Tupac ruined the rap game when he tattooed “Thug Life” on his stomach. This isn’t to say that he was the first thug or gangsta of hip hop. But that image of that tattoo was seen worldwide and let everyone know that this is hip hop. It was great for the 1990’s when that kind of life style was seen as cool or the norm in hip hop. Today, however I see kids on social media trying to be gangsters and thugs and it isn’t right.
I use Tupac as an example because he was such a powerful figure in the culture. He was truly special with how he was able to reach people by being authentic to himself. He is like god to most people who listen to rap, but he is flawed like anyone else. He was not a perfect person and lived a reckless life that was brought about by his self-proclaimed “thug lifestyle.” We celebrate Tupac like he is the man and he is. The problem is people saw this and thought they could be him. The reality though is you can’t. There is only one Tupac and he unfortunately is not here anymore.
In 2017, Tupac should be an example to everyone that being a thug doesn’t have a good end. I understand that everyone grows up in a different environment and some things are hard to escape but death isn’t one of them. Being a thug will get you death or jail. Both aren’t very cool.
The cool thing to do today is going to school and get your college degree like J cole. Or up lift people out of bad situations like Kendrick Lamar. Or become the biggest rapper in the genre like Drake, by dedicating yourself to your passion and nothing else. These are hip hop’s representation today and we are in a better place for it.
Again, I want to say that Tupac is amazing and was a uniquely special human being. However, he wasn’t perfect and we all can learn from his mistakes and short comings. As a long time fan of hip hop we have made a habit of celebrating the thugs. Hopefully this new generation could change that standard.
Everyday I go on Twitter or Instagram, I see young people like myself who have a desire to be heard. I’m talking about young people who range from 18-25 and have valid opinions on the culture we love so much. The problem for many of us is we feel like we are being shunned for being young. We feel judged by the people who came before us because we weren’t around for their golden ages. The ultimate consequence being that we have to wait our turn to be heard. Well this blogger isn’t waiting any longer.
I have realized that doors don’t just open for people. In fact, people most of the time will try their best to keep them closed. I see people like Angie Martinez, Funk Master Flex, and Charlamagne tha god, at the top of their professions. I hear their stories about how hard they worked to get there and the time that had to be put in. I admire and respect them tremendously for that dedication. However, in that same breath, I feel like there is a notion that young people today don’t want to put the same work in. Which is a notion I completely reject.
Are their people today who aren’t willing to put in work? Of course. Similarity to how their were people back then that didn’t want to put in the work. Angie, Flex, and Charlamagne are special people of their time and there are special people today that will make themselves known in the future.
I personally have applied and was turned down from two radio internships. I couldn’t get on my school radio station cause I refused to be buddy buddy with people I didn’t respect. I could have quit on my dream and sometimes I do it get low on myself. However, refuse to let anybody decide my fate. I started my own YouTube channel RealTalktv, when the internships fell through. I stayed in college and focused on finding another way into radio and eventually made it on my school radio station WHCR 90.3FM. Finally, here’s the kicker, in maybe a month I will start my own podcast with my friends called the 1-5-0.
My point here is young people want to be great too. Just give us time and you will see.