There are certain moments in your life that no matter how old you get you will never forget. September 13, 1996 is a day that will forever be cemented in my memory. The top half of the day was about as average as a day can be for a 9 year old however, the bottom half of the day was life changing.

My mom came to get us from the sitter’s house the same as any other day but this time, she didn’t ask about homework or how the day was or anything. We got in the car and before she cranked it she looked at my brother and I and said, “Tupac is dead y’all”.

For those of you that weren’t alive or just too young, Tupac was like a God amongst men. That statement didn’t even make sense because as far as most of was concerned Pac was immortal. He’d already been shot 5 times, got assaulted by the police, gone to prison and shot two cops at just 25 years of age and thats not even the half considering I haven’t even mentioned what actually made him famous.

Tupac was a rapper, actor, activist, motivational speaker and much more.
To me, Tupac was a father figure and real light to what was going on in the world. As far as I was concerned he could do no wrong and everything he said was the absolute truth. At the time rap wasn’t even a profession it was just something people like Pac did and for the most part I learned a lot about life from it. I can’t speak much for the current state of hip hop. I wouldn’t want my children taking their cues from any of today’s artists but I can always put on “Dear Mama” or “Keep Your Head Up” to illustrate what I believe to be understanding and compassion. Tupac had a slew of hit records and a few classic films on his resume, but none of that compares the hero he was to the 9 year old me, for that I say Thank you. I just hope I can be half the role model to someone that Tupac was to me.

T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E

R.I.P Tupac Amaru Shakur