What did it say about rap? It was about violence, it was about violence. That type of behavior got out of character, like it was a new type of rap. There were a lot of kids who used to rap that would never rap like that ever again. I remember one interview where I was talking about the end of gangsta rap because that’s how a lot of kids were talking, that it was gone, and they were just talking about it, with no reference points. What was in it for me? What was my point? Was gangsta rap about all the crime and drug problems? No. It was actually about the peace, about the brotherhood that you just have when you were young. You know, even though they can have all these other gangs and all this other negativity; they still can be brothers and they still have those close bonds and those loving moments. I feel like there is a little history of that today.
I want to talk about the death of Tupac Shakur. How do you feel about his assassination?
You know, I really appreciate what Tupac meant to a lot of people. For sure, the things that he said and the fact that he was the face of that movement, he changed the face of American hip-hop. It didn’t end when he died or when it was announced that he was dead. It was more a statement that all of us in the game were not going to let it go. It continued with the music that he was putting out. People are still saying, “We’re not gonna let this go.” That statement just kept happening: “The game’s not over because you’re dead. It’s not over because we can’t hear you anymore.” But still it’s an important record.
The people that were in Black Orpheus [the recording studio Tupac made in 1984] did a really good job with his music because, for a lot of people, he seemed to be this outsider. It’s kind of hard, to put yourself in his shoes, because he was going through some issues in his life. I think we all have a little bit of a responsibility in the way that we’re going to talk about him. You can’t get into his head and do like, “Oh! Tupac’s dead. He’s got a gun in his hands.” You’ve got to talk about why he was alive, because there is a lot of value in hearing that. I think that would be a more honest way
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