Tupac Shakur Releases “All Eyez On Me”
Written By Dani Urbane
FEBRURAY 13th, 1996 – Thuggin’ for life, and if you right, then n**** die for it/Let them other brothers try, at least you tried for it/When it’s time to die, to be a man and pick the way you leave/Fuck peace and the police, my ambitions as a ridah
This day marked a historical moment in Hip Hop. Tupac Shakur a.k.a. Makaveli released his fourth studio album that many argue as a pure classic. He was a soldier who fought his own battles as a Black man while under the microscope of the world. Being born into a lineage of strong-willed, exceptional skilled, intelligent parents, Tupac Amaru Shakur was inevitably a threat.
His way of thinking put him ahead of his time. The way he unapologetically spoke his truth and the truth of our People is what sparked controversy. His undeniable compassion for women (even though some would beg to differ) is why he was a heartthrob. His lyricism made you feel as though you knew him personally. Tupac was transparent and transparency can build foundations, but also tear down its own structure.
Both a blessing and a curse, Tupac possessed the power of influence upon others: men, women, and children who looked up to him. Many wouldn’t categorize him as a role model, but who would argue with listening to a leader so true to his own self? Tupac was more than a gangsta rapper…he was a revolutionary leader. This is what put the fear of God into the Eyez of his, I mean our, oppressor.
Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mother, declared him to be Tupac Amaru Shakur shortly after his coming into the world. That motion in itself stamped who he was, who he would become, and whom we would remember him as.
All Eyez On Me was a double album that released upon Tupac getting out of prison and months before his tragic and still unsolved death. He will be remembered as first a great man, revolutionary, and a gangsta rap artist…in that order.