Thug Life in 2013
(And Would Tupac still live it?)
Greetings Earthlings! It’s ya friendly neighbor-hood Hopedealer. As I write this blog, it’s the eve of the 17th anniversary of my comrade Tupac Shakur’s way to early departure from this planet. It is always a reflective time for me personally. I tend to relive the day all over again. The mistakes we made, the 6 long days he struggled to either leave or stay… Smh.
It also takes me back to the beginning of it all, well at least the “thuglife” portion of his career. PAC was inspired by the 92 riots so profoundly, he wanted to organize a movement, a nu movement that would speak to our generation in the 90’s. He understood that the old way wouldn’t “speak” to or for the kids of that time. It was the Hip-hop generation and marching and singin and protesting wasn’t something we were into At all.
To put it blank, niggaz wanted to ride! We were sick and Tired of the everyday Rodney King type abuse that people in the ghetto endured everyday, even if no cameras were around to film the bullshit.
It started with the “50 niggaz” theory. Tupac surmised that if we could get one representative from each state to be sort of the “leader” of the “hoods” we would essentially build an army of our own to mobilize and organize. Of course there were obvious flaws with the idea, because its hard to get US to agree on one thing at any given time.
So he revised it and with the help of his step-dad and mentor Dr. Mutulu Shakur he morphed it into thuglife with the “ThugCode” to be its foundation. His next dilemma would be how to get the target audience attention. So you began to notice a change in his message post “Strictly for my Niggaz.” Less preaching and more of an attempt to speak to the thugs in a language we could all understand. He started a group comprised of active gang members along with his big bro Mopreme.
The Hate u Gave Little Infants Fucks Everybody was an acronym he came up with, off the cuff. It was catchy and a big topic of discussion when he would do interviews. Tupac often said “I’m not the creator of “ThugLife” just the one who diagnosed it”. But he did essentially give birth 2 the ideology whether he cared to take credit or not, in my opinion. He even gave it a look. Tatoos, the bandanna, bald head, the swag was all his.
Up until that point, there were no artist in rap or otherwise who looked or talked like him. People assumed he was trapped in his Bishop character from the hit movie Juice that he starred in because of his many run ins with the law, never taking in consideration that he was obviously being targeted because of his militant lineage and message.
Fast-forward a few years past the trials, the attempted assassination in New York and his eventual demise in Vegas and the “ThugLife” ambassador eventually died the way he lived some would go on to say. Practically any rapper after Pac adapted some portion of his movement and look, never really getting the whole picture. Dudes just saw the way people responded to him and wanted a piece of the action, minus the outcome.
The streets loved and still love him because no one before or since has spoken to and for them as well since. Often I am asked what would Pac be like If he had survived those 5 MoRE bullets he took the night of September 7th 1996? My answer is always the same… Who knows! Unfortunately he’s not here for us to witness what might have been. I will say this, he was uber intelligent and smart people never stay the same.
Evolution Is real. So we can all have fun daydreaming of what Tupac would be like in 2013. Does thuglife still exist? Ask the streets of Chicago, Oakland, Jamaica, Syria and so on to get you answer. Or ask Treyvon, when you pray tonite. He’s probably Rollin with Pac. ThugLife. Is. Mine. SALUTE.
P.S. log on to O-4-L.com or Allhiphop.com and peep my latest single and video “Thug Life2013” f/hard and a cold sample from tupac on the hook.