"I'm 23 years old. I might just be my mother's child, but in all reality, I'm everybody's child. Nobody raised me; I was raised in this society."
His name was Tupac Amaru Shakur, but his fans used to call him 2Pac or Pac, he was one of the greatest rappers ever who graced the genre of hip-hop. There were many things which he did in his short career and life, and he created an influence on the world with his words of wisdom. But when you become such a great star, controversies also follow you. Something similar happened with Tupac as he was involved in many cases, went to jail, was shot five times but came back alive and later was murdered on the streets of Las Vegas. Tupac called himself a thug and even had a tattoo of thug life on his chest.
A biographical movie about him is about to release on his 46th birthday which is entitled on one of the 2Pac albums, 'All Eyez On Me'. The movie will reveal about his life journey and most importantly his death because there are so many things which people don't know regarding it. His death is still a mystery, and no one knows who killed Tupac.
Tupac's songs were are all about passion, and he dared to talk about the life on streets, the problems which black community faced in America and violence. He said whatever he wanted to say. Today, people not only search for his songs but also his quotes.
When people say Tupac is the best rapper of all time, they don't just mean he is the best; they mean that the things he said were important, more relevant and most importantly they believed that he was a great human being.
Tupac Amaru Shakur died at the age of 25 on September 13, 1996, after being shot in a car on September 7 but still, 20 years after his death, most of the hip-hop industry and fans all around the world regard him as the greatest rapper of all time. But what made him the most exceptional, let's find out!
There have been theories regarding his death, but still, no one knows about how was he able to predict his death. There were many songs where he prophecised things which came true. In the song, Niggas Done Changed, he rapped, "I been shot and murdered, can't tell you how it happened, word for word. But best believe niggas' gonna get what they deserve."
Even he recorded a song on the death of The Notorious B.I.G., who died nearly a year after Tupac's death. He knew that sooner, he would meet Biggie in heaven.
Most of the rappers today release their album and take rest for two years or more, but Tupac was different. He was known for recording three to four songs in a few hours. He even completed an album in two weeks. Tupac believed that his time on the earth is limited and he can't just still around and waste his time. He spent most of his time in the studio recording songs and partying.
There were always questions asked regarding the best flow between Tupac and Biggie. But, I think there's no competition as they both had different approaches. Tupac depended on the content, and his flow came from the lyrics he wrote.
Today, many rappers are known for their flow, but I guess no one can match the level of 2Pac because of the complexity of sentences he used and also due to the use of hard-edged rhymes.
There's an old saying on his death, "When Tupac died, everybody moved up one." This can not get any better because the artists who were there at the time of Tupac are at the top of the charts today. He was a great influencer, and he told people to talk about their miseries, and he always took a stand for serious issues.
Tupac had a great impact on many people and artists. Some even compared him with The Notorious B.I.G., but he said that 2Pac's music had a significant impact on him. People were able to relate 2Pac's words with their daily life because he used to rap about them. He was not afraid to share the problems his mother faced in growing him up. Shakur called himself, a thug, and he is one who defined the meaning of 'Thug Life'. Many of us today use this phrase, but we didn't know that he made it famous.
Today's generation has mostly heard his diss song, Hit 'Em Up but he was not just about abusing and dissing East Coast rappers. He has recorded many other songs which talk about serious issues. Rappers are known for disrespecting women, but in his song, Keep Ya Head Up, he asks women to stay strong and never back down to any problem. He even dedicated one song to his mother, 'Dear Mama', which I think is one of the best songs in the hip-hop culture.
Ever since his death in Las Vegas in 1996, there have been numerous theories released that he is alive. Many people claimed that they had seen the rapper and also claimed that he lives in Cuba but, no one was able to prove it. In 2015, the police officer who first reached Tupac when he was shot, claimed that he was given $1.5 million to help rapper to fake his death, although nothing was proved and his death is still a mystery.
Tupac remained consistent throughout his career. He only worked on his missions and never made an album for commercial sales. He always talked about social and political issues in his album. He was an activist who was born to an activist in jail. He has also recorded more songs than any other hip-hop artist, but none of them failed to impress the listeners.
Tupac Shakur was recently inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was inducted by his fellow rapper, Snoop Dogg. The notable point here is that this honour is given to an artist who has worked 25 years in the field of music. But 2Pac had a career of only six years, so it is an incredible achievement for anyone like him to get a posthumous induction into Hall of Fame.
The list of his accomplishments is quite long, and there are only a few rappers who can match them. Tupac is the first hip-hop artist to have two #1 albums on the Billboard's Top 200 Albums Chart. Tupac achieved this when hip-hop and rap had a few followers.
And if we talk about Biggie regarding this then he was again way back. The best position he held was #13.
You can not understand Tupac's lyrics until you listen to them. Every single word he wrote had a reason and meaning behind it. Many people don't call him the greatest rapper of all time; they call him the greatest lyricist who ever lived. But this is a never-ending debate, and whatever may be the case, he was invincible.
Listen to his songs like Dear Mama and Brenda's Got a Baby and you'll be able to witness Pac's storytelling ability also realising that he is the best at it. There are only a few artists who can tell a complete story in a 5-minute song, Tupac is one of them. Many people say that Eminem is the best storyteller, but when 2Pac does it, his voice gives him an extra advantage.
There are many things which Tupac did that were considered wrong, but still, his thug persona was something which was associated with his personality. He changed people's thinking about rappers, rap industry and became an inspiration for all.
The discography of Tupac Amaru Shakur is very long for an artist who died at the age of 25. He released a total of 11 Studio albums, four of them were released before his death and seven posthumously. The first album after his death was The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and it was released on November 5, 1996.
Today, there are many places in the world which have paintings and image of Pac's face. The Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Georgia was built to the honour the late rapper. He even has a statue at the MARTa Herford, Germany.
Tupac may have died at a very young age, but his legacy lives on till this date.
One of my favorite Tupac Shakur quotes, "I am not saying I'm gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world."
Life Goes On, Homie! Rest in Peace.