The poems, written over a three year period starting when the rapper was 17, offer a glimpse of Tupac before many people knew him. With the hope of beginning to understand the significance of Tupac Shakur on today's modern world, we asked writer Jeff Weiss, who co-wrote 2Pac vs. Biggie: An Illustrated History of Rap's Greatest Battle, to pen an essay on why we care.
In 1991, Ice Cube was a force of nature. The idea that he could someday star in Are We There Yet? was inconceivable. Still, commercialism wasn't foreign to him. He shilled St. Ides malt liquor as furiously as he called out the police.St. Ides, manufactured by Pabst Brewing Company, targeted young black people. They built an advertising strategy around rappers and hired DJ Pooh to produce beats and commercials. Rappers responded with zeal. [more inside]
Man confesses to Tupac Shakur robbery and shooting Dexter Isaac, now serving a life sentence for murder, told AllHipHop.com that he robbed Shakur outside the Quad Studio in Manhattan in November 1994 on the orders of hip hop management mogul James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond. [more inside]
First there was L. L. Cool J vs. Kool Moe Dee and the Bridge Wars. Then came Biggie and Tupac with the west coast, east coast rivalry. Now rap battles have transcended mediums, I give you Ludacris vs. Bill O'Reilly. Word.
Who Killed Tupac Shakur? More importantly, does the L.A. Times run the risk of re-igniting an east-coast/west-coast rap "war" by implicating a certain notorious indivdual in a feud that was virtually nonexistent until the media hyped it up the first time around?