Tupac Shakur All Eyes On Him By Harold Aguiar

1695 words - 7 pages

Tupac Amaru Shakur - All Eyes on HimTupac Amaru Shakur is arguably one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Growing up in the Bronx and Harlem, Tupac learned and excelled in learning from experience and how to survive in the struggle, both characterize African American working class speech culture. At the same time Tupac also absorbed influences from his mother's political past which included Lumumba Shakur, his mother's husband and his brother, Muula Shakur, all former Black Panther activists. Tupac learned to believe that racism, economic discrimination and other forms of oppression contributed to the poverty and powerless of working class Blacks.He learned to blame the so-called white establishment, including the police, for these conditions. As White (1997:48) points out "The Shakurs' tribal activism had become a legend and a legacy [for Tupac]." White (1997:48) quotes the journalist Ron Howell as reporting that, "At fifteen, Tupac must have been thoroughly convinced that to be a Shakur was to confront the possibility of death at an early age. He was learning such lessons almost before he could walk." This indoctrination seemed to have been successful because Tupac at the age of 10 is reputed to have expressed a desire to grow up to be a revolutionary.Tupac Shakur's death on Friday, September 13, 1996, at the early age of 25, brought to an end a complex life marked both by personal controversy and artistic success. His impressive achievements include six solo rap albums, over 30 singles, starting or significant roles in six movies and a body of poems anthologized as The Rose that Grew from Concrete and published posthumously by his mother, Afeni Shakur. Tupac was clearly a performer with multi-dimensional abilities whose contributions to his art deserve to be studied from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints (Armond White, 1997). Today there are colleges that actually teach about the writings and life of Tupac Shakur. His work touched many people, in positive and negative ways.In this paper I will try to dissect Tupac's career and explain a little of his philosophy, T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E which stands for The Love U Gave Infants Fucks Everyone. These words were also emblazoned across his abdomen in block letters; an attempt to show that he lived for Thug Life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of a year. The principles defined in Thug Life serve as a guide for young Black males, the group that Tupac cared about the most. The definition Tupac gave for a thug was different than the dictionary interpretation of the word. In an interview he mentions that his rhymes are for thugs and gangstas, not killers and rapists. He continues, "When I say thugs, I mean niggas who don't have anything, they dressed like the killers and the thugs but they have that talent, have that spark, whatever it is that can get them out, these are thugs". Tupac felt the responsibility to be their voice to the world. The album Me Against the World is...

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