Remembering a Legend

Devon Rodriguez

More stories from Devon Rodriguez


September 13, 2018, marked the 22nd anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s death. Shakur was shot in a drive-by on September 7, 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was in critical condition until he passed six days later. Born into a family of Black Panther activists, Pac was born to make a difference in the world. On the anniversary of Tupac’s death, millions of people celebrated it by having a moment of silence, candlelight tributes, and social media posts because of the dramatic impact Shakur left on their lives.

Tupac Shakur, also known by his stage name “2Pac” was a well-known poet, activist, actor, and rapper who surfaced in the 80’s and 90’s. He wrote poetry and infused it into his songs while standing up for the community he was born into. Tupac had a way of relating to everybody in one way or another, and that made him great to each person who listened to him. Most people knew Pac for his most popular album “All Eyez On Me” which resurfaced as a film in 2017. Pac was also well known in the poetry world for his famous poem, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”. Also, many don’t know that 2Pac was apart of the “Digital Underground” before the iconic star got into acting and his participation in “Death Row”. Shakur was doing the “Humpty Dance” with Oaklands up and coming hip-hop artists before his iconic fame came to be. Pac was also well known for being the first hip-hop artist to cross over to acting. He starred in the movie Juice, Above The Rim, Gridlock’d, Poetic Justice, and Nothing But Trouble.

“You gotta make a change.” Tupac Shakur said. “It’s time for us as people to start making some changes. Let’s change the way we eat. Let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us, to do what we gotta do to survive.”

Shakur became driven by impacting positive change at an early age. He was ushered into a life full of poverty, crime, drugs, and violence. Yet, he was still propelled towards the optimistic lifestyle despite his family background. He tried his best to change the world around him, one word at a time. Pac is brought into the lifestyle of fighting for justice for police brutality, women’s rights, and racial justice. He put his pain and struggles into his music, which helped teens all around the nation transfer their anger and emotions into their work. Songs like Brenda’s Got A Baby, Trapped, Holla If Ya Hear Me, Keep Your Head Up, Dear Mama, To Live And Die In LA, White Manz World, Ghetto Gospel, Changes, and Can U C Pride In The Panther were Shakur’s most socially conscious songs. Pac made society aware of the problems that were not always recognized by the public eye. Shakur also introduced the acronym, “T.H.U.G-L.I.F.E” that inspired the best selling novel “The Hate U Give”. This acronym symbolized that what you feed children as seeds is what they blossom into. He and many other old-school hip-hop artists like Big Syke, Stretch, Mopreme Shakur, The Rated R, and Macadoshis symbolized the acronym throughout their career.

“Rap music as a whole would be very different without Tupac’s influence.” Junior Talayah Hamilton said. “His style is so unique and raw, and he truly made his music with words that paved the way for artists who really want to reach and connect to people like Shakur did,”

Presently, rappers and artists like Eminem, J. Cole, and Jada Pinkett Smith mention Tupac positively in their music and daily lives. 2Pac has done things worth glorifying, and things some may think is worth condemning, but his words have outlived him. His words and songs are just as relevant as they were when he was alive, and his mark on the world will never fade. Two decades after his death, Shakur still identifies as one of hip hop’s most iconic artists to ever live. Pac changed the game of Hip Hop, and his memory still lives on in spite of his tragic death.

“I think it’s really important for young black men and women to listen to Pac’s message and know that someone has experienced what they go through on a daily basis,” junior Talayah Hamilton said.