Remembering Tupac Shakur
20-years ago on September 13th, 1996, the world lost an incredible human being after a hit and run shooting took place just off the Las Vegas Strip. Tupac Shakur might have never stepped on a skateboard and he probably never expected his face to one-day be on the bottom of a Primitive board, but nonetheless, an artist, actor, and revolutionary of his caliber deserves some love from the skateboard world.
Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in East Harlem, New York City, to mother Afeni Shakur (Alice Faye Williams), a strong mother with roots in the Black Panther party. By 1990, Tupac would join Digital Underground before his album Thug Life came out in 1993. In 2007, Shakur was reported to have sold over 75-million records worldwide; we can only imagine his social status and status as a musician if he was still alive.
Tupac passed away way too young at the young age of 25. A score later, his murder is still a mystery while some go as far as to say Tupac is still alive. Whatever you believe, Shakur was in Las Vegas on September 8th, 1996, to support boxer and personal friend Mike Tyson, who defeated Bruce Seldon in a first round technical knockout with what the papers called – the invisible punch. Tupac attended the boxing match with Marion "Suge" Knight, a co-founder of Death Row Records. The two are seen pictured below.
Tupac and Suge were witnessed exiting the MGM Grand when Tupac was caught on video punching a 21-year-old gang member since identified as Orlando Anderson of Compton, California, and a gang member of the South Side Crips. The video footage captured that night shows Tupac, Suge, and their entourage beating Anderson to the floor. Later when Tupac and Suge were victims of a drive-by shooting in downtown Las Vegas, Anderson became the main culprit and suspect of the attack. However, what's interesting is Anderson was found shot dead just 18-months later, without ever testifying or much ever being written about him. What is even stranger is the idea that Tupac approached this young man and reportedly attacked him for 'being from the south side.' Tupac was heavily documented in attempting to formulate a truce among black gangs ever since his first trip to prison. With so much speculation surrounding his death and his case seemingly to go unsolved for the foreseeable future, we may never know what really happened that night 20-years ago in Las Vegas. What we do know is the legacy of musical activism Tupac left us. We invite you to read some of Tupac's insightful lyrics and quotes to help get you through whatever bullshit life's currently throwing your way.
“I know it seems hard sometimes but remember one thing. Through every dark night, there's a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep ya' head up…. and handle it.”
“During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams.”
“We wouldn’t ask 'why' a rose that grew from the concrete for having damaged petals. In turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the roses, this is the concrete and these are my damaged petals. Don't ask me why, thank god, and ask me how.”
"We was young and we was dumb, but we had heart."
"Whatever you see you gotta keep a sense of humor; you gotta be able to smile through all the bullshit."
"I feel like role models today are not meant to be put on a pedestal. But more like angels with broken wings."
"The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams."
"A woman brought you into this world, so you have no right to disrespect one."
"I'm not saying I'm gonna' change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world."
Each of us has at least one Tupac song on our Spotify, iPod, or stack of mixtapes. So today, when you're out skating throw on I Aint Mad At Cha or Keep Ya Head Up, or whatever you like because we're sure everyone skating the park today will be doing the same. Also, we're throwing it back to SK8MAFIA's first United Nations with California Love and Moose's RECRUIT featuring a remix of Pac and Eazy-E.
Rest In Peace Tupac Shakur.
Tupac Amaru Shakur
June 16th, 1971 – September 13th, 1996