Monday, September 12, 2011

Tupac Week sounds even better than Shark Week

Posted By on 09.12.11 at 12:54 PM

For some reason I can never remember that September 13 is Tupac Shakur's birthday the anniversary of Tupac Shakur's death, which always makes me feel bad since there was a period in my life shortly after I moved to Chicago when All Eyez on Me was one of the few things keeping me as close to sane as I could manage at the time. (The other two big ones were Mary J. Blige's No More Drama and dollar-beer nights at the pre-yuppification Tuman's Alcohol Abuse Center.) LA Weekly's West Coast Sound blog is commemorating the occasion with a weeklong series of stories about Tupac that already appears to be much more inventive and thought-provoking than the usual encomia.

Today's installments consist of an interview with Bruce Hornsby, the soft-rock legend who became an unlikely Pac collaborator when his hit "The Way It Is" was sampled for the latter's posthumously released "Changes," and who enjoyed and appreciated the experience much more deeply than you might expect. The other post delves into Tupac's totemic influence over a generation of African rebel soldiers, who painted his name on their rifles, named their gangs after lines from his songs, and used his words and image to provide "some sort of meaning to the violence they were witnessing and perpetrating."

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