My Favorite Rap Artists, Vol. 2 | 2Pac


Remember me as an outcast, outlaw
Another album out that's what I'm about, more
Getting raw till the day I see my casket
Buried as a g while the whole world remembers me
Until the end of time
- (From Until The End of Time, 2001)

It's safe to say that Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996) was unquestionably a one of a kind individual.

There's so much to say about Pac, I mean the fact that I lived in South Carolina and his sound was just as much prevalent, at least around my family and friends, as Bad Boy & No Limit was nothing short of amazing. Granted what was going on at the time with the whole East Coast vs. West Coast beef, he still remained at the heart of what seemed to be everyone. Back in the day growing up all we had was the good ol radio, television and magazines, so reading about what was going on was more so based off the sound and what the media portrayed. Basically what I learned then was to love my family, community and not to take shit from anyone who dared stepped up to me to do me harm.

It wasn't til years later when I heard his words about things relating to the government and how we live within our communities that impacted me. I know a lot of people who critique Pac and call him full of shit, but it's kind one of those things where I hear the words and see the passion and I more so agree with his views on things. Plus what was interesting to see years later was how most of the East Coast vs. West Coast beef was more so media and record companies doing and how most of those guys were close friends and wanted to change in the closing years of their lives. It was evident in him switching his stage name to Makaveli and changing what he was rapping about.

I think even Pac knew he was going to die, which is the sad part about this. I still say that the deaths of Biggie and Pac were orchestrated to sell records and tried to get the beef to take a full blown swing and keep the image of rappers being all thugs and gangsters. I really do believe that Pac's death was not some random gang attack and even now, years later, the more the evidence leaks out, the more it looks like something was fishy. But regardless of that, he will forever be immortalized in my mind as a man who didn't take anything from anyone and took anything and everything he wanted to. A lot of his interviews that I read about how our communities need to do better for ourselves and how the government will never help us always keeps me level headed.

But that's who Tupac is to me, he may mean something different to you, but in my eyes, he is, and always will be a rapper, actor, poet, author, a revolutionary.

Discography
1998 | Greatest Hits
1999 | Still I Rise (with Outlawz)
2002 | Better Dayz
2006 | Pac's Life

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