Pac’s Passion

Tupac Shakur and I have two things in common. We admire Lady Day and love our mothers dearly. When I first heard “Dear Mama,” I was speechless. It was like a hip-hop version of Y Van’s “Long Me.” Other than the crack fiend, Pac spoke out the words that I could relate to: “When I was sick as a little kid / To keep me happy there’s no limit to the things you did / And all my childhood memories / Are full of all the sweet things you did for me.” In addition to being an appreciative son, Pac was also a lovable prince who tried to convince a girl to leave her abusive man on “Can U Get Away.” Yet, the occurrence subject Pac touched on throughout the album is death: “If I Die 2Nite,” “So Many Tears,” “Lord Knows,” “It Ain’t Easy” and “Death Around the Corner.” Pac also had his shares of misogynist content, “Pissing while practicing how to pimp and be a playa / Overdose of a dick, while drinking liquor when I lay her.” But that’s Pac, and Me Against the World is the album I reach for over and over again for the poetical aesthetics.