Tupac Shakur the Face of Gangsta Rap

Essay by barreto2University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2007

download word file, 15 pages 0.0

Explicit lyrics painting pictures of violence, drugs, sexual promiscuity, and poor black life became more prevalent to the world than ever in the early nineties as a new style of music swept the nation. Los Angeles and its many subdivisions was the site of a new breed of not only artistic expression, but of a lifestyle. Gangsta rap was not just the style of music that the artists performed, but it was the style of life that the artists lived. Even today, many of raps most popular figures owe thanks to the gangsta music that got them started. However, perhaps the most prominent and mysterious character of gangsta rap no longer fills the studio with new expressions of lyrical superiority due to his unfortunate murder in 1996. Many fans and critics may argue about hip hop's greatest rapper of all time, but perhaps more than any other artist, Tupac Amaru Shakur rapped about the life he lived, and lived the life he rapped about.

Tupac encompasses the subculture of gangsta rap perhaps more than any other artist. From his unstable childhood, through his mischievous youth, and up until his final days on Earth, Tupac lived the "thug life." His experiences and views on the world became fuel for his powerful lyrics. Oftentimes, Tupac and gangsta rap as a whole are discredited as an art form in censored America. However, the complex rhymes of an artistic young man speak on many more levels than that of which many people realize. His songs of change and compassion are most often overlooked by his detractors and the majority of his fan base as well, as they are stereotypically poor undereducated blacks hypnotized by his lyrical portraits of street life. The combinations of Tupac's different personas of moral righteousness versus thug life often clashed...