Tupac was a prophet: The religion of hip-hop

Tupac Skakur

Tupac amaru shakur /Flickr

Vincent Johnson
       Staff Writer

    There are many reasons for why I have fallen in love with this thing called hip-hop. Sometimes I feel like this thing is my life’s blood. Hip-hop. It’s gritty, painful and unapologetically honest. It’s the culture, the music, the poetry, the mythology and the religion all wrapped into one. It’s the drug that opens my eyes to the darkness of the world, and the sedative that shuts them when I’ve seen more than I can take. It’s an addiction, but not in the physical or literal sense. Its grip is one that is spiritual.

What if I told you that Tupac was a prophet who sacrificed himself to the world? It would be considered blasphemy to some, but to me it isn’t so far-fetched. So I’ll say it. Tupac was a prophet. When most people listen to a rap song, they hear words. But me, I see them. And for me they are as clear as verses in the Quran or Bible. Although their messages do not always exist to be taken literally, they exist to teach a lesson nonetheless. There is a reason that Tupac had millions of loyal followers. And I don’t doubt that it was the same reason that thousands of Israelites followed Moses through the Red Sea.

Tupac had the gift of prophecy. And this gift manifested itself in many forms throughout his career and his life. You can see this gift in his poems, essays and prison letters. And you can hear it in his songs and interviews. Tupac’s time in prison gave him a lot of time to reflect on life and the situations that led him into that position.

During that time of reflection, he wrote a number of essays to the outside world, explaining what he had learned. In one essay in particular he spoke on the subject of the “True Boss Playa,” and explained that “Thug Life,” was not a term created to promote violent or wreck-less behavior, but instead it was symbol that he used to explain the unorthodox developmental stages that many black males, especially those from low-income neighborhoods, are forced to grow through. He wrote, “[Many] never survive the next level of Thug Life…. They become addicted to death. A True Boss Playa knows when to advance…. U must play the game, not let the game play u.” And for me that passage is just as valuable as a proverb.

In a long-lost interview that was finally released on Kendrick Lamar’s “TPAB” album, Tupac’s gift of prophecy manifested itself once again as he spoke on the “ground.” He said, “The ground is gonna open up and swallow the evil… and the ground is a symbol for poor people, the poor people is gon open up this whole world and swallow up the rich people… cause the rich people gon be so fat and they gon be so wealthy and appetizing. And the poor gonna be so poor and hungry. It might be some cannibalism out this motherfucker. They might eat the rich, hahaha!” Comical as it may sound, Tupac’s prediction was no laughing matter.

It was a warning. As the poor continue to grow poorer while the rich get richer, we approach this prophecy’s fulfillment every day.

It is a well-known fact that Tupac was murdered in a shooting in Las Vegas while he was at the peak of his career. His killer was never brought to justice, and the Universe will forever mourn his death. The world may never know why he was taken from us so abruptly, but if it may because Pac too was a prophet.

And like many of the prophets who came before him. Be it Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X or Gandhi, he too was obliterated by forces of the very world that he tried to save.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Uncategorized, Visual & Performance

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2 replies

  1. yes, thank you. you speak the truth. tupac was truth.


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