A Thought On Biggie & Tupac
Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
I have been thinking about them a lot this last month: Biggie's flow and lyrical ability cannot be questioned, but Biggie's art was pure posturing, he had no real life basis for spitting about wot he did, it was overwhelmingly theatre (his mum was like "'sardines for dinner'?? No", whereas Tupac was the exact product of the temporary defeat of the Black Liberation Movement (esp the Black Panthers).
Tupac's mother - Afeni Shakur - was a leading Panther on trial and harassed, Tupac was in his mum's belly while she was in prison as the 'New York 21', she suffers substance abuse cos of all the trauma, Tupac himself was harassed by the fbi while in primary school, his godfather Mutulu Shakur (another Panther, now New Afrikan Panther) is put in prison, and is STILL there.
Tupac was mercilessly harassed and harangued by the white power structure. Tupac the artist's legacy is that of a torn and contradictory revolutionary who tried and ultimately failed to overcome the white power structure's oppression & manipulation of him.
Biggie's legacy apart from great flows etc is the carrier of the system's misogyny and internalised violence into the minds of generations of our children now, promoted by the white power structure.