Grade A Certified


Posted by J. Tinsley on June 16, 2009

…and everyday I’m a hustla lookin’ to get PAID…”

Call this cliche’, but this is a post I have to write. Call it the realest sh*t I ever wrote…well, almost. For those that really know me, who have known my musical obsession for the past  15 years, then they can easily tell you that Tupac Shakur has been, and will likely always be my favorite musician of all time. By no means was Mr. Makaveli the most “lyrical” rapper of all time or someone who would wow listeners with a freestyle of epic proportions of Hot 97, but one thing he was was prolific.

His writing, his acting, his movements, even his life was prolific.  Even to this day I find it hard to believe that he would have been 38 had he survived those shots in Las Vegas that September night. Yet and still, it’d be hard to picture what Pac (and Biggie) would have looked like nearing their 40’s.  His legacy has been pumped up so much since his passing that him dying at 25 seems, in a mythical way, right. I guess what I’m trying to say that Pac could have truly been a martyr for the genre. I know Afeni Shakur likely feels the complete opposite, and by all means and emotions she should.

It seems like yesterday when I was Philly listening to the radio on the afternoon of September 13 when the DJ stopped whatever song was playing to make announcement. Obviously, the breaking news that Pac had died in a Las Vegas hospital hit quick, but the reaction I saw out of people still shocks me to this day.  Keep in mind, when Shakur passed, it was still at the height of the “East Coast/West Coast” beef, so to hear grown men calling the radio expressing their sadness, and some crying uncontrollably, it was a powerful event to witness.

Ask me today or ask me 20 years from now and I’ll still say 2Pac is the GOAT in my eyes simply because I connected with his music on more than just an enjoyment level, but a personal level. In a weird sense, I felt he spoke for me, at least in the aspect of the single parent kid (with family members addicted to drugs) trying to come up in the world. I felt all of that and more. To find a person who says they couldn’t relate to at least ONE record from Pac might be harder than finding thsoe weapons of mass destruction Bush was on the prowl for years ago.

Truthfully, this post could go on for days, but I’ll end it here on one of my favorite Pac songs ever, and one of his more underrated.

Happy (what-would-have-been) 38th Birthday, Lesane Parrish Crooks (Pac’s birth name).

DL: Tupac–Only Fear Of Death

Oh yeah, you see the dutches in my man’s (pause) coat pocket. HAHA, that’s Pac for ya…


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