Many of us have individuals we deem icons for an array of reasons, whether its because they can relate to them through a similar chain of circumstances, admire their talent or entrepreneurial success. Tupac Shakur was an inspiration to many for his music, poetry, acting and his social awareness.
His rhymes and poetry could be just as much inspirational and compassionate as they could be potent and violent. From themes of empowering women to keep their head up, to graphic recollections of innercity living with 'Brenda's got a baby' and tales of day to day life for a young black male in America with songs like 'Trapped'. Along with the two sides of his music, the same could be said for his personality which was again conveyed through his catalogue of albums. Over his career he garnered huge amounts of respect primarily for his social awareness and his etching to empower and motivate innercity minorities, a tone which was present on pretty much every one of his musical releases. Fans will also agree he wrote what is possibly one of the most beautiful emotional tributes in rap history with 'Dear Mama' where he discussed his upbringing, poverty, mothers drug addiction and absent father. What really defines Tupac’s legacy is that topics he bought to the forefront over twenty years ago are just as relevant now as they were then, we can only wonder not only what the music landscape would be today but also socially..
For me his music was escapism I did not fully understand his vision or messages until I got into my early teens, once I did, I began to understand how creative and deep he really was. During both my challenging and darkest times I found solace in two particular albums albums, 'Me against the world' and 'Makaveli the don killuminati 7 day theory' conveying powerfully positive messages, and as today marks twenty years since he passed away after being gunned down in Las Vegas 1996. I believed it was only right to put together a small tribute to his impact on me and how he is immortalised through his creativeness twenty years later.
Portrait of 2pac in the studio