Tupac Shakur, also known as Tupac or 2Pac, was one of the most influential rappers of the 20th century. During his short career, he became a symbol of activism and equality as he challenged the status quo with lyrics that highlighted social issues that are just as relevant today.
While he is best remembered as a rapper, Tupac Shakur was also a poet whose words could reflect both the harshness and beauty of society.
“Accept no substitutes;/ I bring truth to the youth.” - “Holla If Ya Hear Me”
“You know it's funny, when it rains it pours/ They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor.“ - “Keep Ya Head Up”
“Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that./ So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep your head up and handle it.” - “In My Heart”
“Long live the rose that grew from concrete/ when no one else ever cared.” - “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”
“But we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other/ We gotta start makin' changes/ Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers/ And that's how it's supposed to be.” - “Changes”
“Driven by ambitions, desire higher positions/ So I proceed to make Gs eternally/ And my mission is to be more than just a rap musician/ The elevation of today’s generation, If I could make ‘em listen.” - “Unconditional Love”
“You know what my mama used to tell me/ ‘If you can’t find somethin’ to live for/… then you best find something to die for.” - “Something 2 Die 4”
“Don’t settle for less, even a genius asks questions/ Be grateful for blessings/ Don’t ever change, keep your essence.” - “Me Against the World”
Tupac gave several insightful interviews about his situation, as well as the state of society.
“It's like a battle, trying to find the right words to say at the right time.” - Ed Gordon Interview, 1994
“I have no patience for anybody that doubts me, none at all.” - Ed Gordon Interview, 1994
“Fear is stronger than love, remember that. Fear is stronger than love, all that love I gave didn't mean nothing when it came to fear.” - prison interview, 1995
“Measure a man by his actions fully, from the beginning to the end. Don't take a piece out of my life or a song out of my music and say this is what I'm about, because you know better than that.” - prison interview, 1995
“The only thing that can kill me is death, that's the only thing that can ever stop me, is death, and even then my music will live forever.” - prison interview, 1995
“I can't explain why I shine and no one else shines. I think everybody shines in different things.” - Interview on the set of Gang Related (August 27, 1996)
“What we're doing is using our brain to get out of the ghetto. Any way we can. So we tell these stories. And they tend to be violent because our world tends to be filled with violence.” - interview with E! about Juice, 1992
Seek inspiration with quotes from these artistic minds.