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Old 02-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #26
Hypestyle
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

the james dean of his cultural group, no doubt.. young charismatic star who comes to an early demise.

I liked his early albums, though I don't think he really solidified his artistic focus until the 2nd album, Strictly for my... it's when he was still showing a near-equal influence of the afrocentric and political influences of a public enemy, boogie down productions, X-Clan and the east coast african-american religious movements (NOI, 5% nation, etc.) as well as the west-coast influences of an Ice-T, NWA, and Too Short, where you had outcroppings of political content (especially regarding police), but you also had a lot of casual gang-violence talk, sexism and pimp themes. The group that mentored him, Digital Underground, was West Coast without the gang talk, a rap update of the 70s P-Funk acts. Tupac also had his education via his mother and her contemporaries, former black panther militant-activists, and his stints in arts-driven high schools in Baltimore and Oakland.

Unfortunately, by the time gangster rap had become the most prominent subgenre of hip-hop, the counter-movement by some artists (A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Digable Planets) was received less as a righteous critique and instead received as hostile "player hating". Thus did the east-west "war" start to escalate. Too many northeast-coast fans and influential radio personalities held on to regional NY-centric pride as a point of moral/artistic superiority in the face of growing fanbases for regional rappers from the south, midwest and west coast.

Unfortunately, in the way that Tupac's worldview evolved/devolved, there was no room for nuance and moderation. You were either "ride or die" or you were a "hater". In the growing cult of his personality there were seemingly few people willing to tell him he was occasionally reckless. He would regularly talk rhetoric about black unity and co-support, but there's Youtube video of him (abetted by a crew of goons) verbally attacking (and mildly assaulting) an African immigrant selling bootleg music tapes on a busy NY street, based on the premise that the guy is "taking money out my pocket"-- so the rapper who talks a whole bunch of drug-dealer-gang-banger mayhem on records, and who defends himself on the premise that "it's what some people do to survive" all of a sudden gets morally indignant when it comes to somebody selling not crack, not taking advantage of women as a pimp, but selling music. Maybe in Gene Simmons world it's unforgivable, but supposedly not in Tupac's.
Especially by the time that he went to jail for more reckless behavior, he should have just cooled his heels and took the time to reassess his life. Instead he was seduced by the money of Suge Knight, and once he was out on appeal Tupac essentially abandoned any pretense of being afrocentric or political at all. It was now time to be full blown 110% gangster-- and from there, making the spurious argument that "thug life" was simply a form of community empowerment and a righteous rejection of the mainstream value system. Him and Suge seeing themselves as some form of real-life "Mob" figures (especially Suge), he never seemed to realize that what he was basically advocating was a perverted version of the hyper-capitalism that the "early" Tupac heavily criticized as being unfair to minorities and the poor. In the new worldview, "suckers" were for peace, and the criminal lifestyle was just another career choice. Making your money through "hustling"-- i.e., being engaged in a very non-mainstream activity (theft, robbery, selling hot items, drugs, sex trade) was more desirable than the "square" life of "working for the man just for a check." Petty criminal misadventure (e.g., being busted while driving with drugs/alcohol and a gun) was now spun as somehow being socially revolutionary, along the lines of a Malcolm X or Martin Luther King being arrested during the height of the Civil Rights movement. This is actually a big problem I have with a lot of rappers, especially the latest movements.

I truly believe that Tupac could have lived a longer life had he just stayed in jail instead of "leaving jail for Death Row" (how ironic is that?). Whether he would have become some type of major political activist is debatable (at one point he did make some brief public comments about forming an independent party). Maybe he would have continued with acting and grown to be a regular presence in mainstream features. Maybe his screen career would have cooled down by now and he may have gotten involved with a TV show. Would he have quit Death Row and scorned Knight, like Mike Tyson eventually scorned Don King? Who knows, again. Would his anger management and b*tch-bashing on wax have gotten under control by marrying Quincy Jones daughter Kidada? Again, we'll never know.

Tupac had an incredible amount of potential in rap and acting, but at some point somebody convinced him it was cool to play chicken with oncoming trains.


Last edited by Hypestyle; 02-01-2013 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #27
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

Very talented lyricist and successful entrepreneur, definitely deserves the title of intelligent.

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:28 AM   #28
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

Kanye West first two albums are totally different from his more recent stuff. His got border line conscious tracks on there. There isn't anywhere near as much materialism or arrogance and he is very relatable which is what got him popular in the first place. While most rappers were rapping about drive-bys, drug dealing or how hard it is in the streets West was rapping about working bad jobs, his mom, relationships, his car crash, jesus and so on.

Those things are why he was such a successful crossover rapper initially. In Wests early mixtapes he rapped about going to record labels and them not signing him because he didn't go to prison or sell drugs or have the general thug image that would make him marketable to hip hop fans.

Seems like West is almost a different person now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry78 View Post
To be honest I don't think any rappers are stupid per se, they know what they're doing with their lyrics and their statements. They got their fanbases all sewn up, you don't get to that point by being a moron.
Exactly.

Its an image. Do people really think all these rappers boasting about being the biggest drug lords on the west coast, east coast, south ect are for real? of course not.

Its braggadocio, exaggerating things.

Gangster rap is what slowly killed hip hop in my opinion. After the likes Ice-T and NWA made Gangster rap successful it pretty much became the most dominant style of rap music. To this day if you ask someone who doesn't listen to rap music what its about they willtell you gangsters, thugs, hoes, bling and so on despite most classic late 70s and 80s rap being nothing like any of that stuff. Old rap music was mostly party music.

Gangster rap got taken up by thousands of other rappers and its cannibalised itself to the point of parody. There are some good gangster rappers who do rap about the streets because that is their background but you also get plenty of fake guys like Rick Ross who use it just for the image to make money. Its no wonder many younger or current generation rappers are turning away from that image.

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:39 AM   #29
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

Tupac can't be too intelligent because he's dead.

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:04 AM   #30
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

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Tupac can't be too intelligent because he's dead.
You need to chill.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:48 PM   #31
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chamber-music View Post
Kanye West first two albums are totally different from his more recent stuff. His got border line conscious tracks on there. There isn't anywhere near as much materialism or arrogance and he is very relatable which is what got him popular in the first place. While most rappers were rapping about drive-bys, drug dealing or how hard it is in the streets West was rapping about working bad jobs, his mom, relationships, his car crash, jesus and so on.

Those things are why he was such a successful crossover rapper initially. In Wests early mixtapes he rapped about going to record labels and them not signing him because he didn't go to prison or sell drugs or have the general thug image that would make him marketable to hip hop fans.

Seems like West is almost a different person now.
I'd say he's improved since then.As much as I love College Dropout and Late Registration,My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is on another level in my opinion.I don't think content wise he's changed too much.He's always talked about fashion and has been super-arrogant.I just think he changed his style and is speaking on similar subjects in a slightly more abstract way.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:55 PM   #32
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

I can't really despise him because he's so self aware and kind of self deprecating at times. He knows how he's viewed and incorporates it into lyrics at times.

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Old 02-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #33
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Default Re: Do people really find Tupac intelligent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Incrediblejeff View Post
I'd say he's improved since then.As much as I love College Dropout and Late Registration,My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is on another level in my opinion.I don't think content wise he's changed too much.He's always talked about fashion and has been super-arrogant.I just think he changed his style and is speaking on similar subjects in a slightly more abstract way.
I listened to College Dropout the other day and its so different content wise. I think its just because his life has changed alot so obviously his rapping about different stuff. Kanye still raps about personal stuff but the generic rap boasting has taken over far more.

I don't think Kanye uses ghostwriters anymore.

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