Tupac Was A Prophet

As far as secular rap goes, I must admit, I quit listening to it a number of years ago. However, I must also admit that whenever I hear Tupac, I get very inspired. In many ways, Tupac reminds me of Israel's prophets. Like them, his lyrics deal with issues of social injustice, political oppression, marred relationships, spirituality, familial devotion, crime, sin, brokenness, forgiveness, redempton, judgment, etc. Some might take offense at it but I see Tupac as a Martin Luther King, Jr. type of figure. King was certainly prophetic (not necessarily in the sense of "prediction" but rather forthtelling, preaching)! Though the two have thier differences (King and Pac), they also share many similarities. That's why they both can still be so inspiring. The fact is, truth is truth and truth is everlasting. That's also why King's and Pac's messages still ring true today. That's why what they spoke of when they were alive, still has bearing on what's going on in our world today. In my eyes, Tupac was a prophet of sorts. Tupac was eloquent yet fallen, brilliant yet troubled. Tupac had his share of troubles but the ways in which he spoke about life and its dealings is, in my opinion, unparalleld by any rap artist to date (and yes, I use rap "artist" here on purpose and in contrast to "rapper"; Pac was an artist). Shakur's insight into life was much deeper than many people are willing to give him credit for. I heard one of his songs today, that's what got me thinking about him, here are the lyrics. Even if you don't like rap, read this poetry and ask yourself if what Pac said in his day can still be spoken as truth today. I believe it can! And after having just spent an semester studying the prophets in-depth, I also believe there are many legitimate comparisons!

Tupac Shakur

[1]Come on, come on
I see no changes
wake up in the morning and I ask myself
is life worth living or should I blast myself?
I'm tired of bein' poor & even worse
I'm black and my stomach hurts
so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch
Cops give a **** about a negro
pull the trigger kill a nigga he's a hero
Give the crack to the kids who the **** cares
one less hungry mouth on the welfare
First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal, the brothers
give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other
It's time to fight back that's what Huey said
2 shots in the dark now Huey's dead
I got love for my brother
but we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other
We gotta start makin' changes
learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers
and that's how it's supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
but things changed, and that's the way it is

Come on come on
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
aww yeah

[2] I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under and I wonder what it takes to make this
one better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
'cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
and only time we chill is when we kill each other
it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent
ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. "
I gotta get paid,
Well hey, well that's the way it is

[Talking:] We gotta make a change...It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes. Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we liveand let's change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to dowhat we gotta do, to survive.

[3]And still I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace
It's war on the streets & the war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs
so the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the facts givin' it back to you
Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up,
crack you up and pimp smack you up
You gotta learn to hold ya own
they get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone
But tell the cops they can't touch this
I don't trust this when they try to rush I bust this
That's the sound of my tool you say it ain't cool
my mama didn't raise no fool
And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
& I never get to lay back
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the paybacks
some punk that I roughed up way back
comin' back after all these years
that's the way it is

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