- LA Youth - http://www.layouth.com -

Tribute to Tupac

As September 13, 2006 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of rap artist Tupac Shakur, many teens talked about why they still listen to his music.

Illustration by Michael Perez, L.A. Youth archives

Helped me keep my sanity

Tupac Amar Shakur is one of the greatest music legends in my opinion. Back in my teenage rebellion days, I remember lying in my bed at night wrapping my thoughts around one of Tupac’s hit songs. Tupac helped me keep my sanity at times. It gave me a sense of comfort knowing that someone out there felt the same emotions that I felt. So why do teenagers idolize Tupac? It gives teens a positive feeling to have someone understand them. For some teens, all they have is people like Tupac.
Brittany Hines, 16, Littlerock HS (Lancaster)


He was a very important figure in rap music. Although he had his kinda “normal” rap (you know … the songs about partying, girls, trouble and all that good stuff) he also made many inspirational and thought-provoking songs as well. He had his fun at times, and had his violent moments as well, but there were times where he actually put thought and feelings into his music to try and get his point across when it was needed. Unfortunately though, a majority of people didn’t realize this until after his death. And it was then that he actually blew up into the rap legend that he is today.
    Whether or not he’s the most talented rapper ever can be argued, but he made a great contribution not only with the large number of songs he made that are still coming out today 10 years after his death, but as an inspiration to other music artists as well as ordinary people such as you and I. Maybe this is why people regard him as the best rapper ever.
Monrad Cawich, 17, Dorsey HS

My favorite

Tupac is my favorite rapper. He made one whole CD talking about his mom. It shows that he cared about his mom. Other rappers don’t talk about their family. They talk about killing people. He


wasn’t really into singing about killing people. He wasn’t into drugs all that much. Tupac had a whole bunch of nice songs.
Joel Muñoz, 18


“Only time we chill is when we kill each other /
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other.”
—From “Changes,” Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur is a truly gifted, inspirational individual to me and many others. Last year I saw the documentary Tupac Resurrection. The strongest thing that came across to me was that he fought, not just for minorities, but for all people who face disadvantages, just as his mother had in the Black Panther movement. I love Tupac’s songs about his love for his mother, and wanting to change the world. No more hurting, no more poverty—to me that’s what Tupac stood for. Once I tried to explain to my dad why Tupac is inspirational, but he said, “Well, he’s still one of those gangbangers.” Because Tupac was shot, a lot of people view that as proof that he was a gangster. To me, anyone can get shot. But how many will still be remembered 10 years later?
Brett Hicks, 14, Loyola HS


Tupac has inspired the youth of today in a positive but also realistic way. He talks about what lots of people growing up in ghettos have to deal with everyday. And even if it isn’t all good, there’s always hope.
Axel Colon, 17, Daniel Murphy Catholic HS

The best lyricist

His music was the type everyone could relate to. Sure you had your typical songs that talked about girls, money and etc. But his music had much more meaning than that. He saw life and told it through his music. … [he] never saw himself as more than just another brother trying to hit it big. He’s hands down one of the best lyricists of all time. He’s seen as one of the greatest rappers who ever lived. [There’s] something about his songs they can relate to … whether it be big or small.
Sergio Guevara, 17, Daniel Murphy Catholic HS

Ahead of the game

He is inspirational and revolutionary in the rap—no, as a matter of fact in the hip-hop community—and a lot of stuff he said is going on today. His lyrics were ahead of the game … Ya mean!?
Erin Washington, 17, Marlborough School