I came of age with Tupac. He was the first “grown” man that I fell in love with and I think I was probably 13.. His voice and his passion for whatever he was saying had me hooked. And my choosing him was important to me because my brother didn’t. And my brother taught me all I knew about hip hop. But Tupac was mine and no one else around me was really a fan but I loved him anyway. I fell for him when my aunt took me to see “Poetic Justice”. And do not ask me to recite all of his lines from "Juice".. because I will. “Strictly for my N.I.G.G.A.Z” kept me company and allowed me to maintain my angry and generally unimpressed teen age persona during long road trips with my family at that age where you are too young to opt out but too old to enjoy it. A friend gave me a Pac t-shirt with the image above on it. My parents wouldn't let me wear it outside. I still have it. I was in dance class on a Friday the 13th (of September) night when my hip hop dance teacher said “Yo, you heard about your boy?!” I hadn’t. I didn’t want to hear him and he seemed just too damn happy to tell me Pac was dead. So I just kept dancing and that night at home I cried. I had had a pretty rough day leading up to the announcement (rough for a girl 12 days away from turning 16) so I guess I had to let it all out using the news of his death as the straw that broke a teenage camels back. Sometime after that I found a huge, velvet, black light poster of him and it stayed next to my bed until about my sophomore year of college. Pac travelled with me. And then I let him go. I don’t care to ponder how he would have been now or what he would have thought about rap music or Barack Obama. I just know what he meant to me. Coming into my own, developing my own taste in music and in a man. I need a man with a voice! I knew that much at least. And being fine doesn’t hurt. I wasn’t naïve. I knew about his criminal issues but he was what he was.
Happy Birthday Tupac! Or should I say. Rest in Peace.