With all the hype of the new Tupac movie circulating throughout the hip hop community. Its made me reflect on the impact he had on me and the content I've created over the years. Pac was deep to say the least, and it shows in the characters he played in his own movie roles as well as the poetry he wrote. I was young when what I feel is one of the greatest albums of all time was released, "Me Against The World". I had that album on repeat for weeks after I bought it. It was the first time that I have seen an artist cover such a wide array of topics, and even though it was all new music at the time, any fan of hip hop knew that these songs where instant classics. Although, music is subjective so this is all strictly my opinion, but I have yet to speak to anyone that can deny the importance that this album has in the culture of hip hop.
Tupac spoke on some of the darkest moments of street life in songs like "So Many Tears" and "Lord Knows". Then he targeted radio stations with a song like "Temptations" which remained in heavy rotation for months across the whole country. And as if that wasn't enough, he decided to write one of his most personal songs dedicated to his mother "Dear Mama". I have friends that to this day can't listen to that track because of the shear emotion that it brings out of them. Keep in mind that while all of this incredible music was touching so many people worldwide, Tupac was sitting in a cell, unable to truly witness the impact that his art was having on the world.
Tupac was also the first rapper on that level to fill his songs with the constant theme of his own death. It was very eerie to hear a young man that had reached his height of success talk about his own demise. "I smoke a blunt to take the pain out and if I wasn't high I'd probably try to blow my brains out, lord knows" was a very dark lyric coming from a very dark place. But something that I will always remember about Pac was the influence he had on my generation. When the incident in Las Vegas after the Tyson fight occurred, everyone I know was praying for him to pull through. It was like the entire hip hop community had a close friend in the hospital. So a few days later when the news broke that he had passed away I was in shock. The following day I arrived to school to find people in tears and truly mourning a great talent that left this world much too soon. A girl in my class even brought in a scrap book about two inches thick full of posters, magazine pages, and news articles spanning his whole career. How many people can say they touched that many lives given the time that we are here on this earth? That is a legacy that will never fade, and will only continue to grow as future generations discover one of the greatest albums of all time....."Me Against The World".