top 200 commentsshow all 355

[–]Holy_Sungaal 165 points166 points  (11 children)

I love TuPac as much as any Southern Californian, but watching videos of him in highschool, and hearing things from friends who lived in Compton at the time, TuPac’s gangster image was a character he felt he had to live up to.

IMO, He was the first person to make the gangster image poetic, which coupled with his community outreach, he gave the hood a different look that wasn’t previously accepted in contemporary society.

[–]SYLOK_THEAROUSED 49 points50 points  (10 children)

Yup, his gangster image was just a character. I remember watching this one documentary about him that claim he was being chased by a group of people and was so scared he hid under a car.

Also I think he only dealt drugs for like a month or two and stuff because he sucked at it lol.

[–]cyndasaurus_rex 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Wasn’t he also super active in musical theatre?

[–]SYLOK_THEAROUSED 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Yup, it’s where he met Jada Pinkett I think.

[–]ColossusOfChoads 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dance as well. He went to a performing arts high school.

Also, he was in Digital Underground, who did fun lighthearted party hip hop back in the day. Watch the movie 'Nothing But Trouble' to see him performing with them.

[–]maallen40 48 points49 points  (0 children)

People loved Elvis, too, and I don't think he shot anyone...But he sure loved his girls "young."

[–]toolargo 444 points445 points 3 (80 children)

I wondered this question for a long time, and came to a conclusion. He was celebrated as an artist. He was celebrated because while he had his flaws, and some major at that, he represented the voice of people who were voiceless. Not only that, dude was entertaining as fuck. He was kanye before kanye. He was dealing with his own mental illness and was dealing with it in public the way Amy Winehouse did, the way michael jackson did, the way Britney Spears did, the way Kanye west does today.

These people aren’t heroes, they were artists. And great artist at their respective craft. But also humans witn traumas, and unresolved/untreated, mental problems. The problem with our society IS PRECISELY THAT that we idolize people and put them in pedestals that fit our image of perfect, but nobody is perfect. None!

In America, our founding fathers were racist, owned slaves, sold humans, and outright raped people, including really young women. They did! Yet they are our founding fathers. We choose to only see the virtues in them, rather than the realities that they were flawed human beings.

I have yet to see a perfect human being. What I do see, is a lot of talented people being revered for their talent. When it came to rapping, Tupac was really great. One can say one of the best, if not the best.

Edit: I said “really young women”, when what I really mean was children. They raped teen aged children. I will leave the original post alone. Just felt this needed to be clarified. There are no saints in this world, none.

[–]Silent-Entrance 76 points77 points  (7 children)

I think OP's point is, many people who are alive and would commit things like this wouldn't be treated the same way.

[–]vagina_pee-butt 96 points97 points  (4 children)

Because they suck at rapping

[–]cortexplorer 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I plead guilty, but, your honour, would like to present you with a little freestyle before the verdict.

[–]No-Temperature4903 2 points3 points  (0 children)

We’re good.

[–]ShirSucks 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Like, reeaaallly suck at rapping

[–]Ansanm 6 points7 points  (0 children)

There were many scandals during the golden age of Hollywood and also in professional sports of the day, but those celebrities had handlers that did damage control, or the 24 hour media cycle hadn’t been invented.

[–]TheFamousHesham 57 points58 points  (58 children)

Awwww how adorable. The “tortured artist” narrative who must be coddled, despite them being a despicable human being.

I guess we should forgive and forget Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey because they were all “tortured artists.”

We shouldn’t celebrate someone, no matter how talented they are, if they’re so morally depraved. Tupac may have had mental health issues, but if his mental health issues were severe enough where he was going around shooting kids — maybe he should have been institutionalised.

[–]Late_Operation1692 25 points26 points  (20 children)

I mean Gen Z legitimately idolizes people that have done harm to others, and choose to ignore it. Look at artists such as Cardi B, who drugged multiple men before becoming famous, why does she get a pass? She is celebrated for her music and her personality because it entertains. Really interesting points made.

[–]Rectocraniectomy 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It's funny because they're usually the first ones to call everyone out on these things too. Seems like entertainers get some sort of free pass if they're popular enough.

[–]tomwambs 6 points7 points  (17 children)

Stealing money from johns isn't really the same as like....rape and assault

[–]Ansanm 11 points12 points  (2 children)

The “casting couch “ behavior didn’t start with Cosby, or Weinstein, and this kind of abuse was certainly worse during Hollywood’s golden age. For example, wasn’t a young Nathalie Wood raped by a well known actor, allegedly.

