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Remembering A Legend: 15 Year Anniversary TUPAC SHAKUR

15 years ago, I was on my way to elementary school, when I heard the announcer over the radio proclaim that Tupac Shakur had passed away. Even though I was young, I had been influenced by his music and was affected by his passing. Although many remember him for his “Thug Life” persona, Tupac was numerous personas in one. An activist, poet, revolutionary, story teller, artist, and writer were just a few hats that this talented soul wore. Born to a member of the Black Panther Party, Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s future was destined to be far from the ordinary. The passion that ran through his mother’s veins were ran through him as he grew into a young man. Starting his musical career, as a dancer for the Digital Underground, Tupac Shakur would be given a chance to display his gifts. As his journey continued, his talent became more relevant to the music community and public alike. He not only revealed the struggles that he had endured growing up in poverty in his music, he also expressed his concerns for society. He provided his listeners with every point of view. At many moments in his career, his music was over shadowed by the controversy surrounding his comments and actions. Along side his friend turned enemy Biggie Smalls (Born Christopher Wallace), he became the head of  what would be called “The East Coast and West Coast War”. As many chose sides, two lives were lost, starting with Tupac Shakur’s. Over a decade later, his legacy lives on. His life, poetry, music, and teachings are now studied in universities and his large archives of music are consistently released, allowing us to feel his presence over again. Many believe that Tupac is still alive. The truth is, he is. He lives through the many hearts that he touched and inspired. He lives every moment his music is heard through the speakers. He lives through our memories. When I remember Tupac Shakur, I can only think of the numerous songs that remind me of a certain time in history.

-Amadi Jae for AOM & The HIGH UP. Follow @AmadiJae on Twitter.

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