The Legend of Tupac Amaru Shakur – Remember the Time…

“If Malcolm X had died at 25 he would have been known as a petty-hustler and thief. If Martin Luther King had died at 25 he would have been another random Baptist minister…” —Unknown

Almost every time 2Pac is brought up in conversation, it’s almost impossible for people to resist the urge to throw Biggie into the equation—no matter what the topic is.

It’s only natural that these two contemporaries are compared. The storied East Coast/West Coast beef, their supersonic ascension to fame and their star-crossed demises have forever intertwined them in hip-hop’s history books. But I’ve always hated this comparison.

Apples and oranges I’d say. These guys were as different as night and day and aside from their related drama, they’ve lived on in history for very different reasons. I think Shock G said it best:

“First of all, Biggie’s gonna win hands down when you’re talking flow… When people say ‘Pac is the best rapper of all time, they don’t just mean he’s the best rapper. They just mean what he had to say was most potent, most relevant, and that he was the better human being.”

However, the one thing that has always and will always set 2Pac apart from the rest is his story. There are many people out there who will claim that ‘Pac was a fake thug who changed as his bank account got bigger. I’d say he was one of the most complex people to enter the game and his story, a tale of lost innocence in the face of hardship, tragedy, and fame, is one of the most genuine coming of age stories I’ve ever witnessed.

Here are some of the moments in his life and career that added to his legend:

1988
Tupac’s first on-camera interview

In the interview, he discusses life as a teenager in light of his philosophies on politics, race, and socioeconomic issues. One of the moments that resonated most with me is toward the end of the interview when he says that girls weren’t into him even though he treated them with respect and the guys they ended up going for were the ones that called them the “b-word.” This is one of the most candid videos of ‘Pac and the most innocent footage you’re ever going to catch of him. In retrospect, it highlights just how much he was changed by his experiences over the next seven years… especially in regards to women.

1992
Tupac as Bishop in Juice

In his first starring role (remember him in Nothing But Trouble with Digital Underground the year before?), Tupac played the hell out of the character Bishop. We all remember the infamous locker scene and the lines:

“I am crazy. But you know what else? I don’t give a fuck! I don’t give a fuck about you! I don’t give a fuck about Steele! And I don’t give a fuck about Raheem, either! I don’t give a fuck about myself!”

This role confirmed his acting abilities and star power. Many critics would say that he began to live out  the character of Bishop in his real life. Although he was known to stay in character while on set, for Pac it seemed that the world around him changed more than he himself changed. Nevertheless, as time went on and he began to resemble this character more and more, it became harder and harder to disassociate ‘Pac and Bishop.

1993
Shooting in Atlanta

While in ATL, ‘Pac noticed two White men harassing an unarmed Black man. He came to the man’s defense and wound up firing at the two White guys, who turned out to be off duty police officers. Here’s the catch, ‘Pac got away with it! When news spread about this ‘Pac seemed untouchable. He shot two cops and got away with it? That was unheard of!

1994

Speech in court

‘Pac proved his bravery by telling the judge he wasn’t even interested in his sentencing. Some may say that was reckless or disrespectful but for many others it was prolific.

June 1996
“Hit Em Up”

I don’t know of any other diss track that gets me more amped than this one. Pac pulled out no stops to go at the Bad Boy Camp in “Hit ‘Em Up,” an incendiary instant classic.

September 1996
Predicting his death: “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”

Obviously this isn’t something that we knew until he died but damn it if this wasn’t eerie, especially because the timing of the song’s release. This prophetic video played almost like his actual death and you couldn’t help watching the video, feeling as if ‘Pac were speaking from the grave.

There are plenty of other ‘Pac moments, the rally in Oakland where he pulled out a gun and got chased by a mob, his shout out at the Republican National Convention, him calling out the Hughes Brothers… can you think of anymore legendary ‘Pac moments? Holla if ya hear me. —Brooklyne Gipson

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    “Check yourself Q! You gotta snap some collars and let them motherfuckers know you here to take them out anytime you feel like it!

    You gotta get the ground beneath your feet, partner, get the wind behind your back and go out in a blaze if you got to! Otherwise you ain’t shit!
    You might as well be dead your damn self.”

    I still watch Juice on the regular…

  • Ally187

    Coward dies a thousand deaths A soldier dies but ONce R.I.P Pac

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    “Check yourself Q! You gotta snap some collars and let them motherfuckers know you here to take them out anytime you feel like it!

    You gotta get the ground beneath your feet, partner, get the wind behind your back and go out in a blaze if you got to! Otherwise you ain’t shit!
    You might as well be dead your damn self.”

    I still watch Juice on the regular….

  • these posts are racist

    That quote above is from Quincey Jones.

  • http://jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    I remember when Pac denounced ThugLife. I thought that was a really grown-man move. We all know it didn’t last long and I can’t help but think it was because of who he surrounded himself with. My hatred of Suge Knight begins here.

    Pac almost steered clear of the b.s. he was surrounded by. If only he successfully broke free of that circle, no doubt he’d still be breathing in twenty-ten.

    And look at Suge today – a broke, drugged out punching bag.

