If you’re Latina or Latino and grew up on the West Coast, chances are you probably grew up listening to deceased rapper, Tupac Shakur. Whether it was an older cousin who introduced you to his music, or a local radio DJ, Tupac always found a way to our ears.
In addition to recording a handful of platinum selling albums, Latinos also loved Tupac because he had a broad universal appeal that empowered us to believe in ourselves while also making us dance in the process.
In fact, he even made us “purchase” his music in unconventional ways. Do you remember being at home and running to your radio when the DJ announced that his song was on next, so that you could insert a blank cassette into the tape deck to record his song? I was that kid, but I’m sure I wasn’t alone.
There are a lot of reasons why Tupac had a close relationship to Latinos, here are five moments in his life that we chose to pick:
1. “It wouldn’t be LA without Mexicans, black love, brown pride …”
Credit: don Ali/Youtube
I know I wasn’t the only singing that line at the top of my lungs.
2. Tupac was named after Túpac Amaru II, an Inca king who led a massive revolt in 1780 against the Spanish in Peru.
Tupac’s mother was a member of the revolutionary Black Panther Party and was inspired by Túpac Amaru II.
3. He attended the Soul Train Music Awards with actress, Rosie Perez.
CREDIT: Credit: Getty
Apparently, Rosie Perez introduced Tupac to Madonna that same night.
4. Before his death, Tupac allegedly wanted to create a political party that “won’t just be for black people, it’s gonna be for Mexicans.”
CREDIT: Credit: 2Pac/Instagram
“By the next election I promise I’m gonna be sittin’ across from all the candidates. I bet you, I promise you I gonna be so far from where I am now in four years. God willing I’m alive. If so I guarantee you we will have our own political party. And it won’t be just for black people, it’s gonna be for Mexicans, for Americans, all you lost-tribe muthaf*ckas. It’s gonna be for black people, it’s gonna be for all medians. We need to have our own political party cause we all at the same motherf*ckin’ problem. We built this nation and we get none of the benefits.”
Tupac or Trump? It’s not even close.
5. Tupac’s song, “Keep Your Head Up,” reminded Latinos that while the struggle was real, he always had our back.