Life After 2Pac

Life After 2Pac

EZ Brvnchld

July 5th, 2017

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Who doesn’t like 2Pac? They’re probably a hater, or an internet troll leaving comments on a facebook post somewhere. With the release of the new biopic “All eyez on me” I’ve been digging in the crates a lot recently and rediscovering 1 of my favorite artist, but with a new lens on life but older and a bit smarter.

2Pac was the voice of young black males in the 90’s. 2Pac represented Black masculinity, America’s worst nightmare. “Thug Life” was 2Pac’s version of a Black rebellion, a direct lineage of the Panthers heritage but post crack epidemic. And like it or not much like the panthers, 2Pac’s “Thug Life” lyrics, dress, and mentality started it’s own movement in the black community (For better or worse), that has had lasting effects over the last 20 yrs. Now 2Pac did not invent Thug Life, he “Diagnosed it” as he would say. In fact, it was America who created Thug Life. The war on drugs was no joke, and “Reganomics” was responsible for the harsh living conditions black youth were experiencing in the mid to late 80s. Not to mentions decades of racial redistricting during Jim Crowe, all these factors made 80s inner city America reminiscent of a post apocalyptic movie except the characters are real. 2Pac chose to expose this through his lyrics and appearance, and we loved him for it! He represented us on TV but had the knowledge to articulate it and not sound ignorant or self absorbed. Even the acronym “Thug Life” stands for “The Hate U Gave Little Children Fucked Everybody” reflected were we were as a society in Black America. But unfortunately Pac’s vision of Thug Life died with him. And since his death, over 20 years now there has been the void that has been left, not just in hip hop but in the black community as a whole that really hasn’t been replaced. We done came a long way from Thug Life to Young Thug. And that’s not to discredit anything about Jeffrey’s background or upbringing, but the differences between the 2 artist are glaring.
Sure we have artist like Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole who do good job of trying to carry the torch as the ghetto’s storyteller. But both lack the militant charisma, and bold outspokenness, that Pac possessed that could help lead black community in present day. With situations like Mike Brown in Ferguson, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore are times where a voice as powerful as 2Pac’s. Everything from the Black Lives Matter movement, to the rise of the Alt-Right in American politics are eerie like revelations of things Pac spoke about in his music coming to fruition. At the end of the day not much has changed since the days of Pac. I guess it’s up to us to keep his movement going, or at least take what’s good from what’s left of it & and start a new 1.

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