Often it has been said that rappers aren’t role models. However, the truth of the matter is that music artists have more influence than people are willing to admit sometimes. Few artists have influenced people more than Tupac Shakur. An artist who has often been put on a pedestal and is seen as legendary, but is this status deserving?
Take into consideration the popularity of the phrase he coined “Thug Life” and while Tupac would articulate that it really meant “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fuck Everybody” the majority of people who gravitated towards his music didn’t understand that. Many people today don’t understand that it is an acronym and have taken the phrase more literally. I would argue that more people have probably gone to prison behind the negative messages that Tupac had in his music than graduated from college or achieved some positive milestone with the positive messages that he had in his music.
Also Tupac reinforced many negative stereotypes that still exist today. How many rappers have made a living out of emulating his image or style? He was a charismatic rapper but if you really think about it he was only 25 years old and was just a kid. Boosie is naming his next album BooPac which is a failing on Boosie. The truth of the matter is that Tupac’s lifestyle was nothing to be envied. He died without leaving a legacy. The Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts doesn’t even exist anymore. If anything Tupac Shakur’s life should serve as an example of what not to do as an artist. From his lack of business acumen to his ties to the streets. However, artists are using his life as a template but in reality it was anything but a success. While he may have been in movies and had platinum albums, he is dead and that is a result of making poor life choices and few people look at it that way.
Keep in mind that at his death Tupac was only 25 years old and had a tremendous responsibility that would be difficult for any person to bear but the black community should start honoring real heroes and people who are making contributions to better the lives of African-Americans. I think its sad that Tupac has a movie made about his life but Marcus Garvey doesn’t. If Pac was here he would probably say the same thing.
Ryan Glover is a contributing writer for http://www.audiofuzz.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanDavisGlover, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your google network.