Tupac Shakur trained as an actor, posed as a street thug and became a best selling rapper. He continues to be mythologised, revered and highlighted like no other. Poet and playwright Al Letson recalls the life of this restless revolutionary who was shot and killed 18 years ago, yet remains one of the biggest-selling hip hop artists.
Tupac led a conflicted life, causing moral outrage in one verse and capturing the voice of the disenfranchised in another. He continues to inspire revolutionaries around the world and has even been chosen by the Vatican as someone who ‘aimed to reach the heart of good-minded people’. He wrote the feminist elegy Brenda’s Got a Baby and the abusive Wonda Why They Call U Bitch. Graffiti tributes cover walls across the world, he carried the conflict between community struggle and personal gain.
With contributions from Tupac’s first manager and the actor Tony Danzia, Al Letson explores the complexity of Tupac’s life and the contending identities that define him.