Thanks to Soybomb for holding down the Old School Hip Hop Sundays posts. I couldn’t help but share my thoughts about 2Pac, perhaps the defining artist of my adolescence.

It’s hard to say what first attracted me to 2Pac, being the privileged suburban white kid that I was. No doubt much of the intrigue revolved around the fact that his records were risqué and put my parents on red alert. No way in hell their son was going to listen to an album with that abominable PARENTAL ADVISORY sticker plastered on the cover. So I lived life on the edge, dubbing records from friends or purchasing them on trips to Strawberries with the babysitter. I’m sure much of the appeal also had to do with my misconstrued adolescent angst and retarded notion of being misunderstood. Somehow singing along to “Fuck The World” made me feel better about cleaning my room. Needless the say, the music bumped and even a 14 year old could appreciate 2Pac’s poetic prowess. I’d also like to think that a part of me sympathized with 2Pac’s struggle with being a thug with a heart. How could the same man pen a song like “Keep Your Head Up” then be arrested for rape shortly after?

Regardless, there I was with posters covering the walls, tying a bandanna on my head with the knot in the front while singing about thug life. It makes me laugh looking back on it, but you know what…that’s how influential his music could be. 2Pac could reach the hardest dudes on the street as well as the whitest kids sulking in their bedrooms. 2Pac had an emotional magnetism that few could ignore. It’s too bad I can’t say the same thing about a single musician on the airwaves today.

Next month will mark the 11th anniversary of 2Pac’s death. Hard to believe he was only 25 when he died. I actually remember that I was watching Ren and Stimpy on MTV when Kurt Loder came on screen with the breaking news, weird. I’ll be 25 in a few weeks…kinda scary.

Anyways, enough BS, here are some of my favorite 2Pac songs/videos:

“I Get Around”

“Do For Love”

“Holler If You Hear Me”