Tupac - New “Dear Mama” Series Helps Us Celebrate His Conscious Impact
September 13, 2022, was the 25th anniversary of the death of Tupac Amaru Shakur. Despite his tumultuous childhood, he received deep teachings from his mother and Tupac is known as one of the most influential rappers of all time.
According to Yahoo! “There may be no hip-hop artist who’s been mythologized more than Tupac Shakur—this is an icon, after all, who had so many posthumous albums released following his 1996 death (seven, in fact) that some fans began semi-jokingly speculating, à la Elvis rumors, that he wasn’t really dead but, rather, continuing to record in secret. (full article here)“ The article goes on to say that a new five-part docuseries Dear Mama that will air on FX does not however reveal that Tupac has been in hiding for the past 26 years. The director Albert Hughes’, in his five-part docuseries— of which the first episode premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival seeks to shine an illuminating light on Tupac. Pac’s rise to stardom will be viewed through in a light that shines on his upbringing with his mother, Afeni Shakur. Tupac was born in New York City's inner streets on June 16, 1971. Tupac's music career began in 1991, and a rising star in the rap world. In September 1996, Tupac was fatally shot in Las Vegas after attending a boxing match. He died six days later, but no one has been charged with murder since.
Tupac's untimely death left a huge void in the hip-hop community. Many people believe that he would have gone on to achieve even greater success had he lived longer. Despite his short career, Tupac was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Hip Hop Hall of Fame. His music spoke to many young people who related to his struggles growing up in inner-city neighborhoods plagued by crime and poverty.
Tips/ Lessons learnt
Tupac’s life and messages can teach us to:
· Stand up for what you believe in.
Tupac was never afraid to stand up for what he believed in, and he spoke out against racism and police brutality and advocated for the rights of Black and Brown people. As creatives, we should also be fearless in standing up for our beliefs, even when it isn't popular or easy.
· Know your worth
Tupac knew his worth as an artist and human being, and he always demanded to be treated with respect. He refused to be taken advantage of or silenced and fought tirelessly for creative control.
· Don't stop when you're tired. Stop when you're done.
Tupac was notoriously hard-working, often working on music late into the night. As creatives, we should also push ourselves to keep going even when tired because greatness doesn't come easy.
· Use your platform to make a change.
Tupac used his music to discuss police brutality, racism, and other social justice issues. As creatives, we are also responsible for using our art to change the world.
Key Questions/Next Steps
· As creatives, we will inevitably face obstacles in our careers – but we should never let them defeat us. We should take inspiration from Tupac and keep our heads up no matter what life throws our way.
· One of the most important things we can learn from Tupac is that life is precious and fragile. He died tragically at 25, but he achieved more in his short life than many people do in a lifetime. His death reminds us that we should never take life for granted – we should live each day like it could be our last.