“You wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the roses. This is the concrete. And these are my damaged petals.” – Tupac Amaru Shakur
Twenty-one years ago today, Tupac Shakur was shot multiple times at a red light on the Las Vegas Strip. He passed away six days later, September 13, 1996. His influence is still felt throughout various facets of our society. He was more than a rapper. He was—and remains—a teacher and positive life influence.
In the time since his death, many issues he spoke of are still present. Minorities are still looked down upon and struggle to survive. As soon as we gain a level of knowledge, we are seen as threats. Police brutality and hate crimes are rampant; and the people in power are doing everything possible to convince us it’s not as we see it.
Throughout his career, Shakur recorded five solo albums and a group project. Chronologically, they are 2Pacalypse Now, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., Thug Life: Volume 1, Me Against The World, All Eyez On Me, and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. These six albums are the best representation of Shakur’s voice and message, delivered by his various personas.
As a tribute to a man who means so much to so many, I’m going to review each of those albums in daily posts, culminating with The 7 Day Theory on September 13. Join me on this journey into the life of The Rose That Grew From Concrete.