In loving memory of Tupac Shakur
He would have been 45
From the introduction to 1998’s Tupac Shakur (Three Rivers), by the editors of VIBE magazine.
Tupac made people uncomfortable. At his best, he called blacks and whites alike out on their complicity in a despicable system. He made thuggery-as-resistance appealing, urged us to be loud and wild and reckless. He was not trying to “rise above” the way things are. He was not trying to “be better.” No one ever said what would happen if folks got tired of aspiring to dignity—Tupac showed one way it already is. “I love it when they fear me,” he said. But more truly, he loved not fearing them. — Danyel Smith