One of the homies stopped by the office today while we were discussing the Ferguson riots. This led to a discussion about the LA riots where he was reminiscing about scoring his first Sega Genesis during the looting. He mentioned Tupac participating in the riots followed by a long story about how they met and the depth of their relationship. I asked him what the craziest thing he saw Pac do was, but after a brief pause switched my question to ask him about the most heartwarming thing he ever saw Tupac do. Both valid questions, but I feel like a lot of times Pac’s crazier moments make more highlight reels than his compassionate ones.
His face lit up when I asked this question. He told me about one day when he and Pac were riding down Sunset. Pac heard over the radio that there was a sick child whose dream it was to meet Janet Jackson. Apparently Janet couldn’t make it or could only spend a short period of time with the child because of scheduling. Pac made a few phone calls and ending up visiting the child personally. He spent the entire day with her and before her unfortunate passing, the girl had removed all her Janet posters and had plastered her wall with Pac. That’s just the kind of guy he was. This was never publicized because it was never about that for Tupac. His heart was so big and his intentions were so pure and positive.
When he met the homie I was having the conversation with, Pac asked him where his parents were. He told him he didn’t have parents. Pac asked him where he stayed. He shrugged and said, “around.” Truth is, he was fourteen years old and he was around because he was selling drugs to members of Pac’s crew. Pac took a liking to him and brought him in to live in a house with a few members of the Outlawz. In lieu of paying rent, Pac made him read books. “That was my rent,” he said. “If I didn’t read books, I couldn’t stay. Pac made me read a lot.” Pac was so in tune with life and with God. He felt like he had a big purpose and he fulfilled it, whether it was rapping on records or giving game to the youth. He explained, “I don’t see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have answers.” I love hearing stories like these because it shows just how real Pac was. He didn’t just rap about it. He was about it. He lived it. He was full of passion, full of purpose, and full of love. He wasn’t perfect, but he was real.
“I feel like role models today are not meant to be put on a pedestal. But more like angels with broken wings.” ~ 2Pac Shakur