2Pac: Do people still give a shit?
Today I kept waiting for something involving 2Pac to take its rightful place atop the list of trending topics on Black People Twitter, but it never did. The closest “RIP Tupac” ever got was like, fourth. “Dear Taylor Swift” was number one for most of the day. It looks like someone came up with a great tweet (my bad) about how Kanye West took a microphone out of her hand, not her virginity, and that it’s time to move on, and people kept piling on – some people with similar open letters about how she needs to get over the incident at last year’s VMAs, and some people with words of encouragement. A lot of white people are still upset about that shit. They probably projected a lot of anger having to do with a half-black secret Muslim being elected president onto Kanye. They probably won’t get over it until another black man makes an especially bad decision involving a white woman, OJ-style. Imagine if Kobe Bryant had raped that chick out in Colorado during the Obama administration.
It just so happens that the umpteenth anniversary of 2Pac’s death (there’s been quite a few at this point), perhaps the first one since a lot of black people figured out about Twitter (I’ve been on it since summer ’07), happened the day after the VMAs – the day when of course a lot of people are gonna want to talk about it, either because it’s their first day back at work, at a place where people stand around talking about the motherfucking VMAs (I remember talking about the VMAs at Hardees), or because it’s a Monday, and they don’t have shit else better to do than go on Twitter and talk about whatever happened the day before. If this had been any other Monday, where the only thing that happened the day before was an especially cerebral (which is to say kinda boring) episode of Mad Men, then who knows. 2Pac could have dominated the entire list of trending topics, as if Kat Stacks had a new video on World Star. Black people tend to be big on celebrating anniversaries, when we can remember. Look at how many times 2Pac was on the cover of XXL, long after reasonable people ceased to give a shit.
But I do suspect that people just don’t care as much about 2Pac as they did, say, 10 years ago, when ridonkulous numbers (i.e. any number more than zero) of people actually went out and copped those albums where they took his old throwaway vocals and put them over elevator music versions of songs by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, and what have you. We all know about “Changes,” which I saw was posted over at the Smoking Section today, when I was there looking for shit I might be able to write about at this point in the afternoon, because I haven’t been very prolific lately, and I don’t want to up and forget how to blog. It’s a wonder my login here still works. But wasn’t there also a 2Pac version “Broken Wings’ by Mister Mister, or am I just imagining that? It’s too bad people people finally stopped buying CDs. Who knows kind of crap Afeni et al. would have pulled out of their ass. You’ve seen that 2Pac statue down on top of a mountain in Georgia, the one that got defaced by the same racists who hacked in SOHH a few years ago (we can presume). Obviously, they’re not capable of making very good decisions. Why does 2Pac even have a statue on top of a mountain in Georgia? Was he even in Georgia, other than that time he shot a cop? Maybe the cop was the one who wrote on the statue.
I DVRd that documentary on ESPN about 2Pac’s special relationship (nullus?) with Mike Tyson, because I was born in the ’80s, and I’ll force myself to watch something, if it has to do with hip-hop, because there’s a part of me that’s still holding on to the dream, and because you don’t write over a million words for the site over the course of going on five years without collecting as much fodder as you can. Who knows. Something interesting might happen. Watching One Night in Bangkok, or whatever it was called, I wondered if this was how old people felt, when Time Life started selling those compilations of oldies records on CD, back in the mid ’80s. There wasn’t anything worthwhile that hadn’t been rehashed from some ’90s-era MTV program. There wasn’t any real insight into the relationship between 2Pac and Mike Tyson. Because of course the narrator couldn’t have been like, “Well, 2Pac and Mike Tyson both raped chicks. Maybe that’s why they were friends,” as he would have in a Bol documentary on the topic. The while thing read like Afeni Shakur and her business manager went over it with a fine tooth comb. So the only reason to watch it was to be like, “Hey, some chick who used to write for Vibe magazine circa 1993! Her skin is remarkably taut for someone who must be closing in on 50. I guess it’s true what they say – black don’t crack. And look, it’s Maya Angelou! I can’t believe she’s still alive. I thought she was in slavery.” A total nostalgia trip. And what it comes down to is that
I haven’t got it all figured out just yet a lot of kids these days just plain aren’t old enough to remember any of that shit. They know who 2Pac is, but why should they care. He’s never gonna do anything interesting ever again.