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Thug Angel!



Tupac Shakur also known as Machiavelli the Don or Thug Angel is one of the most influential hip-hop artists ever to live. His bold and blunt attitude not only caught the attention of his fans but critics and enemies. Tupac was not only a rapper but a poet often speaking on problems in the black community. He would speak on the violence, education, and importance of black unity especially in his earlier years as an artist. Even though he was loved by many his words brought along a ton of controversy. His black panther mentality somewhat faded around the year of 1995-1996 when he signed to Death Row, which was run by the most notorious record label owner at that time, Suge Knight.

Tupac quickly went from black unity to black rivalry when he was shot in a studio which he blamed rapper, and former friend Biggie Smalls knew about the shooting or who shot him and didn’t tell Tupac. Things escalated when Suge Knight threw shade (acting in a casual or disrespectful manner toward someone) at P-Diddy and Bad Boy camp during the 1995 Source Awards. This sparked a fire between Death Row and Bad Boy camp which left two of the greatest rappers dead. Tupac added fuel to the fire by releasing a diss song to Biggie and Bad Boy titled “Hit Em Up.” The lyrics of the song were so vulgar that many watched as Biggie and Tupac’s friendship tarnish. Lyrics such as the opening of the song which he stated, “That’s why I fucked your bitch you fat muthafucka.”

Tupac was mentioning Biggie’s wife Faith Evans, which he claimed to have sexual intercourse with. Many close friends, family, and fans saw intense anger in Tupac that they began to believe that Suge Knight was not a good influence to the rapper. Despite all the controversy that Tupac was tied to; songs such as “Dear Mama,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “Brenda’s got a Baby” showed Tupac’s deep concern and love for the black community. His words were powerful, and he caught people’s attention wherever he went and whatever he was doing at the time whether it was movies or music. His poetry inspires writers and poets like myself always to be real with others and yourself and say how you feel.

His book of poems The Rose That Grew from Concrete helped people to see the deeper and softer side or Tupac Shakur. He wrote about his pain, black women, love, education and God. His words, music, and movies will forever live on and be a part of his legacy. Tupac was truly a Thug Angel, and I love and appreciate what he has taught me as a poet and a black woman. Rest on Machiavelli. Rest on.



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