Rap legend Tupac Amaru Shakur is considered one of the most influential rappers and greatest artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records.
Shakur was born to Alice Faye Williams, a member of the Black Panther Party. He attended the elite Baltimore School of the Arts where his creative side flourished, but his family moved before he could graduate.
The new neighborhood was riven by crime so he became involved in the gang culture. Tupac’s mother had succumbed to crack addiction and bought her supply from the same street her son was selling drugs.
In his pursue of a hip hop career, Tupac managed to stay away from a life of crime for a while and joined Digital Underground. He began his career as a backup dancer and MC. He evolved into a spokesperson for his generation through lyrics that told powerful stories around racism, violence and other social issues. Tupac’s presence was not just about being a great rapper, but a complete artist – he could act, he wrote poetry and he had serious dance moves.
The rapper’s acting career was short, but he definitely made an impression there too, with his breakthrough role as a troubled high school teen who fashions himself into a cold-hearted killer, in action movie Juice (1992).
Redefining the word “thug”, Tupac was involved in many conflicts, but also showed responsibility, wisdom and a soft side at the same time. As the East Coast–West Coast hip-hop rivalry and tension started to grow, the rapper participated in the rivalry in a very vocal way. Things escalated, and he was murdered at the age of 25 in a drive-by shooting.
Some conspiracy theorists believe he is still alive. Either way, his music will surely never die.
Here are 38 Tupac quotes to motivate you to face life’s challenges:
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive. Never surrender.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.
They have money for war but can’t feed the poor.
During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams.
Whatever you see you gotta keep a sense of humor; you gotta be able to smile through all the bullshit.
A coward dies a thousand times, a soldier dies but once.
For every dark night, there’s a brighter day.
I think I’m a natural-born leader. I know how to bow down to authority if it’s authority that I respect.
You gotta make a change. You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us, to do what we gotta do to survive.
Don’t believe everything you hear: Real eyes, Realize, Real lies.
Watch for phonies, keep your enemies close, watch your homies.
Tomorrow I wake with second wind and strong because of pride. I know I fought with all my heart to keep the dream alive.
We probably in hell already, our dumb asses not knowin’, everybody kissin’ ass to go to heaven ain’t goin’.
If they take half the buildings that they use to praise God and give it to the motherfuckers who need God we’d be ‘aight.
I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.
Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead.
The seed must grow regardless of the fact that it’s planted in stone.
Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.
All I’m trying to do is survive and make good out of the dirty, nasty, unbelievable lifestyle that they gave me.
Our future is our confidence and self-esteem.
Everybody’s at war with different things. I’m at war with my own heart sometimes.
So no matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep ya head up…. and handle it.
Behind every sweet smile, there is a bitter sadness that no one can see and feel.
Just cause you live in the ghetto doesn’t mean you can’t grow.
Should I just stop trying and give up? But then, that’s exactly what they’re waiting for me to do.
I would rather be stricken blind, than to live without expression of mind.
The world moves fast and it would rather pass by than to stop and see what makes you cry.
I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there’s somebody with no room? It just don’t make sense to me.
Always do your best, don’t let the pressure make you panic.
Life is a wheel of fortune and it’s my turn to spin it.
I don’t see why everybody feel as though that they gotta tell me how to live my life.
I set goals, take control, drink out my own bottle. I make mistakes but learn from every one.
Everytime I speak, I want the truth to come out. Everytime I speak I want a shiver.
Ain’t a woman alive that could take my mama’s place.
Don’t change on me. Don’t extort me unless you intend to do it forever.
My mama always used to tell me: ‘If you can’t find somethin’ to live for, you best find somethin’ to die for.’
I don’t have no fear of death. My only fear is coming back reincarnated.
People die but legends live forever.