Author Topic: Mos Def on 2pac Shakur.. this is deep ya'll  (Read 100 times)

infinite59

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Mos Def on 2pac Shakur.. this is deep ya'll
« on: November 29, 2002, 04:08:37 AM »
More from my broadly intelligent brother who created http://www.mosdefinitely.com/


Being an important and intelligent artist in the rap game today, Mos Def was extensively interviewed by Michael Eric Dyson for his book about Tupac, titled "Holler If You Hear Me." Some of the interesting things Mos Def says in the book are:


Page 66 - "What was it like to grow up living underground?" Mos Def asks on behalf of the children of the Panthers. "What was it like to grow up with your parents under siege? What is it like to grow up with your parents under surveillance, or [to] not feel safe and secure?" Mos Def's answer is simple. "You grow up to be like Pac. You grow up in the street. You grow up doing street things, [knowing] there has got to be something better, because you come from something better." Mos Def says that the social repression experienced by the Panthers and their children had devastating consequences. "The whole governmental [harassment] was effective on a whole other level, because it conflicted the youth. It conflicted the children of our generation." Mos Def sees the most lethal consequences in the lack of direction many of the children suffered. "They not only destroyed the movement, or the bewildered children of the movement, but ... [the children] had to struggle with no guidance. They were out there on their own." Mos Def eloquently argues that it was not the immediate impact of the government harassment on the Panthers that was most hurtful. Rather, it was the effect of such action on the second-generation Panthers. He powerfully and succinctly captures the torn legacy that Tupac embodied. "It is not the nuclear holocaust, the dropping of the bomb, that is terrible," Mos Def says. "The fallout is the real bullshit. Tupac represents the fallout generation. That is my generation. Pac represents something that is heroic and tragic, not just for black society but for American society."

Page 107 - "I wasn't a big Pac fan when he was out," Mos Def lets on. "But I'll tell you why people loved him: because you knew him."

Page 154 - Mos Def sees a profound level of honesty in Tupac's work. "Pac lived everything that he talked about," he says. "He lived the beauty of it; he lived the horror of it. And that's a lot more than you can say for alot of people out here."

Page 159 - As rapper Mos Def observes, Tupac captured in the sweep of his brief life the defining experiences of all young black men, the blessed and the unfortunate. "Pac was locked up. Pac had a number-one record. Pac had movies out. He was getting the most out of being a Negro in America," Mos Def notes. "He was living both sides of that [experience]. He was living that thing of having white folks ... being hostile, and he was put into jail, so that even in the face of his success, he was always cognizant of the fact that to America he was just another nigger." Mos Def wonders, "How does that feel? You know, to go from great privilege to just being locked up, and then watching your own video in the joint?" That sharp and jarring contrast between his personal highs and lows gave Tupac a powerful comprehension of the ups and downs of black male existence.

Page 171 - Mos Def sees Tupac's importance as taking "something negative and associat[ing] it with us [young blacks] and trying to flip it. ... I think it was really just a noble ambition of Pac's mind that he never really got to fully expand on. ... He died so young."

Page 212 - "Pac was one of the most valuable Americans of his generation," rapper Mos Def says. "But he was also one of the most flawed and conflicted and really unhappy persons as well. Pac was unhappy here. I think we all sensed that. We didn't listen to him [when he said] 'I'm not happy.' He wasn't happy here; he was given a rough time." Tupac's suffering affects Mos Def to this day. "I cry a lot thinking about him, because I felt like we couldn't help him. He was begging for it."

Page 133 - Mos Def, praised as one of the leaders of "conscious rap," refuses to think in such narrow terms. "They've got their little categories, like 'conscious' and 'gangsta,'" says Mos Def. "It used to be a thing where hip-hop was all together. Fresh Prince would be on tour with NWA. It wasn't like, 'You have got to like me in order for me to like you.' That's just some more white folks trying to think that all niggas are alike, and now it's expanded. It used to be one type of nigga; now it's two. There is so much more dimension to who we are. A monolith is a monolith, even if there's two monoliths to choose from." Mos Def sees the danger, however, in having only one dimension of the black experience get airplay, which in present terms is usually of the bling-bling or thug variety. "I ain't mad at Snoop. I'm not mad at Master P. I ain't mad at the Hot Boyz. I'm mad when that's all I see. I would be mad if I looked up and all I saw on TV was me or Common or the Roots, because I know that ain't the whole deal. The real joy is when you can kick it with everyone. That's what hip-hop is all about." [...] Mos Def is careful to avoid accepting the praise -and the typecasting- of corporate interests that deny the complexity of black identity and culture. "They keep trying to slip the 'conscious rapper' thing on me," he says. "I come from Roosevelt Projects, man. The ghetto. I drank the same sugar water, ate hard candy. And they try to get me because I'm supposed to be more articulate, I'm supposed to be not like the other Negroes, to get me to say something against my brothers. I'm not going out like that, man."  
 

Don Mega

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Re:Mos Def on 2pac Shakur.. this is deep ya'll
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2002, 04:30:25 AM »
Page 212 - "Pac was one of the most valuable Americans of his generation," rapper Mos Def says. "But he was also one of the most flawed and conflicted and really unhappy persons as well. Pac was unhappy here. I think we all sensed that. We didn't listen to him [when he said] 'I'm not happy.' He wasn't happy here; he was given a rough time." Tupac's suffering affects Mos Def to this day. "I cry a lot thinking about him, because I felt like we couldn't help him. He was begging for it."

that's really deep... and sad. It's a perfect picture of Pac. Props Infinite

 

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Re:Mos Def on 2pac Shakur.. this is deep ya'll
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2002, 04:34:57 AM »
I actually have this book, it's a really great read too, one of the best i've read, "Got Your Back" being the best so far.

True words from Mos.




I think that if you take one of the 'O's' out of 'Good' it's 'God', if you add a 'D' to 'Evil' it's the 'Devil'. I think some cool motherfucker sat down a long time ago and said 'let's figure out a way to control motherfuckers'.