I miss Pac.
Hang on, hang on…pump your brakes and let me explain.
(haha..I see some of you losing your lids already)
Tupac Amaru Shakur was an intelligent young man. A young man who was a voracious reader, a true free-thinker, and by the time he was my age (25 years young) he had amassed a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that some folks don’t gather in entire lifetimes.
Books upon books were what he devoured, and when you mixed that with his high level of sensitivity to the plight and stories of struggle around him, a poet emerged.
However, somewhere along the way art began to imitate life, and a young, sensitive, kind, caring young man who could barely himself to use, as he called it, “the B word”, had evolved into an angry, frustrated, fire-breathing young man who was actively looking for trouble so as to add to this new persona that he had fallen in love with…the persona of the “gangster”…the “thug”…”thug life tatted on my [his] chest”.
Little do most folks know, Pac had zero criminal history before he released a record.
ZERO CRIMINAL HISTORY.
Pac claimed that he had to “make a record to get a record.” But why? Why did this self-proclaimed “momma’s boy” go from hug life to thug life?
I tend to believe it all started here:
After Pac played Bishop, you could see a change. Bishop was a character whose sole focus was getting respect, and he stopped at nothing to intimidate those around him and let folks know that he was running the show. More importantly, this new persona of Pac as a gangster gained him a whole lot of notoriety and acclaim for his portrayal of Bishop in “Juice”.
…but Pac couldn’t seem to put the character back on the shelf…
And this spilled into Pac’s personal life. Watch the difference between this footage of 17-year old Tupac….
…and a few years later….
If you ask me, Pac was a caricature in his latter years. An actor. Only the cameras stopped rollin’ and he kept on goin’.Like the man said himself, he had “the gift of speech and the power to reach each brother on every street”….and yet, to me at least, it seemed like a gift squandered in the end……
It’s songs like this that will always remind me of the real gift that you possessed, brother.