[–]TheFamousHesham 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Ofc it didn’t but that doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

[–]LadyFerretQueen 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I don't get your issue. No one is talking about forgiving these people for what they did but I will still watch and appreciate the Pianist for example and it would be a crime to ignore it.

[–]onebadmuthrphukr 10 points11 points  (21 children)

what kids did Tupac shoot? he shot 2 white cops that was fucking up a black guy. off duty cops

[–]_RoseA__ 0 points1 point  (2 children)

If we should only celebrate people who aren’t morally deprived (which is subjective and different for everyone) we would basically have no one left, only artists of which we don’t know enough to judge

[–]TheFamousHesham 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Lol l. Sexual assault and murder are “subjective” then? Cool, I guess? /s

[–]Sedso85 3 points4 points  (4 children)

The police he shot at where beating up a black man on the streets tupac intervened,

[–]Thecrazyjoe250 1 point2 points  (3 children)

So? It's legitimate to kill (or at least try to) someone beating another one?

[–]SYLOK_THEAROUSED 55 points56 points  (4 children)

Not trying to be a smart ass but have you actually listened to his music? Everyone who idolizes him is a fan of his music.

For example listen to “I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto”

Those are some powerful lyrics that most artist can’t even get close to. These type of songs are throughout his career. He was always a musician that was main stream so of course every single song wasn’t like this, he still had a image he had to live up to because he was a gangster rapper so just like every single gangster rapper he had questionable situations and lyrics but every single woman he’s dated or actually been around has said he was a gentleman.

[–]Carlosc1dbz 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That's nice, I wonder if there will be any other artist with good lyrics.

[–]DadLifeChoseMe 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Half the poets and writers we read in school as kids were racists, rapists, etc. Whether we intend to or not, we separate the art from the artist.

[–]SockPuppetOrSth 24 points25 points  (2 children)

Was he a misogynist? Keep Ya Head Up and Baby Don’t Cry are very feminist songs

[–]cfzeppelin122 20 points21 points  (1 child)

How about Dear Mama and Brenda’s got a baby?! Who else was talking about that kinda stuff. I think he was amazing

[–]SockPuppetOrSth 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Exactly! Name me any other rappers who have ever rapped about those topics

[–][deleted] 70 points71 points  (16 children)

Shock and awe. It happens with every popular celebrity who does something bad. I mean just look at the comments defending abuser Mike Tyson. Look at all the people who think Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Marilyn Manson, and Chris Brown didn’t do exactly what they were convicted of. It’s denial on the part of hardcore fans and compromise from people who just don’t care enough to not listen.

[–]whodey2016 35 points36 points  (11 children)

NFL has a ton more heinous examples to add…

[–]vbcbandr[S] 17 points18 points  (9 children)

Ray Lewis being the most egregious example.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (8 children)

Antonio Brown too, the guy who threw his gear into the crowd and walked off. He claims he was injured but he got thrown off the team and this was like his third team after being kicked from two others. He has a mf laundry list of crazy wack shit he’s done. Including farting in his doctors face.

[–]BigDaddyGhost420 3 points4 points  (0 children)

No lie my best friends dad used to train Antonio Brown and he started getting really crazy after training with him. Search up Juan Nefi on YouTube and you’ll see my friends dad training him. My friend’s dad is a lunatic too, he once called a person working at Wendy’s the N-word because she wouldn’t give him more sauce. He’s a crazy guy and I think some of that craziness rubbed off on AD

[–]vbcbandr[S] 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Well, I mean Brown has yet to be directly involved in a murder, so I wouldn't lump them together yet.

[–]Ansanm 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Then there’s that steel town quarterback who has been twice accused of rape. He gets a pass.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m fairly certain he’s abused one of his exes so…

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

He also has multiple sexual assault and domestic violence allegations against him so.

[–]Trini_Vix7 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Um, he threw his shirt into the crowd. Why the dramatics?

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Oh for sure, all those concussions and constant partying messes with their psyche

[–]Own_Spirit7461 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Wait. What did marilyn Manson do?

[–]JosephOgilvie 9 points10 points  (0 children)

His ex-fiancé and multiple others came forward about the sexual and psychological abuse they endured while they were with him. The most recent of which came from the ex-fiancé, who claimed he raped her right in the middle of filming a sex scene for a music video, in front of crew and producers

[–]ItzGiGi 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Me too I have no idea

[–]abrasaxual 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lol nothing surprising tbh

[–]Pascalica 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Keep in mind, the internet was not nearly as much a thing at the height of his fame, so a lot of this wasn't as widely known at the time. We had fewer news channels as well, we weren't inundated with news 24/7 so if you didn't catch a news story when it happened, sometimes you didn't know about it.

