All Articles Tagged "2pac"
Any time you’re trying to describe an artist, there’s always a temptation to compare them to someone else. It’s easier to say “Keyshia Cole is like Mary J. Blige” than to say “Keyshia Cole makes raw, soul-infused R&B filled with themes of pain and personal transformation.” I get that. But sometimes the comparisons go too far, and we try to place up-and-comers in the same category as legends whose legacies have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape.
The late, great Michael Jackson is probably the most frequent victims of suspect comparisons. It seems that anyone who can dance and sing reasonably well is at some point dubbed the new or next version of The Gloved One. Usher is the new Michael Jackson. Chris Brown is the new Michael Jackson. Beyoncé is the new Michael Jackson. In the name of all that is holy, this must stop. I have seen all three of these “new Michael Jacksons” live, and I can attest that any one of their shows will change your night, if not your life. Usher is a consummate entertainer, Chris Brown is the best dancer I have ever seen anywhere, and Beyoncé
will leave you out of breath just watching her.
That said, to compare these entertainers to the King of Pop, a man who was arguably the most innovative, groundbreaking and important artist of all-time, hurts my feelings in ways I can’t begin to describe. I could possibly tolerate something more specific like “he can sing and dance well, kind of like a young Michael Jackson.” But to compare artists to someone who was incomparable won’t fly.
Another questionable comparison involves Trey Songz. I’ve heard him described as the next R. Kelly and/or D’Angelo. I’m sorry, what did you say? Just because you take your shirt off and sing sex-laced ballads does not make you heir to the throne of Kells or the inimitable D’Angelo. So I’m going to need people to cease and desist equating any crooner with a sexed up catalogue and a six-pack to either of these two very unique and musically-gifted individuals.
And then, there is perhaps the most egregious comparison I’ve heard yet: that Frank Ocean is this generation’s Luther Vandross or Marvin Gaye. For the love of Tyler Perry, we must stop this madness. I think we’ve all heard more than enough Luther and Marvin to know that Frank is neither, so I will kindly ask the people making these comparisons to have a seat for eternity.
Young Frank and his unique brand of R&B has certainly taken the world by storm. But to compare an individual with a mixtape and an album to legends who shaped entire eras, who left us with some of the most memorable music we have, whose musical styles don’t even resemble Ocean’s, is simply ludicrous. In the words of Claudette Wyms, one of my favorite characters on the former FX drama The Shield, “You’re stretching, son. Try yoga.”
These ridiculous comparisons also occur in the rap spectrum. I think we all laughed off the idea that Ja Rule was the new DMX, but among the more outlandish claims I’ve heard is that Kendrick Lamar is the new 2Pac. Girl, bye. I can’t even dignify that with a response.
Sure, there are similarities between artists, and comparisons are inevitable. Nicki Minaj is like Lil Kim or Foxy Brown, female rappers who blend sexuality with serious bars. Justin Bieber is like Justin Timberlake; they’re both white r&b/pop artists who got their start as teen idols. Lady Gaga is like Madonna; they’re fearless females who push the envelope and weave religious imagery and sex into their music.
But no one is the new or next anyone, much as each generation might want to lay claim to their own version of some superstar. Chris Brown is not the new Michael Jackson and Frank Ocean is not the new Luther Vandross. There is one Michael and one Luther and one Marvin and one 2Pac, and there will never be some newfangled knockoff. They’ll come through and create their own lane and legacies. But we lessen the legacies of certain icons by claiming there is some updated version, like they are a line of soft drink or an old computer program. What these people did is unmatched and will remain unmatched. Without taking anything away from these talented young artists — who deserve to be seen in their own light, and not in someone else’s shadow — let’s not pretend a legend who brought us something we’d never seen before and will never see again can somehow be duplicated.
What’s the craziest musical comparison you’ve ever heard? Sound off in the comments.
Sorry to excite you — or incite more conspiracy theories that 2Pac might really be alive — but isn’t this visual pretty spot on? Last week Buzzfeed created a gallery showing what dead music artists of our age would look like had they stayed on earth just a little while longer, and they captured some of the most iconic stars of our kind from every genre, like Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Aaliyah, and, of course, Pac.
