15 years ago today the greatest rapper of all time passed away at the age of 25. There will never be another Tupac Shakur. I know this is a Celtics site, but as we all know music and sports often cross paths. I want to give my personal tribute to the myth, the man, the legend; Tupac Shakur.
I've written about most of the people,places, and events that I hold dearest in my life. The impact of Tupac Shakur's music definitely belongs in that group. For anyone that knows me, they know that the subject I talk about most often, besides my dad ofcourse, is my passion for the music of Tupac Shakur. Some people might laugh at the fact that a pasty white, red head from Great Falls idolizes a gangster rapper, but Tupac's music crosses socioeconomic and racial lines.
I first heard Tupac on my way to Kings Dominion in 7th grade. I borrowed my friend Eddie Chung's disc man, which was playing Hit em up( one of Tupac's more hard hitting jams). At that time I was mostly listening to whatever was on the radio and didn't really have a favorite music artist. However, it wasn't until I heard Changes on the radio for the first time and subsequently got Tupac's Greatest hits album for Christmas, that I was officially hooked. I remember playing that CD over and over upstairs at my grandparents house, mesmerized by the powerful way in which Tupac delivered every verse.
I'll be the first to admit that I may have been a little too obsessed with 2pac's music, especially in high school. I would literally only listen to Tupac for 4 straight years, rotating each one of his CD's over and over again. It got to the point where I could hear a song and tell you the track and disc number without even thinking. I claimed to be "the biggest 2pac fan on the East Coast" and honestly I probably was and still am. I remember getting into many an argument about Tupac being the greatest rapper. I didn't care if people made fun of me personally, but if they made fun of Tupac, watch out.
The beauty of music is that it takes you away from the stresses in life, even for just a few minutes. Tupac has a song for every mood. When your feeling sad you can put on Life Goes On or Keep Ya Head Up. When you want to party you can play How Do You Want It. If you want to feel inspired put on Changes, or when you want to simply let loose and get pumped up Hit em Up or Hellrazor. He has the ability to deliver simple, yet deep and thought provoking lyrics that were unmatched in his day and will probably never be seen again.
His music appeals to all generations. My own father, a 60 year old white man, loves Tupac (but only the hardcore songs like Hell 4 A Hustler and Hit Em Up). It is so sad 2pac was taken away from us so early. Imagine what he could've done. When I look at rap these days, besides a few exceptions, it seems to be all about money and bling. Sometimes I wonder if 2pac would've succumbed and sold out when he became rich, but I'd like to think he would still come out with deep, thought provoking lyrics.
Tupac's music showed that their are two sides of every person, and that there is bad and good in society. Some people take issue with the fact that one song would talk about hoes and bitches, and the next would talk about respecting women. But aren't their people out there , girls and guys, that could fit into each category. People are too quick to judge.
What separates 2pac from every other rapper is his delivery. Rap and music in general is not about lyrics or beats. It's about how you deliver a song, how you make it all come together. Every time Tupac speaks you know it's from the heart. You can almost feel what he's feeling.
I could go on and on about Tupac. His music is what helps me feel happy at my lowest points. He will always be my favorite music artist. I know that whatever happens in my life, as long as I have his music things will always be okay.
Here are a few of Tupac's lesser known songs to check out.
1. Soon As I get Home
2. Wonder Why They Call You Bitch
3. Heaven Aint Hard 2 Find
4. Lord Knows
5. Letter to My Unborn Child (better than Dear Mama)
Make sure to listen to at least one 2pac song today. RIP 2pac Shakur. June 16, 1971-September 13, 1996.