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"I Might Not Change The World...

...but I guarantee I will spark the brain that changes the world."

Tupac Amaru Shakur

I remember religiously vibin to Pac's first album. As I recall, the homie BC had 2 15"'s in his trunk and he used to play "Soulja's Story" from the first album, 2Paclypse Now, while we was gettin blowed. From then on it was a wrap. Everything Pac put out was gold to me. Truth be told, I hated it when he was wildin' against BIG but other than that, Pac couldn't do any wrong in my eyes.

What did Pac mean to me? Pac and I share the same birthdate, June 16. We've been intricablly linked considering I had the wreck that marked a change in my life while on the way to the theater to see Tupac Resurrection lol. So to me, he was what a Gemini was -- a person made up of two distinctly different personalities. He was the epitome of the contradiction that engages all young Black males. We all want to succeed and make our loved ones proud. But at the same time, we have to prove our manhood by testing these wretched streets. It's a battle where many people, those involved and innocent bystanders, get hurt. Some of us survive that fight; some didn't.

On one hand, Pac was an ass. Loud & ignorant. He popped shit boisterously and at any and everyone. Everybody at some time in their life wants to just let loose and say what they want without regard. Pac did that and did it with passion. He was "a rider". He seemed like his enemies were his enemies until one of them, either him or them, ceased to exist.

At the same time, Pac actually came off like he cared about people, Black people in specific. Charismatic and charming to say the least. He seemed geniune, intelligent and entertaining. When he shot those two cops in Atlanta, because he saw them harrassing a black man, a complete stranger to him, you had to love him. All you could think was, "this guy means what he says about his people AND he's got the balls to prove it." He said what we all said we would do. But, he actually DID alot of the stuff he said he was going to do.

In the end, he died just like he told us he would, in a hail of bullets. Who killed him? We'll probably never know for sure. There is one thing that we know for sure. When he died, a part of each of us, either the rider or revolutionary, died along with him.

It's in that spirit that we present to you some of our personal favorites from Tupac. There's a lot to choose from but we tried to narrow it down to a quick five plus two albums.

If you ask me, Pac was prolly at his best when he was in his calm and reflective mood. This track exemplifies that.

Tupac - "My Block"

When this dropped, it was a few weeks after Pac had died. We'd be in the club (I remember Denim & Diamonds in specific) and when this came on, everybody'd just go into a trance. Start gangsta walkin, holdin up cups and bottles, and pourin out liquor on the dancefloor, just vibin like homie was there performing the song right there.

Tupac - "Ambitionz Of A Ridah"

When this cut came out, I think I had just gotten one of my first heaters lol. This song plus a couldn't tell me nothing. Yes, it's true. Music does influence the youth heavily. A few years later when my pops gave me a .45, this was my theme song lol.

Tupac - "Definition Of A Thug Nigga"

Once Pac died, the video for "I Ain't Mad At'Cha" seemed eerie to alot of people. For me, the imagery described in the second verse that parallels his death shocked me more though. In retrospect, just think, this title of this song spawned thousands of tattoos throughout the hood.

Tupac - "Only God Can Judge Me"

The opening lines of this cut moved me.

"At night I watch the sky
I take another breath
I smoke my Newport to the butt
Like it's the last motherfucker left
Just me and you evading enemies
Let you get my last shot of Henessey
You ain't never had a friend like me"

Tupac - "Never Had A Friend Like Me"

And to end it off, this has to be one of his best songs.

Tupac - "White Man's World"

His two best albums...

Tupac - Me Against The World

Makaveli - The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

And here's an interesting video. I'm not sure of the source or the song in the background but it's cool. You can download the video by clicking the filename near the top of the screen or you can watch it directly from the site.

Tupac Tribute

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