"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tupac Shakur

This 2002 Photolithographic poster of Tupac Shakur entitled “2 Pac 4 Ever” by Afeni Shakur hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
“Nearly two decades after his death, Tupac Shakur (1971-1996) remains one of the most magnetic and best-selling rappers in music. With a poetic and raw lyricism, Shakur wrote songs that exposed the inequities experienced by many impoverished inner-city African American communities. Repeatedly condemned for his explicit, violent, and at times misogynistic lyrics, Shakur seemed to embody the ‘Thug Life’ that his music so artfully populated. His eight-month incarceration for sexual assault coincided with his crossover success. Though he glorified being a ‘gangsta’ in baggy jeans, Shakur was critical of hip-hop excesses and, like his mother, Afeni, who was involved with the Black Panther Party, strove to right social and racial injustices. For Afeni, he recorded one of the most poignant love ballads to a mother, ‘Dear Mama.’

Killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas at age twenty-five, Shakur continues to be a profound part of our cultural imagination, most recently inspiring Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway sensation, Hamilton.” – National Portrait Gallery
50 Niggaz

In the event of my demise
when my heart can beat no more
I hope I die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had Lived 4
I will Die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow's Depth
as much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death
I have come 2 grips with the possibility
and wiped the last tear from My eyes
I Loved All who were Positive
In the event of my Demise

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