Tupac Shakur is truly one of the most important artists in American music, let alone hip-hop.
He changed hip-hop fundamentally, taking it from a niche genre in the inner-cities to a global phenomenon that has become the preeminent style of music in the world.
Tupac transcended hip-hop, along with Biggie, Puff, Dr. Dre, and the rest of Death Row Records, the early 90’s became a period of crossover mega-stars in hop-hop for the first time.
Middle America and the mainstream became exposed to the sounds of hip-hop. For some, it was transformative, for others it was shocking.
What is so particularly interesting about Tupac is how multi-faceted and diverse his lyrical content is. He was able to effortlessly transition from ‘conscious’ songs like “Brenda’s Got A Baby” and “Dear Mama” to the harder “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” and “Death Around The Corner,” demonstrating that he, as well as his art form, was not a monolith.
Tupac was an endlessly fascinating and deeply thoughtful character. Some thought that he was a prophet, some thought he was a thug, but he always forced people to honestly examine their own feelings, prejudices, and insecurities.
With the new Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me slated to come out this week on the artist’s birthday (June 16th), we thought it would be appropriate to put together a couple of Tupac’s most prophetic and profound quotations.
Whether discussing his own brutal honesty, the nature of the afterlife, income inequality, and American greed (that Donald Trump reference is eerie), Tupac was always eloquent and thoughtful.
Tupac Shakur was taken from the earth far too soon and it feels like we could use him now more than ever, but we can put his wisdom and vision into action to honor his life.
Watch the video above to for the realest sh*t you’ll hear today.