Blog 3: Tupac: Street Philosopher

Tupac’s interview in jail (1995) shows Tupac expressing himself in a passionate way. Even without raps, Tupac descriptively and accurately portrays his philosophy. He has a sociological outlook much like Dubois, calling attention and intelligently describing a minority group. Tupac also mentions how America was founded with gangs, and that law enforcement, police; lawyers are also in formation of a gang. He goes on to say “…America is the biggest gang in the world.” I think this is one of the most terrifying and powerful messages I have heard any leader say. Tupac whether metaphorically speaking or not, is putting himself in danger with words. However I do take what he is saying rather literally. It is no hidden fact things are hidden, corruption exists, and a force of power controls us: society; America faces a high risk of problems. Tupac uses the limelight to tell people about the social forces that strain America, he speaks with such passion and pride you start to believe in what he is saying.

            Tupac makes it aware during the interview that he is strong, that he has been through a lot and even in jail he is not feeling bad for himself. He mentions the conditions, not for himself but, to educate. Tupac informs us that jail is not a place where creativity can play or be harvested, it simply just dies. He also contends it kills the spirit, something he once looked forward too when he was a part of what he calls “thug life.” Now a still young Tupac realizes, jail is not what they told him to be (a place full of more connections) but, instead is confinement in a place where you are told what to do. Tupac is no older than 22, in this video but is prolific and wise. He takes responsibility for his actions, and reserves a mature demeanor and charisma even in jail.

“Now if we do want to live the thug life and the gangster’ life and all that, OK, so stop being cowards and let’s have a revolution. But we don’t want to do that, dudes just want to live “character”, they want to be “cartoons”, but if they really wanted to do something, they was that tuff, alright, let’s start our own country, let’s start a revolution, let’s get outtalk’ here, let’s do something. But they don’t want to do that, they want to pimp our communities and portray this image that they know we all can’t survive and make, and that’s what I saw.”

Tupac says this justly, and honestly. The brutal truth America doesnt want to face.

C Picket fences, and stay at home mothers are few and far between these days. With growing stress in economics, less jobs, and more education expected there are more student loans. And while owning a house was standard, the American loan system is catastrophic; in addition real estate also plummeted. Many friends of mine have degrees that sit at home or find an unrelated job to waste time or worse get stuck at. Today not everyone can do what they are passionate about because the jobs are scarce and more completive. American society believes in wealth, and some misguided citizens are driven but the “American Dream.” When one does reach this goal, hard work comes into play or like most rich entrepreneurs manipulation and Svengali may take part. The wealthy are driven on materialistic needs and forget about the human agenda. Money and power isn’t distributed fairly, and the capitalism ethics have hidden agendas, darker than you imagine. Skeptical as some may be, it is very realistic corruption exists. I have seen it in small ways such as nitrous balloons, in time square on New Year’s. Cops were near but never came, these illicit balloon salesmen held it casually with loud tanks and never looked afraid. Whether police take bribes or not, or what evidence really holds, Tupac opens the mind to challenge the image of America. It could be compared to ideas from Marx’s Communist Manifesto in the “street” sense. He was a part of a life “Thug Life” and coined killuminati, which perhaps represents hollywood, the rich, and corrupt money making skills they continue for their faerie tale life filled with pleasure seeking. To achieve happiness in America is to work all the time and have more. With those morals alone America will not be able to survive these hardships much longer.

Tupac is a leader of youth and minority, someone people can understand, and someone that understands people. Tupac was involved in various multicultural events which led for him to be a voice of everyone, not just one.

I thought this video is interesting, as Dave Chappelle uses sociology patterns to understand Hollywood. He had a realization, that Hollywood casts many black men is dress attire for comedy. He found it odd, and when asked was felt almost pressured into doing it. This may show how they want to feminize or even mock black men, only implications and guesses can surround this. Whether any organization or not, both people remind us to look around us and make connections, be aware and never trust anything as Tupac would say. Conspiracy theories may seem strange but, it represents that there is a definite ruling class that is beyond are power, and we in effect work for them, give them money for some of theirs, and be in debt to them. While they let children starve, Tupac and Chappelle both point out that they are greedy and put money over the welfare of others. Distribution of capital needs to be redesigned, but fearfully may collapse. The choice is ours to change our society.



One response to “Blog 3: Tupac: Street Philosopher

  1. Awesome post, Stephanie. You specified a range of sociological insights in the clip, which I posted partly to highlight what can be considered another form or expression of sociological theory. As you know, Du Bois’s work was not received as “sociological theory,” as Du Bois studied a marginalized group, worked with unconventional data, and wrote in a different and unique voice. Already in 1995, Shakur warned of mass incarceration of men of color.

    The discussion of “thug life,” which you note, is especially interesting, as his commentary on “gangs.” Gangs come up in the Merton article, “Social Structure and Anomie,” and it’s worthwhile to consider Shakur’s statements in relation to Merton’s theory.

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