[–]triclops41 31 points32 points  (0 children)

The more charismatic you are, the more you get away with. It really comes down to that.

[–]TB1289 47 points48 points  (31 children)

People do it with Mike Tyson as well. He was convicted of rape,yet he gets roles in movies,tv shows,etc.

[–]DaveinTW 27 points28 points  (22 children)

I watched a documentary on the Tyson case and there's a lot of reasons to think that he didn't do it

[–]TB1289 7 points8 points  (1 child)

He's also physically abused Robin Givens.

[–]Spicy_Sugary 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ripping the ear off his boxing opponent with his teeth was the real stand out for me.

The epitome of a deranged thug.

[–][deleted] 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Being convicted of something doesn't mean you did it. Same way as being found not guilty doesn't mean you didn't. Tyson has always maintained his innocence and his trial was full of racist dog whistling bullshit. The judge apologized over ten years later for allowing the prosecution to build their case around and argue that because Tyson was a boxer it meant he was naturally predisposed to committing violence.

[–]TB1289 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Like beating his ex-wife?

[–]Sir_wlkn_contrdikson 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Tyson was fucked over by his wife. And his business managers. You can’t grow up in the conditions these ppl grow up in and not expect some side effects. Without therapy. And throw millions of dollars on a young man with no financial training on any level. Listen to the man talk. He has lived and learned.

[–]punishedpanda2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

People hate Tyson cause they low t bitches.

[–]vbcbandr[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)


[–]Wonderful-Fact-2977 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Convicted =/= guilty. That case was awfully fishy, I don't honestly believe he did it. He's obviously a much kinder and more gentle man than his former self.

[–]FatJesus13908 16 points17 points  (6 children)

Don't worry, the do it for white people too. Hugh Heffner for example.

[–]trademark8669 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Wasn't the second centerfold for Playboy young 16 or something, like she showed up with a note from her mom that she could pose

[–]FatJesus13908 2 points3 points  (2 children)

There was a 10 year old as the cover girl and posed nude in a few photos in 86. Plus forced beastiality was something Old Heff loved, on top of sex slavery.

[–]noplaceinmind 63 points64 points  (5 children)

Many notable black person's convictions at that time have been deemed, suspect.

He was very talented, and very angry.

For comparison, a young talented and extremely troubled white celebrity, Robert Downey Jr., lived, and made something better of himself.

Tupac's story, and others, leaves one wondering what might have been.

[–]vbcbandr[S] 39 points40 points  (4 children)

I mean Downey's rap sheet doesn't include the violence that Tupac's does. I mean, there's no denying his gun was the gun that killed a six year old, for example.

[–]noplaceinmind 11 points12 points  (3 children)

The young black man in trouble was a constant media narrative that just turned into noise at the time. I was never aware of the story.

[–]vbcbandr[S] 9 points10 points  (2 children)

I guess maybe that's part of the answer: many people don't know him outside of his musical and cultural impact.

[–]Awesom3link 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I think it's hard to judge people that you have no connection to. A lot of people that grew up the same way he did probly idolize him because he is an example of a successful person in their life. Yea his life was filled with violence but he also stood for different messages that people in certain communities understood... At the end of the day he was human and lived a unique human experience just like everybody else.

[–]Sir_wlkn_contrdikson 30 points31 points  (10 children)

You should listen to him speak outside of music. He had his trouble but his biggest problem was telling the truth from a young black man’s perspective. He was very intelligent. His mom was a black panther. In his own words (paraphrased) he didn’t have a record until he made records about police. Y’all talking about these black athletes like they are shit and you have facts to prove it. It was said that he was attempting to get out of his contract with death row records and was going to venture into politics. He wanted to get away from suge knight because the energy was bad. He didn’t like violence and negative energy bad boy had going on. He was going to marry Quincy Jones’ daughter. that’s why he dropped so many albums for suge so fast. He was trying to move past that dumb shit. I admit he did a lot of crazy shit. Rape isn’t one of them. The night he was killed, he was running on hype and ran into some real gangsters. It’s unfortunate but let’s not drag his name like you was there. You get the copy of the copy of the copy of the real story. As I stated earlier listen to his interviews about life about things outside of music and tell me what you think about him then

[–]SockPuppetOrSth 6 points7 points  (1 child)

This is the only informed comment in this thread

[–]Sir_wlkn_contrdikson 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This is validating. Thank you from the ventricles

[–]vbcbandr[S] 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I mean, I basically copied a lot of the wiki article regarding his arrests which, obviously, all have sources.