Though I’m sure Pac probably wouldn’t have gone from a supremely shaven bald head in his younger years to trying to hold on to this slowly receding hairline later in life, the caption Buzzfeed provided, “Director Tupac Shakur and his wife Jada Pinkett Shakur arrive at the after-party for the premiere of Shakur’s lastest film in New York City,” is probably just about right. Sorry Will!
Check out the photos and Buzzfeed’s prophesies for what these starlets would be doing now had they not passed away so soon. What do you think?
Singer, actress, and designer Aaliyah joins this season’s cast of American Idol as a judge.
The late Tupac Shakur was known a prolific artist. And when he died at the age of 25, it has been reported that he left behind a trove of songs and song concepts. Now his mother, Afeni Shakur, has announced she will release her son’s entire body of work.
According to Billboard, the late rapper’s estate is now being handled by Jampol Artist Management. His mother is head of the estate and founder of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation. “I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that Tupac’s entire body of work is made available for his fans. My son left many incomplete pieces and even more unfinished ideas. Using the blueprints he gave us, I am committed to fulfilling this duty,” she said in a press statement.
His estate will not only be releasing more Tupac tracks, but also plans to market his name. Jampol Artist Management will oversee licensing, apparel, and other ventures in all media worldwide, as it relates to Shakur’s music, film, name and likeness, reports Billboard.
JAM also handles the estates of The Doors, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Peter Tosh, and Henry Mancini and consults on the estate of Michael Jackson.
“It’s our responsibility — and our privilege — to ensure that new generations of fans experience the power of Tupac’s music, his ideas and his storytelling,” JAM founder and president Jeffrey Jampol said in a statement.
Tom Whalley, the label executive who signed the hip hop artist to his first record deal, will be working with Jampol Artist Management on the upcoming music projects, notes Billboard.
When Tupac was murdered in 1996, he had registered 11 number one albums on the Billboard 200. He has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide as of 2010.
When it comes to posthumous albums, for recently deceased and iconic deceased artists, the release of one can bring in big dollars for their estate and more fans to their musical catalog. Over the years, some artists have had their unreleased tracks flipped and released posthumously, with good and bad results. With the news that Drake is hoping to produce a posthumous album for the late Aaliyah (his imaginary girlfriend), the release of the first single, “Enough Said,” and the recent news that Missy and Timbaland will contribute to the project, we’re wondering if the upcoming album will be a huge hit, or a hot mess of a miss. We’re also thinking about past posthumous projects and the marks they’ve made, or the missteps made in releasing them to the world. Shall we discuss? Let’s take a look at a few…
Notorious BIG – Life After Death (Loved)
To be clear up front, posthumous refers to a work published after someone’s death. Though BIG worked on this double album himself and it was actually supposed to be released on Halloween of ’96, it was released two weeks after his death in ’97. Not only was it a commercial success (diamond status) and considered one of the best selling hip-hop albums of all time, it was also a huge success with critics and fans alike. There was a little bit of something for everybody, including the mainstream cats (“Hypnotize”), the ladies (“F*** You Tonight”), the hardcore fans (“Notorious Thugs” and “What’s Beef?”), and…Diddy, of course (“Mo Money Mo Problems”).
I have just five words for you: “You wanna smell my punani?” That line alone was enough to make Poetic Justice a classic piece of art. But aside from the raunch, this movie was much more than the critics initially gave it credit for. John Singleton said he wanted to tell the story of how black women in South Central were affected by the way the black men in their lives were dying. He also wanted to show how the characters open up and reveal their true selves when they’re away from the pressures of the city. Some of us loved it, some of us were disappointed and some of us didn’t appreciate it until it came out on DVD. Either way, you have a lot to learn about this one. Check out some of the facts behind the film.
Janet…or her people Didn’t Think Pac was “Clean”
Janet Jackson must have assumed Tupac was living some type of wild lifestyle because she didn’t mind asking him to take an AIDS test. Even though there were no sex scenes between the two. They just kissed. That move really showed how ignorant Janet and countless others were about the disease back in the day. A person with AIDS would either have to exchange a gallon of saliva with another person or have opening cuts in their mouth to transfer the disease to another individual. Apparently Janet didn’t know all that. She requested it but Tupac refused. Good man. Janet wasn’t feeling Tupac at all actually. He thought the two would remain friends after filming was complete. I’m going to let Tupac explain what happened.
