America’s Nightmare

When 2pacalypse Now, Pac’s debut, hit the streets in ’92, my English was not good enough to pay attention to his provocative lyrics. Last weekend, I pulled the album off my boy’s CD collection and stuck by Pac’s lyricism. In “I Don’t Give a Fuck,” he ain’t fucking joking when he spitted, “And if you look between the lines / You’ll find a rhyme as strong as a fucking nine.” His words were filled with violent graphics. I still recall an incident where two kids shot at a cop and blamed on Pac’s music for the motivation, and I am not finding it surprising with what Pac had described in his “Violent” words: “My homie dropped, so I hit the cop / I kept swinging, yo, I couldn’t stop / Before I knew it, I was beating the cop senseless / The other cop dropped his gun, he was defenseless / Now I’m against this cop who was racist / Given him a taste, of trading places.” At such a young age—barely legal to drink—Pac was fully aware of the injustice as a Black male. In “Words of Wisdom,” he prosecuted AmeriKKKa with, “the crime of rape, murder, and assault / For suppressing and punishing my people / I charge you with robbery for robbing me of my history / I charge you with false imprisonment for keeping me.” And he also questioned the Black history lessons: “No Malcolm X in my history text / Why is that? / Cause he tried to educate and liberate all blacks / Why is Martin Luther King in my book each week? / He told blacks, if they get smacked, turn the other cheek / I don’t get it, so many questions went through my mind / I get sweated / They act as if asking questions is a crime.” Obviously two of Pac’s mega classics were “Trapped” and “Brenda’s Got a Baby” (courtesy of YouTube). Both pieces demonstrated Pac’s skillful narrative storytelling as well as his poetic lyrics with a wicked flow.