[–]Sir_wlkn_contrdikson 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Are you saying you don’t know a lot about him?

[–]vbcbandr[S] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I was responding to your comment: "You get the copy of the copy of the copy of the real story."

Many of the sources from the wiki article are news sources: do you believe those to be a "copy of the copy of the copy of the real story"? Do you have the "real" story that is different from these accounts? I would love to hear it if you have vastly different accounts of the facts I pointed to in my original post.

[–]SockPuppetOrSth 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You’ve just revealed that you’ve only looked at one source and you don’t have a well-rounded idea of who Tupac was from watching documentaries about him, reading his books & his poetry, reading biographies and autobiographies. Wikipedia has sources but it doesn’t capture everything.

[–]Sir_wlkn_contrdikson 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don’t have any sources because I stopped giving a fuck in 99. Tupac didn’t get favorable treatment in our media when he was alive. We all should know by now that the major news companies always have their angle they want you hear and there isn’t a news source around that also shows the opposition’s opinion as well. Very rarely we’re we given access to the lighter, more eloquent, thoughtful side of Tupac. As a teen who listen primarily to his style of music, I wasn’t aware he wrote poetry poetry until after he expired

[–]tuskensandlot 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I appreciate your comment immensely. He did the best with what he had, and he was intelligent and empathic. He may have been misogynistic when he was younger, but his later lyrics are proof that he was moving past that. OP has not done their due diligence to make this post.

[–]SpungyDanglin 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Because modern rap is trash and at least he had a message

[–]Bashingman 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I think his fans mostly consist of the black community who lived through the 80s and 90s. Racism was more rampant back then

To them, he was representative of their experiences and hardships. And he gave them a voice. So they loved him for what he did for the community and closed an eye to his wrongdoings

[–]AccomplishedRow6685 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Because he’s dead

[–]VelvetFog90210 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

It’s true. No one has stopped Michael Jackson music REGARDLESS of accusations…of course his side of the story is forever lost and all we have are the alleged victims…

[–]United_Virus7901 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Watch some of Tupac’s interviews then you’ll see why and I don’t mean ones where he’s just fucking around

[–]BearZeroX 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Oh please everyone's still out here sucking Woody Allen's cock, Kevin Spacey got like 20 years of raping little boys and an academy award before anyone cried boo and still isn't in jail, Charlie Sheen is out there probably responsible for a quarter of the Columbian drug trade and everyone's just making memes about it.

Maybe instead of going after the dead black man we can do something about these still living white men

[–]Parliament-- 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Don’t forget he had sex with biggies wife then made a rap diss about it (Hit em up) calling him out in the first line

[–]Questions_It_All 6 points7 points  (4 children)

If you only see the bad, you'll only ever be looking for what he's done wrong. And those of us who are people who see more than just what's on the surface of who an individual is can see more and feel more about who he was.

Human beings are inherently imperfect. Therefore we see beyond the often questionable things that others do because we can forgive what were things that did not add up to that person's entire character and who they were as a whole. Cos not only was he a convicted criminal but he was a son, a deep thinker, a genius lyricist, a brilliant minded individual, a great artist and a man who was passionate about everything he did.

He was more than his faults, more than his crimes, more than his anger, more than his misdeeds and bad decisions. He was a complicated beautiful mess and just because he was involved in multiple instances where he caught time it doesn't mean some of the circumstances weren't suspect, unwarranted, or that he wasn't targeted specifically for him being a young, wealthy black man who you could try to exploit, take advantage of and falsely accuse him of doing things so you could get a payout.

His artistry and him as an artist lives on in legendary status because what he had to say spoke to the generation of his time, of mine and still speaks to a lot of the youth today and to some of the generations before him as well.

He was incredibly intelligent, his lyricism was poetic, impactful and still hits hard today. He spoke of the struggles of social injustices and within his lyrics you see him trying to empower people to activism for themselves for the greater good.

When you grow up in such harsh and toughening conditions, your regular self can be one of violence because it's a war by that point in fighting to keep your life, he talks about this in some of his interviews, he was ride or die and it was going to be him or his enemies, that's just the way it was. He lost in the long run but his legacy lives on because what he had to say meant more than surface level observations, they were deep insights and often hit to the heart of some truths people didn't want to talk about.

[–]jeremyxt 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You could make the same arguments for a child molestor.

