Tupac Shakur remains, even after his untimely death in 1996 at 25-years-old, one of the most influential rappers and hip-hop philosophers of our time.
Truly, he was like a flash of light, burning so bright, and then he was gone.
With songs like “California Love,” “Changes,” and “Dear Mama,” his catalogue will surely live on for years (read: centuries) into the future. The man sold some 75 million records in his short lifetime.
But what did Tupac have to say about life itself? About love, the craft of songwriting, hip-hop music, his family, and beyond? That, dear reader, is the subject of today’s inquiry.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best 15 Tupac quotes of all time, shall we?
1. “Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.”
2. “My mama always used to tell me: ‘If you can’t find somethin’ to live for, you best find somethin’ to die for.'”
3. “I think I’m a natural-born leader. I know how to bow down to authority if it’s authority that I respect.”
4. “I’m a reflection of the community.”
5. “All I’m trying to do is survive and make good out of the dirty, nasty, unbelievable lifestyle that they gave me.”
6. “It seems like every time you come up something happens to bring you back down.”
7. “I don’t see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have answers.”
8. “I’m 23 years old. I might just be my mother’s child, but in all reality, I’m everybody’s child. Nobody raised me; I was raised in this society.”
9. “I just don’t know how to deal with so many people giving me that much affection. I never had that in my life.”
10. “When you do rap albums, you got to train yourself. You got to constantly be in character.”
11. “I would rather have been shot straight-up in cold blood-but to be set up? By people who you trusted? That’s bad.”
12. “There’s nobody in the business strong enough to scare me.”
13. “With all my fans I got a family again.”
14. “If I win and get the money, then the Oakland Police department is going to buy a boys’ home, me a house, my family a house, and a Stop Police Brutality Center.”
15. “I’ll probably be punished for hard living.”
Photo by Jeffery Newbury