Tupac Shakur: A Life, A Legacy, A Legend

tupac-shakur

Today, September 13th, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of one of Hip Hop music’s legends: Tupac Amaru Shakur. Known for the mélange of political consciousness, aggression, and existentialism that characterized his lyrics, Tupac was many things to many people. To his fans he was a great lyricist, a fearless voice for the disenfranchised, and the reason people threw dubs up whenever the DJ spins West Coast Rap. To the establishment, he was an unwelcome voice of revolution and the personification of its worst prejudices against the black community. Since his untimely (and still unsolved) murder on this day in 1996, there have been volumes of his music released. In fact, out of the 11 albums credited to him, 7 were posthumous releases, and much of that material was still pertinent to the issues of the times in which they were released. Some even argued that his work was prophetic (looking at you Dave Chappelle). Whatever your thoughts on Tupac were, there was no doubt that he was unafraid to make his known. Continue reading

Benthi: Two Languages, One Argument

benthi

One of the most difficult and frightening experiences that anyone can undergo is that of a new immigrant. Making the brave decision to walk away from the safety and security of everything one has ever known to cross over into a strange place that in most respects is alien to one’s native land is life-altering. Such a transition is fraught with challenges: language barriers, a difference in customs, new laws, and the list continues. One of the most challenging aspects of this transition is one that seems to never end: raising children. Few understand the conflicts of raising children in a new country than the children of the immigrants themselves. They have one foot in their parents’ chosen home and another in the customs that these same parents imported. Being the son of parents that immigrated to Canada from the West Indies, I have had my fair share of culture clashes with my parents. These clashes manifested themselves in a variety of ways. Sometimes it would be the spicy home cooked dishes in my thermos at school, other times it would be the rules surrounding the way my non- West Indian friends must act when they visit. The most contentious issue of them all was dating.

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