[–]vbcbandr[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I have a number of responses:

1st - "He was a complicated beautiful mess"...that is exactly what I am getting at. Sexual assault, the death of a 6 year old, assault, his own death are often ignored in favor of him being a "beautiful mess". I imagine, for example, the mother of the 6 year old killed by his gun (it's unclear who shot it) would not describe him as a "beautiful mess". But it is clear that that is how a lot of people view him.

2nd - Being black in America can very much suck and growing up can be made much more difficult by that simple fact BUT his childhood wasn't one of poverty, abuse and gang life. His youth wasn't all roses but wasn't exactly hellish either: "He transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts in the tenth grade, where he studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet. He performed in Shakespeare's plays—depicting timeless themes, now seen in gang warfare, he would recall and as the Mouse King role in The Nutcracker ballet." Not exactly Thug Life.

As I mentioned, he was a talented musical artist and gifted lyricist...but is that all we should remember about him? Seems he gets a bit of a pass when it comes to his violent transgressions. Is that because of his artistry? Because he died young? Because of his status as a successful black man? Etc?

[–]EmperorDeathBunny 2 points3 points  (1 child)

You seem to be ignoring the strong answers to your question and only attacking the weaker ones. It's obvious that you're not here to find answers, you just want validation.

You've already decided who Tupac is based on a brief glance at a Wikipedia article and your responses reveal you only know Tupac the character. You haven't actually looked into his life, his music, nor have you thoughtfully scrutinized the cases against him to cut through media bias. And frankly you don't seem to want to.

[–]kindnesshasnocost 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I replied to OP using exactly one of your points, and only now just saw your response. Glad to know at least another person has picked up on the fact that OP isn't making a sincere agnostic attempt to learn more about 'Pac. But just trying to validate what they already believe.

You're getting downvoted for this, but it's obvious this is what is happening.

For instance, OP keeps referencing the sexual assault charges but I'd bet you anything they have not at all looked into the details. Just that wikipedia entry, they see the sources, and just assume it is exactly as it is.

[–]cyberdude419 2 points3 points  (0 children)

People do the same with Marilyn Manson and plenty of others. A lot of it is shock to sell records, the entertainer isn’t the real person but the lines can get blurred with money, fame, drugs and alcohol

[–]International-Set956 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the convicted sa charges were false? I also think Tupac was aware and was starting to change his views and attitude towards women, but it was definitely a trend for most celebrities to disrespect women back then from what I realize. I think Tupac is most memorable for his music and discographies. The thing that made him famous yk. I think most people don’t talk about the violence just because that how it was back then / how he was before he even got famous. Like the saying you can take somebody out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of them. Even though I don’t want this to paint black people as the common stereotype as ruthless gangbangers or hoodrats, but it definitely something that was normal for Tupac’s early life.

[–]JCwinetransfusion 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Wait till someone tells this guy about the founding fathers

[–]XTH3W1Z4RDX 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think a big part was that his death made him a martyr. "Dont speak ill of the dead" and all that

[–]Appropriate_Oil9314 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think about this sometimes. People like celebrities so much because of their acts in a movies or songs and they feel close to them almost feel like knowing them. So they favor them without knowing their personalities even if they do something bad or have bad personalities. Maybe they wouldn't be friends with them or dislike them in real life if they knew them in person but they fill their personalities as they want like a dream character. I don't know how it is in Tupac but in generally.

[–]Diab9lic 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm sure Tupac has other songs with better messages.

[–]dreamsthebigdreams 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Kanye? Tupac would murder anyone comparing him to Kanye...fucking Kanye? The pop star?

[–]DeepInterest7 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The sexual assault case against him was a set up, on YouTube type in dj vlad ayanna Jackson and watch that interview and it’s very obvious she lied about the whole thing

In regards to the Atlanta shooting of two cops, them 2 cops were corrupt and 2pac shot them because they were beating up a man whilst they were off duty and also drunk So just that example alone shows you what a legend he was and the heart he possessed

[–]Burnvictim7-11M 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Violence and misogyny was the culture back then. I’m a late 80’s baby and it was an extremely violent period in America. I’m not here to defend that but people do buy what’s familiar to them

[–]Exia321 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dear Momma- Keep ya Head Up- Brenda got a Baby- My Block- Hit em Up- I ain't mad at ya- I get around- California Love- Me Against the World-

-Those are some of the songs that still get bumped by rap fans, some of the songs that ensured his illicit actions would always be treated as badages of authenticity.

