The Don Makaveli, a.k.a. Tupac Amaru Shakur, passed away twelve years and four days ago at 25 years of age, from still-unclaimed bullets in the streets of Las Vegas. We can't bring him back, yet we've continued to study his every move in life and death (and in the minds of some, his resurrection).

He said himself, in an interview with Vibe Magazine, "Thug Life to me is dead. If it's real, let somebody else represent it, because I'm tired of it. I represented it too much."


The man was a cult of personality, but he died way too early and for a cause that has still not quite been identified or taken up in a positive way--let's be honest. But the truth is even more tragic; it's 2008, and "Thug Life" lives on without it's founding father. Guns are still used for us, by us. Drugs are sold in similar fashion. Prison sentences await those who take either path, and boys remain boys as girls become women. Fathers are invisible, futures are bleak. Civil rights are revoked, voter registration fails. And tomorrow's soldiers remain stuck in the ageless trap of being righteous thugs.

Don't blame Tupac; blame our insistence on reincarnating the worst side of mankind through his name and image, over and over again. And the best way to avoid manufacturing more thugs for nationwide distribution, fueling the continuing state of mental, spiritual and financial poverty in the black community is to let the man rest in peace.

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