    R.I.P. Tupac Shakur…

  • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

    A legendary pac moment was in the song with Richie Rich off of Rich’s cd seasoned vet in Niggas Done Changed.He talks about his death.The song was released not long after his death and one of the most eerie songs by him.Here is the verse
    [2pac]
    No more regular rappin’
    Dare me to cap ‘em and watch me blast
    These niggas be actin’ for the simple fact, playa im’a mash
    I lash on my enemies for multiple centuries
    Forcin’ my adversaries to bleed when they seein’ me
    Though east coast born, I’m west coast raised
    Sent so much dick throughout the click that now they Deathrow slaves
    Father forgive me for thug livin’, I’m through with this drug dealin’
    I leave with the click and all the niggas that love prison
    Brothas be ballin’, bitch if need me, call
    I open fire on muthafuckas and murder ‘em all
    Me Mr. Makaveli, plus I’m bustin’ fuck what they tell me
    I’m makin’ these niggas hop on they toes, it happen daily
    I been shot and murdered, can tell you how it happened word for word
    But best belive, that niggas gon’ get what they deserve
    In the same way, God bless my breakas game pays
    Gettin’ cash and ass for days
    Now niggas done changed

  • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

    A legendary pac moment was in the song with Richie Rich off of Rich’s cd seasoned vet in Niggas Done Changed.He talks about his death.The song was released not long after his death and one of the most eerie songs by him.Here is the verse
    [2pac]
    No more regular rappin’
    Dare me to cap ‘em and watch me blast
    These niggas be actin’ for the simple fact, playa im’a mash
    I lash on my enemies for multiple centuries
    Forcin’ my adversaries to bleed when they seein’ me
    Though east coast born, I’m west coast raised
    Sent so much dick throughout the click that now they Deathrow slaves
    Father forgive me for thug livin’, I’m through with this drug dealin’
    I leave with the click and all the niggas that love prison
    Brothas be ballin’, Rich if need me, call
    I open fire on muthafuckas and murder ‘em all
    Me Mr. Makaveli, plus I’m bustin’ fuck what they tell me
    I’m makin’ these niggas hop on they toes, it happen daily
    I been shot and murdered, can tell you how it happened word for word
    But best belive, that niggas gon’ get what they deserve
    In the same way, God bless my breakas game pays
    Gettin’ cash and ass for days
    Now niggas done changed

  • G2

    I think some of his legendary moments have to include the videos for Same Song and Brenda’s got a Baby. On the former, he came into the game being carried like an African King. On the latter, he used his first single to address serious societal ills. He’ll always be a legend in my eyes. Happy Birthday Pac!!

  • R2J

    2Pac. Best rapper, Best actor. I know momma Shakur must be proud to have a son like you.
    RIP.

  • caino

    ‘ If you dont find somthing to live for! You betta find somthing to die for’

    ^^^ for real !

    Pac was a complicated dude, a rebel at heart but with a brain, so he knew all the Thug sh*t he was doing was wrong that why he was in conflict with himself!

    On another note you can put Pac & Big together , Pac’s body of work is like 10 times that of Biggie’s and you cant f with that !

  • luis semedo

    R.I.P 2PAC…..LOVE IS SONGS…

  • The Decatur Dictator

    When I popped in that “All Eyes On Me” CD and let it bang without skipping a song, just let Skandoulos rip through the speakers…..’96- Dude had a voice that would resonate as soon as you played the track…you knew he was going to say something you were going through…You don’t find that today. All we hear is “I’m going to the club, while riding on my 22′s”

  • R.I.P. PANTHER CHILD

    R.I.P. Pac. The throne is still yours kid. You really are the GOAT. Miss you son.

  • Joe Morgan jr.

    Good job Brooklyne G. There is a lot of tributes to Pac on the net. This one is my favorite. I like how you showed more than just the last years of his life. Gives more of a complete picture. The world lost a promising son when Pac passed.

  • Enlightened

    When he confronted Nas in Central Park and shut they beef down.

    A lot of people (including me) thought that it was a little too convenient of Nas to claim that they ended their beef days before Pac died and that Pac said he was taking his name out of “Against All Odds”

    but if everybody reads the XXL (XXL PLEASE RE-PRINT THAT ARTICLE) The Outlaws confirmed it and said how happy Pac was after squashing the beef with Nas because he really liked Nas’ shit.

    They confirmed how Pac made “Me and My Girlfriend” after he heard and was influenced by Nas’ “I Gave You Power.”
    THOSE TWO SONGS ARE THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHY PAC IS THE GREATEST. Just like Shock G said about Biggie – strictly flowing, of course Nas was better, but listen to those two songs. “I Gave You Power” goes deeper with the metaphor about being a gun.
    But which SONG is BETTER? Sounds better? Can be thrown on at a party and people will go crazy? Which has a better hook? Better delivery? etc. Which one did Jay-Z feel the need to remake?

    That’s the difference and that was a big moment. Death Row smashing through Central Park 50 deep and as Snoop put it: Pac was talkin to Nas like he was a straight bitch! Really punked that nigga out. But was man enough to squash the beef and admit that the feeling of being a fan was mutual.

  • http://xxl KING JACOB

    Supressed the revolution,
    a Pre-meditated scheme,
    introduced a drug called crack,
    to us ghetto teens,
    Got a law for raw niggaz,
    now playa what it be like?
    When will niggaz see
    they got us bleedin with three strikes
    Can’t seem to focus-hopeless
    with violent thoughts I wrote this
    Got these Devils petrified,
    hidin from my hocus-pocus…….