Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tupac's 40th Birthday : When We Die Too Young

Being born with less
I must confess
Only adds on to the stress
Two gunshots to my homie’s head
Died in his vest
Shot him to death
and left him bleeding for his family to see
I pass his casket
Gently ask him
Is there heaven for G's?

Tupac Shakur would have been 40 years old today. After seeing what was posted on Twitter and Facebook leading up to today there’s definitely a reverence for the man and his legacy. I don’t have an issue with that. I admired his music myself and have quoted him on this blog several times. As years go by I see his life differently than I did when I was younger and he was bringing all of that energy through my headphones. I just keep wondering if he would still be smoking blunts and screaming thug life at 40 or would that be a distant memory.

Age changes most people. Even if it doesn’t correct all of the misguided things you believed when you were younger it at least slows you down enough where you don't act them out. I know a lot of cats that went hard in the streets who have settled down over time. The challenge these days is getting to that point. The thing about Tupac that a lot of people don’t recognize because he acted so crazy sometimes was that his intellect and charisma was so great that by now he probably would have been leading some kind of renaissance for young men to change their ways. That’s how I have always felt about him and it made his death more tragic as the years go by. When I hear his music now I think of all the other young men who have died too early for reasons not worth dying for and I wonder how many of them would have changed if they just would have made it to their 30’s. As it stands we have too many men that didn't make it to 25 where adult life and the reality of the world starts to become a little clearer.

I think if more of those men would have survived they could help us put this violence thing in the proper perspective and slowed it down. Maybe the message would be different if there was more proof that circumstances can change as you get older. Our momentum has swung in the complete opposite direction since Tupac and Biggie were killed. Black men are still getting killed for real reason on the streets across America and there’s no real end in sight. Rappers haven’t gotten any more responsible. They still beef about crazy things and now guys who weren’t even bad guys in real life take names of infamous drug dealers and gangsters for their stage names. Men we should vilify for helping destroy our community have become mainstream symbols and in some cases role models and sex symbols.

I don’t really know if Tupac could have changed all of this from happening but it would have been great if he was here to find out. As it stands now he is a symbol of all the wasted talent and untapped potential that’s been left to bleed on the streets. That makes his birthday a pretty sad event when you think about it. Tupac once asked the question if there was heaven for G’s. If the answer was yes it’s getting pretty crowded.

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