The murdered rapper and actor’s career has lasted only five years, but some of his music seems to present itself in many ways to his fans.
Known for his brushes with the law and his sometimes violent lyrics that often mirror his real life, Shakur’s songs have been adopted as rebellious songs and he is one of the great poets of the streets.
White Man’s World
The single appeared on the posthumously released 1996 album “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” and offered Shakur’s thoughts on becoming a minority.
It also provides his apology for the treatment of black women.
“Help me raise my black country, pay compensation / It’s true. I’m trapped in this world. I have benefited you,” Shakur raps. “So tell me how I love babies, precious boys and girls. This white man was born black in the world.”
‘Hola If I Hear Me’
Considered one of the classics of gangsta rap, the street credits of the song demand the listener to “pump a fist like this”.
It not only pays homage to “my homies on Tha Black / Gettin ‘left by the police” but also declares “it’s not just a rap song / black song”.
Shakur can only take the Bruce Hornsby model and turn it into a street anthem about racism and reconciliation.
“The changes” reflected him: “I don’t see any changes. What I see is racist faces / misogynistic hatred for the race / I wonder what we need to do to make this / a better place, underneath, let’s waste.”
The song features singer Talent and is the lead single on Shakur’s 1998 “Greatest Hits” album.
‘Raise Your Head’ and Live
“Some say it is black berry, luscious juice / dark meat, then the roots are deeper.”
The celebration of Shakur’s blackness is also hopeful that good days will come.
And can’t we all use some of it right now?