2pac was born on June 16, 1971 in Harlem and he would later become a revolutionary in the short 25 years that he was on the earth. But, if you understood how Pac was raised and by whom, then this isn't shocking.
The late rapper's full name, Tupac Amaru Shakur, means "Shining, Serpent, Blessed One." His mother, Afeni Shakur, was an active member of the Black Panther Party and knew before Pac was even born that he would change the world. In fact, Afeni was imprisoned while she was pregnant with her son. She, along with other members of the BPP, was facing charges of conspiracy to bomb multiple city landmarks. Afeni would then represent herself in court -- with no law degree or schooling -- and getting acquitted of all 156 counts that were against her just one and a half months before she gave birth to Pac. "This is my prince, he is going to save the black nation," she would rub her stomach with the soon-to-be star and say, while behind bars.
As soon as Pac came into the world, he was surrounded by members of the Black Panther Party who helped raised him, along with his mom and step-father, who was also a member of the party. It was then that Pac's young mind would be shaped with black pride, thoughts of a black utopia and revolutionary ideals, and gain knowledge of racism, as well as develop strength and wisdom to combat oppression. He would later shed light on these topics when he became a rapper.
Over twenty years after Pac's tragic death, millions of hip hop fans around the world know about his classic songs, albums, and even TV shows and movies that he starred in, in his short-lived lifetime. We bump tracks from his debut 2Pacalypse Nowalbum, his sophomore Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z... project, as well as Me Against the World, All Eyez on Me and even The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, which was Pac's last album that he recorded before passing away.
But, have many people ever sat down and listened to the realness that he constantly preached in so many of his interviews? Pac was an extremely wise man. Two decades after his death and much of his words from previous sit-downs still resonate with the people, to this very day. Not only did he use his music to bring awareness to issues concerning the urban community. But, Pac was more than ready to always speak up and speak out to about the ghetto environment in which he was raised and how people like him lived every single day in the hood, while more well-off people of higher social statuses lived more carefree, easy-going lives.
Never forget that 2pac was WOKE. After all, what can you expect from a product of the Black Panther Party? In interviews, he eloquently discussed racism, police brutality, black people defending themselves, and so much more. Take a look at his top six woke interviews below.
E! News Interview From 1992
"My music is about the oppressed rising up against the oppressor. The only people that's scared are the oppressors. The only people having any harm coming to them are those who oppress."
MTV Interview From 1996
"America is scared of a black man's sexuality. And they only see us as brutes that go, 'Grrr, grrr' and hammer a girl. They can't imagine us being any other way."
The Lost Prison Interview From 1995
"I think what we need to do in our communities to start taking control back of our communities. I understand there's always gonna be drug dealing, I understand there's always gonna be violence. But, we need to regulate it, so that we can at least have a peaceful zone where we can all be cool. Or else, we gon' all die. We gon' all be destroyed because soon the government is gon' make the young black male, or the young hispanic male, the prime target of all their resources, and all their jail sentences..."
Interview From 1994
"We asked 10 years ago. We was asking with the Panthers, we was asking with the Civil Rights Movement. Now, those people that were asking are now all dead and in jail. So now, what do you think we're gonna do? ...And we shouldn't be angry and my raps that I'm rapping to my community shouldn't be filled with rage? They shouldn't be filled with the same atrocities that they gave to me? In the media, they don't talk about it. So in my raps, I have to talk about it."
BET Interview From 1992
"I think that my mother -- like a lot of people -- Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Harriet Tubman, they felt like they were laying tracks for the generation to come. I think my mother knew that freedom wouldn't come in her lifetime, just like I know that it won't come in mine. But, it's a matter of either we stay like this or somebody sacrifices. Somebody like a track, so we don't stay in a 360-degree, deadly circle... That's how I came to be. Out of the love for black people. So, that's how I have to live. That's how I have to die."
MTV Interview From 1992
“Everybody’s smart enough to know, we’ve been slighted and we want ours. And I don’t mean by 40 acres and a mule, ‘cause we’re past that. But we need help. For us to be on our own two feet — us meaning youth, us meaning black people, whatever you want to take it for — for us to be on our own two feet we do need help… it’s like, you got a friend that you don’t never look out for. Now America got jewels, they’re paid and everything. Lending money to everyone except us. And it’s like, everybody needs a little help on their way to being self-reliant.”
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