Tupac Shakur: a Hip Hop Inspiration

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Tupac Shakur:
A Hip-Hop Inspiration

Music is a cultural journal that expresses the realities and emotions of life in a poetic way. For the African American culture, music has always been a statement for many controversial topics such as racism, religion, politics, education, crime, and violence. In the 1990’s, Hip-Hop became the newest cultural and artistic voice for the African American population. Genres such as jazz, blues, rock-n-roll, and gospel that once dominated the musical culture of African Americans slipped into the background, and Hip-Hop rose to power and defined a generation. The inspirational and influential Tupac Shakur stormed onto the rap scene in 1991 with an emotional style that changed the rap game forever. Tupac’s social consciousness morphed him into an activist and enabled him to influence American culture along with redefining the hip-hop genre.

Tupac Shakur was born in New York City during the year 1971. His mother, Afeni Shakur, a member of the Black Panther Party. was in jail for bombing charges during her pregnancy. The origin of the name Tupac Amaru is Incan and translates to "shining serpent," while Shakur is Arabic and means "thankful to God." In 1986, Shakur's family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where Tupac enrolled in the Baltimore School for the Arts. At the age of 15, Tupac wrote his first rap song under the name of M.C. New York. The rapper’s life took a turn for the worse in 1988 when his family moved to a small city outside of Oakland, California. Shortly after moving to the projects, Tupac moved in with a neighbor and started to sell drugs. Later that year, Tupac's stepfather Mutulu Shakur was indicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison for his part in an armored car robbery that took place in 1981. Despite all of the trouble surrounding him and his family, Tupac joined the Grammy-nominated rap group ‘Digital Underground’ as a dancer and rapper. After touring with the acclaimed group in 1990, Tupac released...
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