Lesane Parish Crooks, better known to the world as Tupac, would’ve been 45-years-old today. Although Shakur’s life was taken at a young age due to senseless gun violence, his iconic ideology and tremendous contribution to hip-hip will live on to influence generations to come. EGL recently covered the passing of his mother and former Black Panther member, Afeni Shakur. In commemoration of Tupac Shakur, here are a few lyrics pulled from four Tupac songs that will inspire you.
What was meant as a dedication to his chaotic childhood struggles, beef and successes with his mother, ended up being one of the greatest love stories in music history. Over eight sampled bars of Jazz legend Joe Sample’s “In My Wildest Dreams,” spews impassioned melodies and lyrics.
“For a woman it ain’t easy trying to raise a man.. You always was committed, a poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it.. There’s no way I can pay you back.. but my plan is to show you that I understand. You are appreciated.”
This song will make a grown man cry.
Tupac dropped some bars on Houston Rap legend Scarface alongside Johnny P; this is still a hit. This song speaks to the heart of a real G, someone who is in and out of the streets; a cry for help. The song could barely get started and Pac made the intro his clincher, rapping:
“There’s gon’ be some stuff you gon’ see that’s gon’ make it hard to smile in the future…. But through whatever you see.. Through all the rain and the pain.. You gotta keep your sense of humor.. You gotta be able to smile through all this B&^*^^#t..”
“Hustlas hardly think of culture…”
We are going to just let this one marinate.
This classic 90’s flow could be heard at all family reunions and in your cousin’s new whip. Tupac was there for you when no one else was through his music, he even says it, “2Pac cares if don’t no body else cares.” This anthem was and still is for the ladies.
“Forgive, but don’t forget girl… keep your head up.. And when he tell you, you ain’t nothing, don’t believe him.. And if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him.. cause sister you don’t need him..”
This song speaks light and power into the eyes of a woman.
“And since we all came from a woman.. got our name from a woman and our game from a woman.. I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women..”
Tupac has a catalog filled with legendary hits, but “Changes” marks his footprint in stone.
“I see no change..”
This hit was released in 1998 and it still speaks volumes in 2016. “Changes” is a call of action amongst our brothers and sisters.
Pac says, “I’m tired of bein’ poor, even worse, I’m black..” The lyricist is prophetic at his call for action within the black community, within the entire world.
“We gotta make a change… It’s time for us as a people to start makin 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..”
When Tupac dropped bars, he spoke explicitly from the heart on violence and ignored community issues. The hip-hop icon is still one of the most referenced artists to date. Happy birthday Tupac, rest in power.
Fans can make contributions to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation by visiting www.2Pac.com
Written By: Keandra “Ke’Ke” Scott