A Rapper's Message


                                                                          Portrait photo of Tupac Shakur by Zennie Abraham

                                                                         Portrait photo of Tupac Shakur by Zennie Abraham

“Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared,” -Tupac Amaru Shakur. This quote says everything, no one cared about where rap roots from. Rap sprouted from Africa centuries ago as a form of an art, a message to be heard for someone to listen. Rap is like a beautiful rose that came from places that go unnoticed, when the music was found beauty came out of it. 

Hip-Hop is a cultural movement that began to be very popular in the 1980-1990’s. The beats and background music style became an influential form of art. Rappers use rhythm and poetry, or what we refer to today as Rap, to speak their minds and feelings to express their true compassions. Tupac Amaru Shakur was one most influential rapper of his time. He rapped about radicalization which in that era was not typically voiced by mainstream artists. Tupac influenced rappers like Kanye West, Nas, Drake, 50 cent and many more amazing artists. He influenced rappers to speak up on movements that matter. Black rappers got into the “rap game,” and started to speak their minds on what was and unfortunately still is truly important to the struggles and lives of black communities, which finally made those who are closed minded listen to the well-deserved, powerful black voices.

 In Kanye's song "New Slaves" he reflects the well-known oppression that Tupac spoke about, the political and social injustices. He raps about how his mother was raised when de facto and de jure segregation was occurring. The year of 1954, Atlanta, Georgia was the second most segregated city in the United States. There was segregation in schools, separations in restaurants and even water fountains. If you weren’t "white" then you did not get treated the same way. You did not get clean water and never got a fair chance at living a life free from living from the judgement from other people. As Martin Luther King once said, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judge by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character." 

Hip-Hop recognizes and reflects black culture's truth by listening in between their lines. Seeing a rapper that looks like you, performs about similar struggles that you’re going through, or even fits the mold of what you look at in a mentor may impact you. It grabs your attention in the way that proves the fact that your voice does matter. These black hip-hop leaders are powerful in the way that they showcase that black excellence is graceful and should be flaunted, that their voices being heard is rightfully life changing. That someone who looks like you, struggles like you, stands for you is finally being seen as equal, genuinely as important.