamorizing fame and money, is uncommon. I wonder what the rap game would look like today if he were still alive?
That interview was so powerful! I've watched it so many times long ago. He has so many jewels (interviews) like that. He was an incredible deep thinker and he was very young. What's your favorite album and song from him? I feel like since you love words, you'd like If I Die 2nite. 🙂 He never wrote a bad song.
In a word: Amen.
Hi Ari! You really pick some great topics to write about. I am familiar wit Tupac , but I didn't realize he was so young when he died until I read this article. Thank you Ari for the facts! Have a great and safe weekend. God bless you , Ari! "I love you Ari"!
Hi Ari. I think that BLM is the beginning of a revolution that Tupac said would happen when oppressed people stop asking for equality but take steps to see that they be treated as equals.
Vic Mensa and other rappers are sending out a message that we hear. Thanks for a great article.
Another great essay Ari!!! You have been a teacher to so many of us not familiar with these hip hop/rap artists past and present. Throughout the years I have seen so many news reports on many of these performers, but never knew their back stories. Thank you for letting us see a different side of their lives, and how they tried to change the insurmountable challenges they faced in their lives through their music. 🎼🎤🎹