Whether you grew on the West Coast, the East Coast, or somewhere in between, chances are you are familiar with the infamous rapper 2pac. 2pac, also known by his given name Tupac Shakur, is one of the most talented rappers and poets that the late 1980s and 1990s had time to bless us with before his life was tragically cut short. Here’s a look at the top seven greatest quotes of all time from 2pac on everything from poverty to responsibility.
Number Seven: 2pac On Fame
“I had no record all my life, no police record until I made a record. As my video was debuting on MTV, I was behind bars getting beat up by the police department.” Police brutality is a very real thing and debatably even more so during the height of 2pac’s fame. He never shied away from telling it like it was for a young, black man living in America during that time.
Number Six: On Homelessness
“Why can’t [the President] take some of those people off the street and put them in his White House? Then he’ll have people from the street to help him with his ideas. They haven’t been homeless forever; they’ve done things for society.” No one was too low on the totem pole for 2pac. Everyone mattered to him and could bring something to the table. Ideas like this are what made 2pac more than just a rapper; these ideas made him an inspiration to create change and start thinking about social issues differently.
Number Five: On Responsibility
“If we really are saying rap is an art form, then we got to be more responsible for our lyrics. If you see everybody dying because of what you saying, it don’t matter that you didn’t make them die, it just matters that you didn’t save them.” Rappers today often like to pass on the responsibility of what their lyrics inspire. 2pac, on the other hand, recognized his responsibility and the role he played in the loss of young lives and worked to change it.
Number Four: On Inspiring Change
“Every time I speak I want the truth to come out. Every time I speak I want a shiver. I don’t want them to be like they know what I’m gonna say because it’s polite. I’m not saying I’m gonna rule the world or I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee you that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” 2pac had a humility to him that I think a lot of rappers lack. He never claimed to be the one who would change it all, but he hoped that he would inspire a leader of tomorrow.
Number Three: On Dreams
“During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams.” Preach, ‘Pac, preach. Dreams are what made 2pac accomplish all that he did and it’s a solid life lesson to never give up on your own dreams.
Number Two: On Persevering
“You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun.” 2pac was vocal about being from the ghetto and what it was like trying to escape that reality. His metaphor for a rose growing from concrete is one of the most memorable things he ever said and also one of the most important.
Number One: On Hope
“For every dark night, there’s a brighter day.” Hope is more powerful than most things. 2pac helped remind not only his fans, but everyone, that hope can get you through the dark times. Tupac Shakur was an incredible rapper and an inspiring human being. Here’s to the fact that his memorable and poignant words have lived on well past his own life.