Jhené Aiko hit off the legendary Tupac Shakur with a memorable tribute today, which would have marked his 44th birthday. The tribute included reenactments of some of his most notable photographs and a live performance of her rendition of “Keep Your Head Up” (see below). All of this took me by surprise because in our current world full of followers, there’s not a whole lot of creativity going around. So for Jhené to think so out of the box is more than noteworthy.
For me, my first memories of Pac were when “I Get Around” came out. Although I was only in the 2nd or 3rd grade, I still thought it was the dopest thing EVER and also felt like I could relate in the distant future (don’t ask). From then on I kept up with Pac’s career and even bought All Eyez On me from The Warehouse in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, where he shot “To Lie And Die In L.A.” (remember that?) the first day it came out. I was like the only one in my class to have a copy, so you know my Discman got passed around on a constant rotation. Then Hit ‘Em came out and the rest is history. One of my neighbors actually told me that Pac had passed a day before the news was announced, so it didn’t hit me as hard as it could have. But I still felt it’s impact regardless. And when “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” came out, made it top priority to memorize all it’s lyrics.
Now, the older I get, the more I see how much of a revolutionary and icon Tupac was. Maybe it was my age that hid that fact from me or that I’ve lived more life and can relate more. But, whatever the reason, I still wish he were here today. Unlike most artists of today, Pac had the power to be relatable to anyone. Instead of being inaccessible, he was like that big homie hitting you off with knowledge before you even needed it. Instead of making you feel like sh*t because you were poor, he showed compassion. So, for all these reasons and more, he’s at the top of my list.