When one ponders on the great songwriters of our time the usual people will come up. Bob Marley for his soothing, peaceful, and revolutionary music that has been heavily played since its first releases in the 1970’s, or Bob Dylan with his political, rebellious tunes, and an unmistakable voice that’s made him an icon to millions for over 40 years. Another that I believe should be considered is Tupac Shakur, and I know I’m not the only one that thinks this way. When you think of Tupac you usually think of the tough gangster that dominated the rap scene through the 1990’s until his death in 1996. You may think of some of his songs to be inappropriate, or derogatory but if you look deep inside some of his songs and just listen you can see a different, more emotional side to the Tupac Shakur most people know.
Like Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, Tupac Shakur sang about the struggles that the people around him and he himself faced day to day. He sang about the gangster lifestyle that he was part of, and instead of condoning it he rapped against it in a lot of his songs. Tupac rapped about the tremendous emotional distress that some of his actions as a gangster in his younger life had caused him. In his song “Changes” he’s quoted saying “is life worth being or should I blast myself” because the mistakes he’s made in his past have haunted him to the point where he’s contemplated suicide. This shows that the tough, seemingly impenetrable fortress that is Tupac Shakur is an emotional human being. It also shows how he connects with anyone that has been in such a low situation like him. And he’s basically telling anyone in that situation just to hold on and fight through it you’ll be alright in the end.
Tupac was always seen as a savior to the ghetto for the reason that even though he was very wealthy when his rap career took off, he still conveyed himself as one the people and acted no better than them. He instead identified with them in all his songs like in one of his songs he’s quoted saying “No one knows my struggle, no ones felt my troubles, it’s hard to carry on knowing that no one loves you” This is once again his uncanny ability to be on the same level as his listeners and really relate to them. Tupac related to his listeners with that line just as good as Bob Dylan did with one of his most famous lines “like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone.” Thus proving my point that Tupac Shakur, should go down in history with Bob Dylan and Bob Marley as one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
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