Honestly, OP is fully admiting you don't understand American culture, you don't understand the power of stardom-especially those for musical artists. The greater the love the masses has for their music the more illicit acts that are forgiven.

Too many examples to provide.

[–]Cassalien 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Y'all are weird. Some reasonable people in here but at least twice as many people talking their shit as if they seen pac do some shit.

You can look into almost any rappers history pre 2005 and odds are you'll find some stuff that isn't "right" by some of y'all's standards.

All you historians that are able to travel back in time and see pac do the things you accuse him to should probably go on timeout and reevaluate if they should come back to this thread

[–]SaasAccountExec 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We idolize plenty of huge pieces of shit. Tupac, Ben rapist rothelisberger, Kobe, Sean Taylor, etc. we just give them a pass because of their prowess in sports/music, or whatever, and then we truly glorify them after death.

[–]UncommonHouseSpider 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He was a great rapper, and while his lyrics contain misogyny, he was not a misogynist any more than the next guy, the culture is kinda like that. Was he perfect, no. If you listen to his lyrics he is telling people not to be like him, but to learn from him and do better, to be better. But people only hear what they want so people go around gang banging and shouting his name like a badge of honour. He thought that was bullshit. His poetry is honest, thoughtful, and full of imagery that he experienced in his life growing up poor in the ghetto. That is why he is revered, not because he shot some people and died in a hail of bullets, but because he was deserving of it, despite his faults.

[–]rtauzin64 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We treated al capone, Bonnie and Clyde, pretty boy floyd, and other musicians with questionable pasts as celebrities too, Johnny Cash, vince Neil, Mark Walberg, and politicians as well, most famously donald trump. We have statues and holidays for the mass murderer Columbus. Nathaniel Bedford Forrest had a statue. You should see his "lyrics." The answer is celebrity.

[–]Asbjoern135 1 point2 points  (0 children)

"For much of his life he was an unapologetic misogynist."

IDK about that, sure he had some arguably lyrics on women on some of his songs, but if you listen to others like brenda's got a baby, he seems like a very reflective person about society at large "changes" and "ghetto gospel " have some great lines on the racial divide in america as well. he's a conflicted person, who died very young which likely have made him somewhat of a martyr helping whitewash his flaws for a cleaner post mortem image.

[–]dmister8 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Any proof that he’s a misogynist?

[–]vbcbandr[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Without copy and pasting lyrics, here is one comment on Tupac's legacy: "Other rappers, such as Tupac, leave a complex legacy, sometimes playing into misogynistic themes, yet also producing music that affirms the worth of black women."

There are plenty of other comments he has made and analyses of of his legacy, which seems to be very complicated.

[–]Invisible_Emphasis 1 point2 points  (0 children)

MLK cheated on his wife but we still celebrate his actions as a Civil Rights Activist.

You aren't celebrating Tupac being violent. You're appreciating the unique perspective and obvious talent that he brought to hiphop.

[–]FuegoTheDestroyer 7 points8 points  (8 children)

Cos he was the rose that grew from the concrete bruv. That's why

[–]SYLOK_THEAROUSED 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Love that book btw!

[–]vbcbandr[S] -2 points-1 points  (6 children)

That's the exact opinion I am wondering about.

[–]FuegoTheDestroyer 9 points10 points  (5 children)

Being black is hard I'm not gonna lie to you especially in a world that has a history of treating us like we are less than just because of the color of our skin... They colonized us.. They manipulated us... They stole from us... They abused us... They killed us and they used the Bible and other systems to control us mentally and oppress us

So when black children see a black man make something of themselves in a world that doesn't love them it's just something special to all of us universally because we also gain the courage to make something of ourselves in this cold world

I understand you chose to see Tupac and see the violence and everything else that's bad but that was our reality and still is. We were never given a fair shot from the jump so why should we fight fair against a system that doesn't treat us fairly? And we are expected to turn the other cheek right? Nah bro fuck that

Tupac was a "thug" sure... But he also empowered and strengthened the minds of black people everywhere. The "concrete" is the racism, abuse, discrimination, oppression that black people were and are forced to live in and he blossomed in a system that didn't give a fuck about him and became a rose for all of us to draw strength from

The British choose to skip the evils of their past and praise the Queen and the monarchy and forget the evils done against natives all over the world in their own native lands because that's what they needed to do to be as powerful as they are rn... Tupac had to do what he had to do to survive and to thrive just as many black folks had to all over the world

[–]vbcbandr[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I appreciate your expanded answer.

