Tupac Shakur was a perfect embodiment of the American identity crisis. He had to prove he was raw and not to be messed with. He was about the “THUG LIFE” tattooed in big letters across his abdomen. Likewise, many American men feel they have to size up and be physically intimidating. Streets can be brutal, after all.
Competing with this identity was a social revolutionary, an activist, a poet. The man that rapped about “fake ass bitches” also advised women across the nation to “keep ya head up!” He asked why “we take from our women, why we rape our women, why we hate our women,” as he called for the black community to rise up and help its females heal.
Likewise, the climate of the United States suffers from its own internal conflicts. We are a nation that profited from slavery, even having it embedded in our own constitution under the 3/5 Clause. America simultaneously proclaimed that every human being had the God-given right to be free. U.S. citizens want to stand up against global threats, but also want to keep peace between nations. We value brotherhood, but also are often motivated by financial profit.
I believe that with time, Pac will ultimately be remembered as a lyrical advocate for social justice. This poem will be remembered as a direct reflection of his legacy:
The Rose that Grew from Concrete
by Tupac Shakur
Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.
It’s a verbal testament to optimism and strength. Real strength. Not force through AK-47’s and fellow gangstas, but strength of an undying spirit. Tupac is an asset to our culture and society. Let’s remember him for the poet he was.
* * *
Check out this Sublime box set for only $48.99:
Everything Under The Sun