Tupac Shakur


Adanya Collins, Staff Reporter

Tupac Shakur is considered to be one of the most influential rappers. His music mainly focused on the problems within the black community and gang life. Selling over 70 million albums, he is one of the best-selling artists of all time. He became the face of West Coast gangsta rap during the time of a feud between West Coast and East Coast rappers. He died at the age of 25 in a drive-by shooting in 1996. His murderer was never found.

Originally named Lesane Parish Crooks, he was born on June 16, 1971, in Harlem, New York. His mother was an active member of the Black Panther Party, changing her son’s name to Tupac Shakur. Tupac met Jada Pinkett-Smith at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where they quickly became friends. At 17, he joined a hip hop group named Digital Underground as a dancer. He made his debut with the group in 1991 on Same Song and later that year appeared in their next studio album, Sons of the P. A month later, Tupac debuts his first album as a soloist, 2Pacalypse Now. During his career, legal drama and violence continued to follow the artist. Biggie Smalls and Tupac’s relationship started off as a friendly one and quickly turned sour. Tupac believed Biggie was behind a shooting where he was the target. In June 1996, he released a diss track, “Hit ‘Em Up,” aimed towards Biggie, Bad Boy Records, and the label’s boss, Diddy. Their rivalry quickly became one of rap’s most famous beef. Not only was Tupac a rapper but he was also a poet and actor. He was featured in several movies such as Juice (1992), Poetic Justice (1993), Gang Related (1997), Above the Rim (1994), Gridlock’d (1997), and Bullet (1996). Some of his poems have been published in a book in 2008 titled, The Rose That Grew From Concrete.

Top 5 Tupac Shakur Lyrics
Tupac often said he felt misunderstood. “There is lots of killing and drugs. To me a perfect album talks about the hard stuff and the fun and caring stuff. … The thing that bothers me is that it seems like a lot of the sensitive stuff I write just goes unnoticed,” he told journalist Chuck Phillips. Here are a few of his more powerful and meaningful lyrics from some of his most popular songs.

5. Do for Love (1998)

“I wanna shelter you from harm, don’t be alarmed

Your attitude was the cause, you got me stressin’

Soon as I open up the door with your jealous questions

Like, where can I be? You’re killin’ me with your jealousy

Now my ambition’s to be free

I can’t breathe, ’cause soon as I leave, it’s like a trap

I hear you callin’ me to come back, I’m a sucka for love

What you won’t do, do for love (that’s right)

You tried everything, but you don’t give up”

4. So Many Tears (1995)

“I’m barely standin’, bout to go to pieces, screamin’, “peace”

And though my soul was deleted, I couldn’t see it

I had my mind full of demons tryin’ to break free

They planted seeds and they hatched, sparkin’ the flame

Inside my brain like a match, such a dirty game

No memories, just a misery

Paintin’ a picture of my enemies killin’ me in my sleep

Will I survive til the mornin’ to see the sun?

Please Lord, forgive me for my sins, ’cause here I come

Lord, I suffered through the years (God) and shed so many tears”

3. Changes (1998)

“I see no changes, all I see is racist faces

Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races

We under, I wonder what it takes to make this

One better place, let’s erase the wasted

Take the evil out the people, they’ll be acting right

2. Keep Ya Head Up (1993)

“I give a holler to my sisters on welfare

Tupac cares, if don’t nobody else care

And uh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot

When you come around the block, brothas clown a lot

But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up

Forgive but don’t forget, girl, keep your head up

And when he tells you you ain’t nuttin’ don’t believe him

And if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him

‘Cause sista you don’t need him”

1. Dear Mama (1995)

“I shed tears with my baby sister, over the years

We was poorer than the other little kids

And even though we had different daddies, the same drama

When things went wrong we’d blame Mama

I reminisce on the stress I caused, it was hell

Huggin’ on my mama from a jail cell

And who’d think in elementary, hey

I’d see the penitentiary one day?

And running from the police, that’s right

Mama catch me, put a whoopin’ to my backside

And even as a crack fiend, Mama

You always was a black queen, Mama

I finally understand

For a woman it ain’t easy trying to raise a man

You always was committed

A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it

There’s no way I can pay you back, but the plan

Is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated”