Tupac Shakur: A Soldier Misunderstood

"...I got crucified to the media." -Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur left behind a lyrical legacy that is abhorrently misinterpreted by those unfamiliar with his work. The media has served to blemish Tupac's image in the eyes of these people, concealing what is the true worth of his work.

Many make the mistake of classifying Tupac as just another disgruntled young black male filled with prejudice and advocating violence. This misinterpretation can be attributed partly to his rough, thuggish exterior, but is mainly due to the portrayal of his character put forth by the mainstream media.

Tupac's life can be compared to a glimmering glass table with only one or two specs of dirt to be found on its surface. The media serves as the microscope placed over the spec of dirt, severely scarring the value vested in the rest of the surface.

It becomes blatantly apparent with little examination that Tupac was targeted by the media. The powers that control the media must have felt threatened in order to take suppressive measures against the character of Tupac Shakur. The question remains, then, as to why he was targeted. Tupac must of had something revealing to say in order for his silencing to be an order.

The truth is that Tupac, a self-described soldier, did much more than just entertain through his music. From the beginning of his career to the end, he fought avidly for his beliefs, reaching people through his music, poetry and interviews.

Utilizing to the fullest extent every opportunity he had to be heard, Tupac spoke to young black America about the unjust circumstances they were given. He instilled within many sparks of hope through his words of encouragement and rebellion. The hope he so granted was not vainly directed, it was hope for real change.

Shakur, although departed from the physical plane of the earth, is far from dead. He is alive in every song, magazine and conversation bearing his name. Tupac left behind a plethora of unreleased work for his fans and followers to devour. His image remains vivid in the many films he completed in his career.

Tupac, unlike many of his contemporary counterparts, had his dreams of change embedded in reality. In an era where pointless idealism thrives, Tupac was doing something different. He was getting something accomplished; not for himself, but for all people. After all, Tupac failed to mention God in very few of his songs.

NorthernNotes from Northern Illinois University

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