Adesuwa Isopkan talks about 2PAC's influence on her life
Tupac was born on June 16th, 1971. Born to Alice Williams (Afeni Shakur) and Billy Garlandhis, his birth name was Lesane Parish Crooks. He had two step-siblings including Mopreme/ Komani from the Outlawz. In my view, his life was filled with emotion and purpose. He was fatally shot on September 7th, 1996 and died on September 13th, 1996. He was 25….
He was 25… writing that makes me think of what I was doing when I was 25. But God is supreme. This man who lived for 25 years had a body of work so relatable, and vast, it touched little ol’ me in Lagos Nigeria. This was before social media; a time when music was played on merit, and to have music meant you had to search for it. He was a genius to me. I did not rest until I acquired everything I could find that he spoke on.
The funniest thing about my first introduction to Tupac's music was that it happened after his death. I was 9. My Mum's chef introduced me at the time, and I have been blown away ever since. The first song I heard was Changes and I immediately became addicted. Poor Mr Peter rewound that cassette player so much he would have been an angel not to have sworn for me.
Tupac’s music has been the only constant music on every playlist I have had since I could make a playlist. To me, his voice is a beacon of hope, a capsule of collected memories that I ingest in my spirit whenever I need to feel. His music made me appreciate voices; till this day, I always comment on and appreciate voices. His music made me appreciate the words in songs and not the beats of songs. A gift and a curse because now my music is a repertoire from the 1990s.
His voice raised me. Alongside my Mum and Dad, he contributed to making me conscious and compassionate. Damn, I remember the first time I heard dear mama, my Mum’s vision for me was clear in that instant. He made me conscious of the beauty of and in people; the silent hardships, the inferiorities, insecurities, the feelings of loneliness, the rawness and possible shame/ beauty of it all.
As my sensei, Tupac taught me the practice of unconditional love in every meaning of those words. His life is one that keeps giving to many like me. I turn on a Tupac song when I need room to assess and articulate an emotion I am struggling with accurately. His music encouraged and taught me to dig through my feelings, to take my time in those feelings and to never apologise for them.
He continues to teach me, because every time I put on a Tupac song and key into his lyrics, I hear a new message.
To me, he is more than an inspiration; he is one of the reasons I am sure that God has a purpose for us all. Like how did this 25 year old make music that applies to most life situations, music that transcends and is medicine to the right consumer? His music has gotten me through tears, heartbreak, failure, disappointment, loneliness to strength, joy, peace, being resolute, success and unconditional love.
I am grateful to be so touched by him and to have a voice to remind me of the blueprint for my life.