Tupac Shakur was a very influential person in 20th century USA. He was born on June 16, 1971 in Brooklyn New York, and died on September 13, 1996 in Las Vegas Nevada (unknown author, no title, no page, letter code C). But his family moved around a lot while he was a kid (Bastin, J.D.). He eventually ended up in the Bay Area California alone and spent his first two years there homeless (unknown author, no title, n.p., letter code D). He grew up with only his mom and loved her very much. He even wrote a song called Dear Mama to his mom and thanked her for how she tried her best at raising him.
His public career started when he joined the seminal Bay Area rap ensemble (u.a., “original area,” n.p.). He started as a tour dancer but then started rapping live (u.a., “original area,” n.p.). From there he released a couple albums and then was offered to be in some movies. He became friends with a couple of popular rap artists like Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre (Placid n.p.). He made some songs and music videos with them that made it big on the Billboard charts. This really helped his popularity. He released a double CD with the songs on it and a lot of his own songs and sold millions of copies (u.a., n.t., n.p. letter code D) More people were influenced to buy his CD. People listened to the music and did what he said he did. So Tupac was influencing all of these people.
Tupac was rich and famous now. He was showing off his own style now and didn’t need his popular friends. This is the time that many people saw the real Tupac and loved him. He was now very influential to fans. They wanted to be just like him. He starred in more movies and could be who he really was. He did a lot of interviews that showed his beliefs. He said self esteem and self respect was very important and said “I feel as though I am a shining prince just like Malcolm and feel that all of us are shining princes, and if we live like shining princes, then whatever we want can be ours. Anything.” (Patrick, Tony, n.p.) And when he says all of us, he means all men. He also said he doesn’t care if someone is white or black. And no one can be judged by their skin. “So just because it’s Black don’t mean it’s cool, and just because it’s White don’t mean it’s evil.”(Patrick, Tony n.p.) If he judged a man, he judged them by what they do to or how they treat others. Tupac wasn’t racis! t against any body. And he showed that. I’ve seen him treat everyone equal that I see him with on TV or even on movies. This is an influence because since people want to be like him, they will follow his beliefs. And if Tupac believes in non-racism, then the people will believe in that too.
This is a big difference from him and other rap artists. A lot of others are racist to different people, and the different people then don’t like him, don’t listen to his music, don’t see his movies, and aren’t influenced by him. Almost all races listen to Tupac’s music. I’ve known Mexican, White, Black, Asian, Indian, and even Pakistani people who listened to his music and are influenced and are moved by him. I’ve even saw a show in Singapore about music here and a Singaporean kid said he listens to Tupac.
Tupac has a lot of self-values that he follows. He even said it’s hard sometimes, but he keeps it up. He said “To me it’s really troubling because I look over what’s successful – Marky Mark, Hammer, Vanilla Ice, New Kids on the Block selling twenty-two million copies, and I want that so badly, but I can’t do that. I would be wrong to do that, knowing what I know and having the brain that I have, for me to even go and write some simple shit would be wrong even though I would get paid and I would get more people’s money.” (Patrick, Tony, n.p.) This means that Tupac has a strong will and values. He resisted the temptation to write some easy rhyming words and get peoples money. He instead followed his values and worked up to his potential.
He says he also believes in Karma (Bastin, J.D., n.p.). That what comes around goes around. And he said he believes in reincarnation too. He wants to be a good man in this life, because he said he knew he was going to die soon (Bastin, J.D., n.p.) and wanted to be ready for the next life. The reason Tupac gives for the reason he makes his music is not only for the money, but so people would know what it was like for him growing up. He also wanted to be remembered. He said “I would rather leave something so that when people pick up 2Pacalypse Now or any of my other albums in 1999, they’ll go, ‘Damn! Brothers had it hard back in the day, but brothers were working it out.” (Patrick, Tony, n.p.)
He said his music is spiritual: a little like gospels, but with a different idea in mind. And that his music was not meant to be danced to, but just to be listened to. His music was for the strong willed (Patrick, Tony, n.p.). He shows his hard life through his music “Which celebrates violent defiance of a society viewed as largely racist and lethal” (Patrick, Tony, n.p.).
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I think Tupac influenced most of the people that listen to his music. People start to dress like him and talk like him if they see him on music videos singing his newest song. They could also listen to the things that Tupac says he does, and then do those things themselves. I hope his values and beliefs in a non-racial world also influence people. He does say some bad things, but he did spend eleven and a half months in a maximum-security jail for something he claims he never did and says that he was framed for (Placid, Sylvester n.p.). He also spent two years of his life homeless (u.a., n.t., n.p. letter code D) and grew up having it hard to fit in(u.a., n.t, n.p., letter code B). Tupac was not a normal man, but he was still trying to send a good message to the youth’s that listened and still do listen to his music.
He also influenced many future and present rap artists. Biggie Smallz for example sounded just like Tupac, and used the same voice tones as Tupac. I’ve also heard about five other songs that steal the backgrounds to Tupac’s songs. And if there are that many imitators now, there will definitely be a lot in the future.
One of the reasons he was so influential is because he showed his real self to the world through interviews, music videos, movies, his music, and his poetry. He showed his views on the world unlike most other rap artists. Another reason is because people liked his views and liked his non-racial ways. People liked the way he sung about real subjects. Not like the others who sing about nothing much, and then get all the money they can. Also his unique style of mixing new sounds for a new beat really separated his music from others. He didn’t use traditional beats that people get tired of. He added a twist to rap and hip-hop music all together. And brought a lot of people to like that.
“Tupac was one of raps most controversial and influential performers” (“tupac” n.p.). “Tupac Amaur Shakur left a distinct impact on American culture that is still being shown today” (u.a., n.t., n.p. letter code D) He was one of the most influential persons in the 20th century America. And I believe he will be remembered and loved by a lot for years to come. He has served and will serve as a role model for younger kids growing up today.
Bastin, J.D. “Tupac Interviews & Articles” http://www.u.arizona.edu/bastin/interview.html 22/10/97
Patrick, Tony Shakur, Tupac. “Interview” http://.stallion.jsums.edu/awil0997/tupac/interview.html 22/10/97
Placid, Sylvester. Personal Interview 10/11/97
Unknown Author. “Original Area of Tupac” http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/7438/tupac.html 22/10/97
Unknown Author. “Tupac” http://stallion.jsums.edu/awil0997/tupac/theday.html 2/11/97
Unknown Author. http://www.duke.edu/de1/2pac2.html 2/11/97