September 13, 2018

RIP 2Pac: Why His Legacy Still Relevant Today? [VIDEO]

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RIP 2Pac: Why His Legacy Still Relevant Today? [VIDEO]
(Photo Credit: Al Pereira/Getty Images)

It was September 7, 1996. After spending almost three years in prison, one of the biggest fighters in the world, Mike Tyson was regaining the traction in his career with three straight wins including two knockouts. He was one knockout away from finally getting a chance to fight Evander Holyfield after years of fans begging for the matchup.

All he had to do was get through Bruce Seldon. The fight was at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and there was one of his new best friends. 2Pac Shakur. The two first met at in 1991 at a party after Tyson allowed him in after security tried to keep them out. The two did not really connect until 1995, while Tyson was sitting in prison after being convicted for rape.

“The next time I saw [Tupac&#93 I didn’t even know who he was,” Tyson said. “I knew he was ‘2Pac.’ But his mother had wrote me a letter in prison … I remembered that night. He came to prison to see me. We spoke. He was so much more confident than when I had met him the other time, probably a year or two prior to that. He had gone from being shy guy to very strong-willed and confident and independent. He was tremendously feeling himself. He had so much confidence. He was bursting off the air. –MTV

2Pac had brought Tyson in the ring with a brand new track. Tyson ultimately knocked Seldon out in 1:49. And just like that the fight is over. He along with Suge Knight and a bunch of associates saw a crip by the name of Orlando Anderson in the lobby who was accused of robbing a member of Death Row months before. The group jumped him then dashed towards the exits, jumped into their vehicles, and began to head towards Knight’s owned venue, Club 662.

He hopped in the BMW on the passenger side as Suge Knight drove. At about 11:45 pm PDT, a Cadillac stopped beside their vehicle hitting 2Pac four times. He would lie in the hospital fighting for his life until September 13.

That was 20 years ago today. Two decades later, the legacy of the man named 2Pac Shakur still rings strong. He was an artist, a poet, an actor, an activist.

At the time of his death, the East coast/West coast war was in full swing with 2Pac and New York’s very own Notorious B.I.G. at the forefront of the battle. The two were once best friends, but things changed on November 30, 1994 when he was ambushed in an elevator at Quad Studios and shot five times. As a friend 2Pac claimed Biggie knew who did it, and didn’t ride with him as a friend.

He had big plans for this genre we call hip hop. Wanted to bring back to the community. Not just himself, but the big players in the genre. Plans to link back with members of the East Coast and have one nation of rap.

It’ll be out in the late summer,” Shakur writes to a friend. “WHAT TAPEZ U NEED? I’ll try 2 get some new material 2 U when I can.” The implications of this collaboration are enormous, as it would have united emcees from the country’s oft-rivaled East, West and South factions. –Rolling Stone

It’s been 20 years since his passing. The East coast/West coast wars have long washed away. Both Biggie and 2Pac have now passed away, and most likely the men who pulled the triggers as well. Since that time, hip hop turned into a billion dollar business. We went through the bubble jacket era, the Def Jam 2000 explosion, the southern takeover, and the trap era. Music has changed so much. Yet, while the internet continues to debate on whether Cam’ron was better or not, one can only look at his influence.

His music has stood the test of time, and his lyrics are still relevant today. 20-years-later songs such as “Brenda’s Got A Baby,” “Dear Mama,” “Changes,” still relate to many. While his hit single “California Love” lives forever.

One can only wonder what he would say if he was alive today. Would he be supporting today’s music? Would he be supporting the new generation of Lil’ Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, and more? Or would he be riding with the Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Dave East’s of the world?

“Hip Hop when it started it was supposed to be this new thing that had no boundaries and was so different to everyday music. Now it seems like I was starting to get caught up in the mode of what made hip hop come about. As long as the music has the true to the heart soul it can be hip hop. As long it has soul to it, hip hop can live on.” – Davey D

Kendrick helped give us a glimpse of what it would be like today with his single “Mortal Man.”

Would he be leading the Black Lives Matter movement we have today? Teaching the kids on how to make themselves better, marching with the people. Would he be wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey with the red bandana tied around his head? He was planning to connect the two coasts with a record label that included artists from both coasts. Hoping to set up softball leagues with artists sponsoring teams from the inner cities helping them become better people.

Maybe he’d be a big movie star. Before his passing, he had starred in roles such as Gridlock’d, Poetic Justice, Juice, Bullet and Above The Rim.

These are all answers that we’ll never get to answer. Yet, while the debate continues on who the best rapper is, his legacy is bigger than that. At 25, he had accomplished more than most could have in a lifetime. If it’s one thing we should take away from 2Pac today, is that we’re all not perfect, but to try and help each other in bringing a better nation. One nation.

“No independent person just grew up and was born independent. You worked and you learned teamwork, and you learned cooperation and unity and struggle, and then you became independent. And we have to teach that and instill that. . . I mean, if this is truly a melting pot in the country where we care about them . . . we really need to be like that. . . . You need to help black kids, Mexican kids, Korean kids, whatever. But it needs to be real and it needs to be before we all die and then you say, ‘I made a mistake. I should have gave them some money. We really should have helped these folks.’ It’s gonna be too late. And then that’s when you’ve gotta pay your own karma. And that’s what God punishes when God punishes you.” – MTV

Celebrate his music below.