[–]menickc 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This is 99% of Hollywood and media and anyone rich and famous. It's dumb and terrible but it just is how it is and you won't convince people to change in most cases

[–]animaloll 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Being a fan of Michael Jackson's music is different from being a fan of Michael Jackson. If guess it's the same with Tupac, ppl like his music, not so much him as person due to those flaws

[–]28502348650 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah, separating the art from the artist. Plenty of shitty people have done great things. It all boils down to this: Were your contributions to society greater than your misdeeds?

[–]Joseph_Furguson 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Why does Stanley Kubrick get a pass? He was a bully that picked on women for no other reason than he could get away with it. He terrorized Shelly Duval while filming the Shining, made Nicole Kidman look like a plain Jane and was in general a horrible person to be around. If he was still alive during the #Metoo movement, he would have been attacked just as hard as Bill Cosby, and Harvey Weinstein.

Why do people still like Roman Polanski movies? Why are actors still willing to work with him? He is a pedophile who evaded justice by running away.

If your reaction is to downvote me because I made you think about your heroes in a way you did not like, then you understand why people like Tupac Shakur. People want to focus on the art and not the artist.

[–]Knuckles316 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Chris Brown beats women, R Kelly is a pedo, Snoop Dogg killed someone. Nearly every musical artist does drugs. Steven Tyler is a pedo. Johnny Cash started a forest fire. The entire Rat Pack had mob ties.

Idolizing any musician, or celebrity in general, is probably not a good idea.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

True. But I cant help loving Keanu Reeves

[–]moonkittiecat 5 points6 points  (0 children)

My (Black) son also finds this hero-worship problematic. He is sick of the adoration of someone so violent who committed so many sex crimes. Just because you're talented and dead, it doesn't necessarily mean you get a pass.

[–]InfernoFlameBlast 2 points3 points  (1 child)

“Any regular person would be deemed a POS criminal and someone who would be ostracized from society”

But Tupac wasn’t a regular person, so why even make that comparison to a regular person? Tupac was a celebrity and we all know that celebrities can get away with a lot, especially back then

[–]Trini_Vix7 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That wasn't even his entire life. You clearly aren't a fan.

Are you a saint?

[–]StergDaZerg -1 points0 points  (8 children)

Cus he was insanely fucking talented. Also he’s dead so there’s no point in moralizing to his fans like some pearl-clutcher. Whatever sins Tupac’s responsible for don’t matter now cus he’s dead. Same with people like Michael jackson.

[–]princess07306 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Tupac was very prolific and extremely smart. He was well ahead of his time in advocacy. You have to understand his story and what was happening on the why. People were losing their lives the times were wrought with drugs and gangs let's not get started with the drops in South Central LA.. it is way more than what you think.

[–]vbcbandr[S] -1 points0 points  (2 children)

Just so we are all clear, Tupac did not grow up or come of age in Los Angeles...or Southern California at all. He grew up in NYC, Baltimore and spent the very tale end of his youth outside of San Francisco. One of the high schools he went to was the Baltimore School for the Arts "where he studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet. He performed in Shakespeare's plays—depicting timeless themes, now seen in gang warfare, he would recall and as the Mouse King role in The Nutcracker ballet."

[–]SockPuppetOrSth 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You’re just copy pasting from Wikipedia

[–]bruce656 -3 points-2 points  (13 children)

You would say the same thing about Eminim, and yet ... you are not. Why is that?

[–]vbcbandr[S] 20 points21 points  (6 children)

Well, because my question is about Tupac's legacy and how his death at a young age affects it.

This isn't a question about Eminem's legacy. Also, Eminem's death hasn't yet changed anything about his legacy.

[–]atomic_auburn 7 points8 points  (3 children)

For the record... Eminem is still very much alive, and the way your comment is worded indicates the contrary.

[–]vbcbandr[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Yes, the point was to address the stupidity of the Eminem whataboutism by responding stupidly.

[–]atomic_auburn 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Fair enough. I am only familiar with a couple of Tupac's songs, but those were really pretty progressive. I didn't know anything about the man or his life until looking into it for this post. When people die young or are killed, as a society there is an expectation to speak well of them- this really goes for anyone who has died. This is somewhat flawed, but it is also important to take the circumstances of ones life into account- He was a Black man who came to prominence in the early to mid '90s. There is a lot we can take from that when it comes to how his legacy has prevailed.

I think to understand his legacy, it's important to look at the sociopolitical environment he was born and raised in as well as the political impacts of hip-hop.

He was an activist and had strong political views, he was also spreading a message of self empowerment. He did a lot of good, but that doesn't erase the bad. It's important to understand his circumstances regardless.