Oh, the innocence of childhood. When you’re a kid (well, at least way back when), you’re not worrying about who or what is messing up the economy, you’re not jaded into dressing or trying to look a certain way (especially since moms wouldn’t allow it anyway), nor did you have a real understanding about sex and foreplay. Or at least, you really shouldn’t have. You may have been filled in about what sex was, but when you heard songs about it, you were pretty much listening for the basics. As a kid, if you turned on a good beat with a catchy chorus, I was going to sing along. Now that I’m older, I can only laugh at my young self for singing these songs out loud not knowing how ahead of my years and knowledge they were.
*NOTE: I’m not THAT old so just keep that in mind with some of these picks (smile).
Fresh off my vacation to the Dominican Republic where I was treated like the royalty that I am not, when I came home and logged on to Twitter, I was surprised to see that the Ray J, “Ain’t that Brandy’s brother?” and Fabolous beef is all everyone is talking about. You’re probably like, not “Real Chance at Love” Ray J? or whatever they called that show (editor’s note: “For the Love of Ray J”). But yeah, I’m talking about Brandy’s brother!
Details are sketchy but apparently he and Brooklyn’s own rapper turned Twitter comedian Fabolous got into a scuffle this past weekend at The Palms in Las Vegas. Some say Fab headbutted Ray J, and Ray J claims he smacked Fab up, but who really knows what happened? Ray J called up the Breakfast Club fam, aka, the folks at Power 105.1 in New York, to speak his peace and in the process, he left us with possibly the most entertaining interview of all of 2011. I’m anti black-on-black crime so I won’t condone any violence between these two men, but the interview was pure comedy. Though I do I wish celebrities were using their voices for more productive reasons, like to bring attention to the Troy Davis situation in Georgia right now. But asking some celebrities to be conscious about what’s going on in our communities rather than what’s going on through Twitter might be a stretch! o_0
So let me break down a few things that are wrong with this beef:
With all the songs folks request on the radio, watch as videos and dance to in the club, you’d think they would be uplifting to black women. Well, you guessed wrong. If we’re not getting called hos and being told to drop it and shake it and bounce it every five minutes in a song, other black women are calling each other hos, or doing the dropping, and shaking and bouncing in little to no clothing in YouTube videos seen by millions. But not everybody goes out of their way to degrade black women in music. Some people have proclaimed their love for chocolate (of all shades) sistahs out there and have done so in an eloquent manner. You already know we love “Brown Skin Lady” from Black Star, now check out some of the other tracks that put shower us with praise. Feel the love ladies!
Oh, how addictive getting tatted up can be.
When people tell me they want a new tattoo but aren’t sure of what to get, I always want to yell at them in dismay not to get one. Not because I’m against body art, but because when people get that craving to feel the needle against their skin, they usually come out of the parlor with a marking they’ll regret. Something spur of the moment. We can all agree there’s no need for you to have a tattoo of your own name. And while most small, hidden tattoos that catch people by surprise can be Hot, these days, spontaneous (basically stupid) designs end up too big to hide and the person ends up having to explain their body of work everytime it meets someone’s eye. So if you want to try out a new tattoo, I beg of you, check out the following failures in tattoo trends and avoid them at all costs.
(A couple of these pics are NSFW-ish)
It’s been 14 years since Tupac was murdered in Las Vegas. He was only 25 when he died. But, along with former nemesis Biggie Smalls, his legacy in music continues to remain strong. He established himself at a young age and even though he promoted varying identities and personas during his music career, fans still associate him with a very focused brand of brash passion. In honor of Tupac’s legacy and his continuously successful discography, we compiled a list of his best selling albums thanks to data from the media firm Nielsen SoundScan.
10. Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z
Units Sold: 1,366,000
Released: February 16, 1993
Units Sold: 1,660,000
Released November 11, 2003
8. Better Dayz
Units Sold: 1,758,000,
Released November 26, 2002
7. Still I Rise
Released December 14, 1999
6. R U Still Down? (Remember Me?)
Units Sold: 2,160,000
Released November 18, 2007
5.Until The End Of Time
Units Sold: 2,204,000
Released March 27, 2001
4. Me Against The World
Units Sold: 2,439,000
Released March 14, 1995
3. The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Units Sold: 3,492,000
Released October 29, 1996
2. All Eyez On Me
Units Sold: 4,473,000
Released February 6, 1996
1. Greatest Hits
Released November 24, 1998