Even after all this time, the rapper still stands alive within our hearts.
13th of September marked the 20th death anniversary of Tupac Shakur, the iconic rapper and poet, who died six days after he was shot in Las Vegas, 1996. The rappers music has inspired people even to this day and continues to do so. His raps and lyrics resonate with all generations and will live on for more to come. His influence is widespread and created a common community among fans. These are just a few examples of the icon’s influential reach:
1. Police Discrimination:
Tupac rapped about the racial profiling he and his friends had to endure in the 80’s and early 90’s. The racial profiling was more towards the police and how they were trying to discriminate against the African-American race. The argument of most of his songs were related to violence. His parents too, through their influence, raised Tupac to challenge police brutality. Therefore, his message usually included violence toward police and encouraged the hatred toward them. Many people decided to join in on Tupac’s stance of the police discrimination and still stands.
2. The Music Industry:
Rappers and all the people in the music community have been heavily inspired by the legend. Everyone from Eminem, who has written the most heartfelt letter to Shakur’s mother, to 50 Cent, Rihanna, Jay Z and many more. His artistry even led to lyricist YG’s return to complete his high school education! Christian rapper Reconcile said that it was a Tupac-like communication ability that lacked in Christian hip-hop. Reconcile stated, “Whether I agreed with what he was saying at any given point was really irrelevant. I felt him!”
3. American Culture:
In today’s world we have rappers that rap about things that have nothing to do with anything of high importance or social issues and that’s a major reason why people go back to the classics because those tracks have something they can relate to and get an understanding from. Tupac influenced teenagers by sending a message that everything will be okay, even when they live in a world full of negativity. “Brenda’s Got A Baby” impacted a lot of people because it’s actually a real problem in society even today. There are teenagers having children at a very young age, some sell drugs and are involved in prostitution for the sake of survival for themselves and others. “That’s not our problem that’s up to Brenda’s family, well let me show you how it affects a whole community.”
Before his death, the rapper had left behind sketches for a cook book inspired by his own recipes and in honour of his memory, a pop-up restaurant Powamekka Cafe will be open, completely inspired by the sketches and will serve the rappers’ favourite food along with dishes inspired from the man himself. Added to that will be a music tribute on its opening night.
5. African Rebel Soldiers:
Militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo adopted knock-off Tupac T-shirts as unofficial uniforms in the late 1990s along with members of the country’s regular armed forces. By 2002, rebels in Côte d’Ivoire were similarly dressed in an attire the raper sported. Shakur’s influence on African fighters extends far beyond the civil strife and goes much deeper than pre-battle cries. During the Sierra Leone conflict, Tupac’s projection of justified revenge offered the soldiers some sort of meaning to the violence they were witnessing and perpetrating. They thought of him as a sympathetic voice for their unjustifiable actions.
6. Business (The Thug Life):
Gary MacDonough, founder of Double, the dating app that matches pairs of friends with duos allowing four people to arrange a group date, was inspired by Shakur “because growing a tech startup is all about hustling”. Over the years many individuals coming up with various start up’s have mentioned such similarities of relating to Pac’s “thug” inspired lifestyle.
Tupac was a master in all aspects. From movies, poetry, lifestyle, you name it. People idolised the man even through all the struggles and controversies he was related to. His artistry knows no bounds and that’s the reason why he is the most influential rapper of all time.