Tupac Shakur wrote lyrics that spark conversations about rap, race relations, and young black men in America today. Beyond his popularity, Tupac Shakur is one of the most complex figures to emerge from hip-hop – really, to emerge from any art form. His naked emotion and fearless personal revelation were a direct influence on MCs from Eminem to Kendrick Lamar. “Every rapper who grew up in the ’90s owes something to Tupac,” wrote 50 Cent in Rolling Stone, paying tribute to Shakur as one of the “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time.” His songs preached activism and nihilism, expressed rage and love, raised questions without answers. Since his murder in 1996 at the age of 25, Tupac’s legend and impact have continued to expand across the globe. He has become an international symbol of resistance and outlaw spirit, an irresistible contradiction, a definitive rap anti-hero.
Images from the Philadelphia Inquirer Photographs Collection at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives.
Writer and editor for magazines such as Rolling Stone, Spin, and Vibe, and the author of the book Tupac Amaru Shakur, 1971-1996. This collection contains materials related to Light's research on Tupac, publication agreements, writer agreements, and general information.
Abbie Kearse Papers, 1993-1996
Reporter from MTV News who interviewed Tupac multiple times and created the MTV News Special "Tupac Shakur: In His Own Words" in 1997, one year after Tupac's death. This collection contains Kearse's papers on Tupac Shakur including information related to the MTV Special.
Tupac Shakur Photographs, 1991-1996
Photographs from the Philadelphia Inquirer
Slides, 1987, 1991-1992
Slides include images from the Collection on Spin Magazine
The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library is home to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Collection which "includes Shakur's handwritten manuscripts, including song lyrics, track listings, video and album treatments, short stories and poetry. Other materials include manuscripts written by the members of the Outlawz, media and publicity materials, correspondence and legal documents."
(from Code of THUG LIFE)
"In 1992 at the ‘Truce Picnic’ in Cali, Tupac was instrumental in getting rival members of the Crips and Bloods to sign the Code Of THUG LIFE.
He and Mutulu Shakur had helped write up the ‘code’, with help from other ‘og’s’. The Code of THUG LIFE is listed here. It details do's and don'ts for being a righteous thug and banger.
Code OF THUG LIFE:
1. All new Jacks to the game must know: a) He’s going to get rich. b) He’s going to jail. c) He’s going to die.
2. Crew Leaders: You are responsible for legal/financial payment commitments to crew members; your word must be your bond.
3. One crew’s rat is every crew’s rat. Rats are now like a disease; sooner or later we all get it; and they should too.
4. Crew leader and posse should select a diplomat, and should work ways to settle disputes. In unity, there is strength!
5. Car jacking in our Hood is against the Code.
6. Slinging to children is against the Code.
7. Having children slinging is against the Code.
8. No slinging in schools.
9. Since the rat Nicky Barnes opened his mouth; ratting has become accepted by some. We’re not having it.
10. Snitches is outta here.
11. The Boys in Blue don’t run nothing; we do. Control the Hood, and make it safe for squares.
12. No slinging to pregnant Sisters. That’s baby killing; that’s genocide!
13. Know your target, who’s the real enemy.
14. Civilians are not a target and should be spared.
15. Harm to children will not be forgiven.
16. Attacking someone’s home where their family is known to reside, must be altered or checked.
17. Senseless brutality and rape must stop.
18. Our old folks must not be abused.
19. Respect our Sisters. Respect our Brothers.
20. Sisters in the Life must be respected if they respect themselves.
21. Military disputes concerning business areas within the community must be handled professionally and not on the block.
22. No shooting at parties.
23. Concerts and parties are neutral territories; no shooting!
24. Know the Code; it’s for everyone.
25. Be a real ruff neck. Be down with the code of the Thug Life.
26. Protect yourself at all times."
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