June 16th, 1971 – September 13th, 1996
There is no such polarizing force, as there is about the impact of Tupac Amaru Shakur on the consciousness of pop culture. East vs West, right vs left, he gave some a reason to be scared, and others a reason to be free. But regardless how you feel about his music, we all can agree of the potential that was lost the night he was murdered in a crowded Las Vegas intersection on September 13, 1996. Today, on what would be his 38th birthday, I’d like to celebrate by playing his songs back-to-back, watching Juice and Poetic Justice, and pouring myself a glass of Thug Passion (well, maybe not). As a young woman growing up in the 90s, I was lucky to bear witness to his influence and career, one that provided a point of motivation to be heard in myself, despite the circumstances. Thank you, Tupac, for including women in your desire to change the status quo, and breaking down politics in a way that we could all understand. Hip Hop purists could argue about you ’til they’re blue in the face, but this young lady wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t inspired by your music, your words, and your fearlessness to speak the truth. You are appreciated!
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