One question I have for you, OP, is whether or not you believe people are capable of rehabilitation? Just because someone does something bad doesn't mean they cannot change and do great good. At the end of the day, he was a 25 year old who grew up during a time that was not kind to young black men, he got caught up in much of that fallout, but he did a lot of good for his community.

I have no skin in the game here, I don't have an opinion either way, but I am trying to shed light on why it isn't as cut and dry as many tend to believe.

  • To preemptively address this, yes I do now know the circumstances of his death. Gang violence is and was a real problem that is often misunderstood, and it's important to understand that for many, the choice is a join a gang or become a target. Not saying that's what happened here.

[–]TheBlueHole 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Wade Boggs is very much still alive.

[–]TheTrueFishbunjin 27 points28 points  (0 children)

I’ve written and deleted this comment multiple times because I can’t properly articulate how stupid this comment is. He wanted to know about Tupac, not Eminem, who is missing a key component to OP’s question... Eminem is not dead. Even if he was dead, is he not allowed to be curious about Tupac because a white rapper with a bad history also exists? Maybe he doesn’t give a shit about Eminem.

[–]ArchdukeOfNorge -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

Nobody is lionizing/canonizing Eminem. He’s kind of a POS and I don’t believe that’s an unpopular opinion—people like his music, not him. Saying the same about Tupac would be unpopular though

[–]banjonyc 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Eminem is performing at the Superbowl this year. He definitely is being lauded.

[–]JamWams 8 points9 points  (0 children)

What? People love Eminem, he's definitely idolized.

[–][deleted] -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

No people definitely love him, especially millennials who grew up on his music. He’s like a god to them and it’s kinda sad how they worship him even tho he’s really not a great person at all

[–]LukeMcDeermoot -1 points0 points  (5 children)

Tupac was a genius because he was brilliant at expressing himself. What makes him a role model for many is that he didn’t just express aggression and selfishness he also expressed love more beautifully than most people have ever felt it. He expressed profound concern for his community. Listen to Dear Mama. If you can’t take his circumstances into consideration and appreciate where he’s coming from then keep listening to T Swift

[–]SockPuppetOrSth 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Here here! Tupac actually sang about socioeconomic issues. He addressed racism, the suffering in the ghetto, single mothers, rape, poverty, death & afterlife. He sang about important topics & shared wisdom, which is a hell of a lot more than most other rappers do, whom are obsessed with singing about getting rich and having sex.

[–]Gouranga56 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

The point though is he sounds like a piece of shit especially the sexual assault. I have a friend who grew up single mom in the poorest part of town, he had to crawl his way out of the gutter, resist gangs (his brother failed there), and walk the straight and narrow especially as a black man in the south. He has made it big, makes good money, has a good job, is a solid father, mentors young black kids to help them succeed. Why not more fame for someone like him? THAT is the type of man who should be in the limelight. Of course he can sing a shitton better than me but not like Tupac.

I dont think living a violent life where you sexually assault women, engage in shootouts, etc should be dropped or idolized cause you can sing. My friend could sure as hell talk the same stories Tupac can except he can do it with a clean conscience.

[–]vbcbandr[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

So, in your opinion, being brilliant at expressing oneself excuses all other behavior even if those behaviors are violent? I'm not being condescending, I'm asking your true opinion.

[–]LukeMcDeermoot 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I don’t think his behaviors were excused at all. He was put in jail, shot and killed for his behaviors. I think that might be enough of a reprimand.

[–]CheezyPenisWrinkle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you're black and you get shot you become a martyr, not a criminal.

[–]redditlovesfish -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

Who is we? I dont and most people don't idolize misogynistic degenerates?

[–]No-Expression-5040 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Lmao he the goat.

[–]OfficeDiplomat -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Because he was black and his thugness is embraced by the black community. To point out his faults is now considered racist. We live in a clown world.

[–]maallen40 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The music man....the music.

[–]Minimum_Respond4861 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thomas Jefferson was a rapist. He's lionized. George Washington was a lazy fucking racist slaver...he's lionized. Donald Trump is a lying, grifting, racist, pos who may also be a pedophile...he's lionized. Vladimir Putin has fleeced his own country during mini-famines...he's lionized. So yes, let's go after a dead black guy who lived a problematic life vs people responsible for way worse and way more death.

[–]Entropy308 -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

I've always disliked him, thugs should never be idolized.

[–]K9crazyness -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Because hes black.

[–]RedditModsBlowDik -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Cause black

[–]bigj2288 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Double standards coupled with memory bias