On Tupac: Ten Years Already?

How Beautiful!

I dig that interview. (see the post directly below this one for the interview)
...I was actually gonna post in the "comments" section but this started to get long (and I mean...Emcee Long Wind is my alter ego so...!!!)

I think its interesting to think about the significance of not only that interview, but 2Pac himself. I don't think its about him being extraordinary. If anything, I think that he was a thinking individual and that some how surprised some folks, namely the media and mainstream America.

Wow, IT talks! IT can read AND write!

That seems to be the feeling around 2Pac and so many others (especially our brothers, because the intimidation factor surrounding the African male wherever he finds himself is just mind boggling altogether). Nonetheless, I think for us, Pac was a reflection... of the beauty, pain and contradictions of our generation. More than that, it was the potential that we saw in him, the opposing elements in him which just seemed to cry out for attention, love and critique.

I think that Pac was troubled and doing what my mother calls "running from yourself." In other words, I think Pac knew in his heart EXACTLY what was up, and spent a good amount of time "running" from the responsibilty and the realness of the role he needed to play in reference to those things. The beauty of it all, and I guess the Divinely Ordered part is that Pac kept coming right back to what he seemed to be trying to escape. Even in interviews, I mean you're 2PAc... you're supposed to be (according to the hip-hop stereotype) talking about women, cars, money: pimpin! Instead, you're flipping it on your accusers (who may have thought that they would control the direction of your conversation, but little did they know what you had up your sleeve!). Brilliant!. That conversation alone is an indictment! It might as well be Afeni Shakur and the crew talking... its consistent and it reeks with intent. I love it!

In light of the recent conversation regarding our "leaders," I recognize that 2Pac had a lot of contradictions (as we all do). But I think that his goods were still pretty good and impactful. They spoke to people. I still marvel at how deep "Dear Mama" is...I mean to say that "Even as a crack feign, Mama/ you always was a Black Queen, Mama" is just so profound: that is probably one of my favorite lines by Pac. Its simple but loaded with emotion. It sums the whole relationship up and you get a sense of respect, love, honor and understanding all rolled together in one.

And then I think about his name and the significance of that. Tupac Amaru Shakur is said to be named after Tupac Amaru, an Inca (King) of the cultural group (also called Inca) which populated what is now Peru. Apparently, the original Tupac Amaru was the son of Inca Manco Capac II, who started out as an ally of the Spanish conquistador Francissco Pizarro, but would later become opposed to the Spanish presence.

After the murder of his father Inca Manco Capac II, the throne of the Inca empire would travel through several different hands. Meanwhile Tupac Amaru was initiated as an Inca priest, and continued to maintain the traditions of his people. Finally, Amaru became Inca and continued to outwardly renounce Christianity as well as the foreign occupation of the land by the Spaniards. He was later murdered (executed) by the Spanish in 1572, and the Inca empire was for the most part obliterated. His great-grandson, Tupac Amaru II led an Inca uprising against the Spanish some 200 years later, and was also murdered (executed). And centuries later, in the 1980's, Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru was started in Peru in opposition to the reigning government.

Its funny, because a friend of mine sent a text today...it read "A moment of your time; where were you 10 years ago when you heard of 2Pac's death?" I actually took a few moments: to respond to her and forward the message to several friends. And I received SO MANY responses...I mean folks remember exactly what they were doing and with whom... if they were at grandmom's or home. Its really deep.

It made me think of how (and why) that event impacted the youth (us) so much. And now we're grown and Tupac's confusion, his battle with himself, seem much more apparent. Much more real. Those struggle aren't so abstract anymore. And the running doesn't seem so cowardly. Sometimes its actually expected, even encouraged. And Pac doesn't seem so mysterious anymore. Hell, he was only 25, a man-child running around in Hollywood's Gommorah, but somehow expected to maintain balance?

We got to do better. We doin good, but we have to continue to push and hold ourselves accountable.

We can't afford to lose brilliant minds who still need time and space to develop.
We can't afford any more Pacs.
It would be like spitting in the face of God.

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