A comparison I can’t help but make

I feel like I’m going to catch a lot of shit for this. People are going to say I have my biases and whatnot, but whether that’s true or not is irrelevant. What matters is that if you truly step back and listen to what I’m saying from your own as-much-as-possible objective point of view, you’ll see what I’m saying.

So I’m about halfway done with the Resurrection movie and it’s amazing how deep and complicated Tupac Shakur was. He was so real and so true to himself that even when he got big he would go to the dirtiest house party in the ghetto and party with his people. No one could ever accuse him of straying from his roots. He was viewed by the public as this “hard ass nigga” because of his attitude towards the Police and other governmental institutions that he thought were simply useless because they weren’t doing their jobs. He was a visionary for black people. He spoke emotionally, and he spoke from the heart. And yet, the logic in his words was undeniable. He once exclaimed that if President Reagan cared so much about abolishing poverty, that he should let the thousands of homeless people on the streets of D.C. stay in the White House for a bit. A big ass house like that is bound to have a “few” extra bedrooms right? The suggestion is outrageous, but is it illogical?

It’s true that he had a hard side, but he was also one of the most sensitive famous people that I’ve ever seen. You could see in his eyes that he truly was a good person and only wished well upon others. He would speak of his celebrity friends only in fondness, nothing but positive words for them. Until of course, he thought that Christopher Wallace was a threat to his life. Regardless though, he wasn’t afraid to be emotional in front of people, and he wasn’t afraid to show his sensitive or religious side. He was so outspoken all of the time. He was never held back by society’s expectations of how a rich, famous, well established role model should act.

He was a free spirit.

And it’s sad that people compare themselves to Pac. Especially rappers these days. Hip hop has been construed and twisted so much so that it’s full of one dimensional motherfuckers out to show off their money and hoes. Of course there’s exceptions, but people like 50 Cent and Ja Rule, among others, simply should not compare themselves to him. They have nothing in common except biceps and tattoos.

Of course there’s hope for hip hop. Young artists with actual messages and lyrical skill like Drake, Wale, Lupe Fiasco and others are here to carry the torch from declining heavyweights like Nas and Hova. But if there was one personality in the whole world today, that could emulate what Tupac Shakur stood for, it would be someone with no regard for society’s handcuffs. Someone that had no problem spewing their emotional hardships out on records for fans to relate to. Someone unafraid of, but rather excited for change. That person would be Kanye Omari West (their middle names even sound similar?!).

Before you start spewing your bullshit at me, look at the facts. ‘Ye has never been afraid to voice his opinion, sometimes even victimizing people in the process. We all remember the Katrina breakout…

You can’t deny this is something Pac would do. The Taylor Swift incident is another example. It made people absolute despise Kanye, and he trudged on. Controversy is not something Pac nor Kanye could escape, even if they wanted to.

Which I’m not sure that they did.

Even certain songs by Ye sound–in message and theme–to songs that Pac would write. Tracks like “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “All Falls Down,” and “Champion” are prime examples.

And then there’s the ego. Have you ever seen two bigger egomaniacs, ever, in the history of the world? No, no you haven’t. Then there’s the near death experiences that changed their outlooks on their respective lives. Pac was shot five times in New York and Kanye was in a devastating car accident. I could go on and on about this all day, but I ‘ll try to just hit the key points.

When Kanye’s mother died he wasn’t quiet about his emotional reaction. His song “Hey Mama” dedicated to Donda West (RIP), bears a resemblance to one of Pac’s songs as well. Kanye broke down crying while performing it at a show in Paris, showing no embarrassment in his grief. He took his moments to gather himself and continued the show. He went through such a hard time in his life that his emotions became the fruition of 808’s and Heartbreak, his autotune heavy, made-from-scratch-while-in-Hawaii, emotion filled latest album. It was, of course a complete break from his norm and had mixed reviews from different fans. I think his true fans understood why he did it though, and a few of the 808 songs actually became very popular. The album paved the way for new artists to bring their own mixed music styles to be accepted by the public including the melodic hip hop of Kid Cudi and the R&B/Soul-ish sound of Mr. Hudson.

The point is, that both can be looked at as visionaries. Both are extremely controversial, and both have shown their emotional distress publicly. Both are natural born leaders and have shown their ability, time and time again to introduce new ideas, warping our idea of what music (or fashion, or philanthropy) is really about.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for the article. I liked it. You have a very well-done blog.

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