Newest Review: ... my teenage years from when I first heard 'I ain't mad atcha' through to letting him go at Elton Johns remake of 'Ghetto Gospel'. ... more
A Beautiful, Fragmented Soul
2Pac in general
Member Name: malteser1987
2Pac in general
Advantages: Wonderful poetry, inspring music
Disadvantages: The sinister rivalrys, his murder
It is funny to reflect on our childhood influences; especially those that don't gel with the person you become today or defy the ability for others to predict that association with you; and so as such is my devotion to 2pac.
Tupac Amaru Shakur was murdered in 1996, in fact the last review within this category was written in 2002, one evidently believing that it is time to let this remarkable man rest in peace and by writing this review, I'm not attempting to stir him from that eternal slumber because as much as it pains me and as much as I would love to subscribe to the many 'theories' which indicate that he just slipped out of the limelight with a 'staged' assassination, he is gone and the recent remakes and adapations of previous and unfinished works has only further confirmed that that which he brought to his personal style of music has long since died with him; and that is how it should be.
I actually encountered Tupac a number of years after his death and he attributed to many growing pains throughout my teenage years from when I first heard 'I ain't mad atcha' through to letting him go at Elton Johns remake of 'Ghetto Gospel'. My most used and abused album being his Greatest Hits, I was a devoted follower attempting to accumulate a collection of his albums and still find myself re-reading his wonderful poetry collection 'The Rose That Grew From Concrete' which I can still quote the poem that shares that title word for word today. His poetry has a lot of influence over my writing. The book itself features the scanned copy of the actual poem and the 'translation' on the opposite page due to him using images i.e. never writing 'I' but always drawing an eye. His colloquial style which embraced beautiful, simple images of youthful, helpless and hopeless love countered with his more distructive, sharp poems attacking society, political leadership and the treatment of 'his people' exposed the creative roots which bore the foundation for his music.
Now his music, how to summarise? What draws me to Tupac's music is I find every word relevant and can actually hear every single word. They are not banded together because they rhyme at the end; there is a message whether it be serious, intimate or sexualised it is always strong and well crafted, wonderfully structured and not just for aesthetics. I can always tell his music from others as there is a retro feel to it possibly associated to nothing of his being created by him after 1996 - which is why I tend to be so adverse to any recent adaptations; they become fabricated, loosely related and highly fluffed up with the 'benefit' of modern sound manipulation. His work was heavier and more meaningful - was meant for the masses to hear the message, not just the music
The theories? I wanted to believe them once because truely, I fell for his music and wanted to literally squeeze blood from a stone hoping to see something the others missed. Yes, his beliefs were interesting, exaggerated and if anything exposed him to be a vulnerable, paranoid and slightly delusional human being who felt the pressure of representing the West Coast, holding up rivalrys on the streets and not just in the studio, and was taken into the public image of the 'gangster'. He had a dramatic and difficult childhood but it is hard to seperate fact from fiction. As with 'Biggie', the music became fabricated to build a particular image of his childhood which in later documentrys became exposed and crushed, and similarly I am sure there are elements to Tupacs character formed from media hype and speculation.
In summary, I personally love his music and adore his poetry, but when drawn into him it is easy to overlook the fact that he made a lot of enemies off his own back, and he is not returning. Songs such as 'Hit Em Up' expose a sinister, sadistic nature which whilst hearing his pearls of wisdom about the state of society, he was also happy to take the music rivalry to personal frightening levels - threatening others 'rappers', apparently slipping with their wives and not thinking twice about gunning them down in the street. Most of his music does not include this mentality, but that would be the only downside for me - the sinster side to his music which let down the important and relevant messages he otherwise wanted to spread.
Summary: Wonderful music in general, beautiful poetry and an ongoing loss to the music industry
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