Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Day The Music Died

"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies while still alive" - Tupac Shakur

On September 13, 2007, back when I began blogging, I wrote a post entitled "A Little Tupac In All of Us," which touched upon Tupac Shakur and his undying appeal. That was nearly ten years ago, to the day. 

Twice as many years have passed, twenty-one to be exact, since the late great rapper took his final breath inside of a Vegas hospital. 

Besides the body of work left behind, I'm reminded of the multi-faceted brother over the years as I've witnessed countless rappers emulate him. To say Pac was influential is an understatement; he's the most influential rapper the game has known, by far. 

Although many tried, and others continue to try, none come close. Pac was built from a different cloth. 

And that's the reason why part of my love for the rap game died. Not lyrically, cause the love for the art form was instilled from the very beginning or the moment  I heard "Roxanne, Roxanne." 

Not musically either, cause nothing compares to a perfect hip hop beat. 

But the heart and soul. 

The game lost its heart and soul the day Pac died. 

Just as the heart and soul personifies a person, Pac personified the game. Life imitated art and art imitated life, both of which led to every word being felt in ways unseen beforehand nor ever since. 

I'll always recall that unforgettable day. No sooner than I'd walked in the door from work, I received a call, claiming he'd been pronounced dead. 

For some reason, I didn't believe it. The day before, I'd read a newspaper article informing he was expected to survive his gunshot wounds. 

While on the line with the caller, I received another call, assuring he was gone. 

Since I didn't believe or perhaps didn't want to believe, I dialed information for the number to the hospital. The operator gave the number, but added I wouldn't reach anyone. "Their switchboard's been busy since the rapper died."

Floored, I don't remember how I replied. 

Whatever I said, she kept saying she was sorry to hear. Then asked if I knew him, personally. 

"Everyone knew him," I replied. "We all have a little Tupac in us."

And we do.