2Pac - BET Interview With Ed Gordon (1994) ⇅
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2Pac BET Interview in 1994 with Ed Gordon.
This is Tupac's 1994 Interview with Ed Gordon. As we continue to commemorate the life of the late Tupac Shakur on the 20th anniversary of his d, an attribute that will live on is his candor. One striking presentation of the legend’s conviction, ideals and unapologetic stance was his 1994 interview with BET’s Ed Gordon. The award-winning journalist sat down with the rapper/actor/activist to dive into his ever-controversial persona.
In a highlight of the in-depth conversation, ‘Pac defends the rap game, citing his peers as the ones responsible for bringing widespread attention to violence in the ghettos of America. He also drew parallels to how the right to bear arm is perceived when it comes to black citizens versus white ones. A foreshadowing of the #BlackLivesMatter mantra, Tupac begged a question that remains poignant to this day.
“Why is a a black life any more recuperable than a white life?”
‘Pac also eerily detailed that his own life was constantly in danger, sharing that he had a number a**acks attempted against him by those that surrounded him. He also made it clear that his take on carrying weapons was one motivated by self-defense, not senseless acts of violence. As he had done several times before and after his conversation with Gordon, Tupac also referred to the impending loss of his physical life.
“Once my life is gone, it’s gone; can’t nobody give it back to me. Not the judge, not the President, not the governor, not Calvin Butts, not Jesse Jackson. They can’t do nothin’ but come to my funeral and talk pretty about how Black people suffer.”
Throughout much of Shakur’s life, he was just as much either a victim or witness to police v*olence as many other people of color, even going back as far as his early childhood when his parents, the late activist and gatekeeper of Tupac’s estate, Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland were members of the Black Panthers in New York. In fact, many of his family members were all persecuted by either the federal and/or local government — including his godfather Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, his stepfather Mutulu Shakur, and his aunt Assata Shakur. It is no wonder why not too long after he began speaking out against corrupt police officers on his debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, the law began to come after him as they did his family. “I had no record all my life, no police record until I made a record. As my video was debuting on MTV, I was behind bars getting beat up by the police department,” he told journalist Ed Gordon in 1994.
And this is the reality of many folks, especially those who are black and brown (like myself) minus the money and fame. I look at Chicago, my hometown where amid the rampant gun v*olence you have a long, long history of the CPD committing acts of unnecessary violence towards unarmed citizens, such as the incidents resulting in the deaths of Laquan McDonald and Rekia Boyd among many, many others. In fact, if you ask yourself if Tupac were here today, how outspoken would he be about these ongoing murders. Then you’d automatically know the answer. I’m more than confident that he would speak on the late McDonald and Boyd while f*ghting for Oscar Grant III from the Bay Area. If he were here today, pac would be right here with us f*ghting with fervor and speaking unapologetically about these ongoing injustices, just as BLM is doing now, while telling us to “strap up” for better or worse. Word to Korryn Gaines, R.I.P.
Tupac famously said that although he might not change the world, he guaranteed that he would spark the young revolutionaries that would. And what if the thousands of members of BLM were those brains who were inspired by Pac himself? It’s certainly more than likely because without Pac and the burning mark he left on the world, it is hard to say whether or not activism in hip-hop within the last four years would have been as prominent. And although his body is no longer with us on Earth, his soul remains present within all of us entertainers, athletes, writers, and revolutionaries alike. 2Pac walks among us within the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Fortunately for us all, Tupac’s lives on as we continue to remember him. Watch an exclusive clip from his 1994 BET interview with Ed Gordon above. #hiphopuniverse #hiphopspecials.
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