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.