TUPAC SHAKUR: IN THE DUMPSTER
Am I missing something? Tupac was one of the cornerstones of this whole gangsta rap thing that's going on right now and that's all fine and great. What does gangsta rap bring to the proverbial table of music? Nothing. It's based on shock value. I could sit here and type "Fuck this" and Fuck that" and call people obnoxious names and maybe I'd get some more people reading me for it, but I'm not about that. But if you want to sit and listen to the beats for old James Brown songs looped over and over with people screaming sexist racist vulgarity that's fine by me. Just turn the speakers down when you drive by my house, OK? But I'm not here to talk gangsta rap.
So Tupac gets mowed down the night of the Mike Tyson fight (the same night that there is a video of Tupac and some of his cronies stomping on some guy I might add). And then some people say how great Tupac was and how his music was inspirational. Huh? OK, I'll admit that some of his songs were inspirational. I thought "Dear Mama" actually made some interesting points and showed that he could present his ideas in an intelligent way. But: Here we have a guy who runs around calling women "bitches" and "hos" and all kinds of not-so-nice things. he hit a fellow rapper with a baseball bat, he sodomized a woman at a nightclub, he spat on reporters after one of his trials, he allegedly attacked some guy the night of his shooting. Back in the 80's there was this big deal being made about people who played Dungeons and Dragons and how they thought they could fly and went doing headers off buildings and stuff. Tupac did the same thing. He brought the world he created through his lyrics into the real world. When that line gets crossed is when things start to go wrong. The man runs around doing stuff like this and people are surprised he ended up dead? It's a simple fact of life that if you act like a piece of trash, eventually you are going to end up out by the curb.
Of course I try to make an intelligent argument about his death and people begin to toss the R word around: Racist. "You weren't saying this stuff when Kurt Cobain died." You're saying that because you don't like rap. It's everyone's fault that he died because we didn't protect him from the streets..." blah blah blah. Let me clarify one thing for everyone out there: Kurt Cobain was not a hero. He was a drug addict (who's acne medicine went for 250$ at a raffle might I mention?) that got his hands on a shotgun. If he was a hero he would've stayed alive and taken care of his little girl. I didn't get to vote to make him spokesman for my generation.
So here we go again with the whole R word being thrown around as soon as someone tries to make a point. Well I am not going to stand for it. Tupac was a racist, sexist, violent criminal. That's right kiddies. Crim-in-al. Trash of society. Garbage. I'm not talking about his music here. I'm talking about the person. Just because a person writes some lyrics about life that some people may find offensive doesn't give them a right to go shooting people. Then comes the other commonly heard argument: "Tupac was going to reform when he was in jail, but record exec. Suge Knight convinced him to be even more vulgar than before." Don't we all have to deal with the temptation of drugs and violence and all of that other stuff they tell us about in elementary school? Granted that I live in suburban New Jersey and the temptation is a little more prominent in places like the inner city, but we don't say stuff like that about the 17 year old who kills some guy on the street to support a drug habit. Why? Because it's wrong to idolize people like that. Plain and simple.
And while I'm on the subject, so many people now are saying how ridiculous the East Coast-West Coast Rap feud is. Basically the feud is getting to the point where people from the East Coast will be shot if they go to the west coast just because of where they are from. Sound stupid? Well, people have been doing stuff like that for centuries. Except, we call it bias. At least the rap community decided to put an end to this whole feud after Tupac got killed, while hundreds have been killed over the race-bias issue and it's still going on. So maybe Tupac's death still did serve a purpose. But his death does not hide the fact that he was a punk in life.
When I told someone Tupac was killed, they had the audacity to tell me "God Bless his heart." "God Bless his heart?" Tupac, I will see you in hell.