Request: Why Are Tupac & Biggie Worth Remembering?

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Randolphkeys

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Hey RCF, I know this topic has been floating around for about 30+ years... and you probably know I'm an English Language Arts teacher among other stuff.

But why are Biggie and Tupac worth remembering?

I'm teaching a mini-lesson on poetry, so I decided to make one unit all about these two giants. If we simply examine the science of rhythm, rhyme, consonance, assonance, etc... Obviously this is a collection of lyrics that are simply breathtaking.

Yet, they essentially killed each other.

If you give me some PG rated YouTube videos of your memories of this theatrical conclusion of two geniuses, I will use them in my class and be forever grateful.
 

Man Called X

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Hey RCF, I know this topic has been floating around for about 30+ years... and you probably know I'm an English Language Arts teacher among other stuff.

But why are Biggie and Tupac worth remembering?

I'm teaching a mini-lesson on poetry, so I decided to make one unit all about these two giants. If we simply examine the science of rhythm, rhyme, consonance, assonance, etc... Obviously this is a collection of lyrics that are simply breathtaking.

Yet, they essentially killed each other.

If you give me some PG rated YouTube videos of your memories of this theatrical conclusion of two geniuses, I will use them in my class and be forever grateful.
Suge Knight had them both killed.

Unfortunately PG rated videos may not happen, but Dear Mama video by 2Pac would probably get my vote.
 

PIP

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Tupac was just a different cat. To be that young, that articulate and talented (music & movies). It’s hard to say he was ahead of his time (cause what does that really mean?) — but the stuff that he was saying and promoting holds true roughly 30 years later…

I just came across this the other day… It’s nothing major but you can see his mentality.

 

DJTJ

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There’s a ton of poetry by Tupac from when he was in HS that’s easily accessible from a google search that show the poems in his handwriting.

They’re pretty clear, too. No chicken scratch.
 

bigfoot5415

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Hey RCF, I know this topic has been floating around for about 30+ years... and you probably know I'm an English Language Arts teacher among other stuff.

But why are Biggie and Tupac worth remembering?

I'm teaching a mini-lesson on poetry, so I decided to make one unit all about these two giants. If we simply examine the science of rhythm, rhyme, consonance, assonance, etc... Obviously this is a collection of lyrics that are simply breathtaking.

Yet, they essentially killed each other.

If you give me some PG rated YouTube videos of your memories of this theatrical conclusion of two geniuses, I will use them in my class and be forever grateful.
Keep Ya Head Up is an incredibly powerful song. There's so much to unpack, but for the most part pretty clean. IMO it's one of the most powerful hip hop songs of the early 90s.

I also have found Thugz Mansion by Tupac & Suicidal Thoughts (both need censoring for your purpose) to be powerful.
 

Lee

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There’s a ton of poetry by Tupac from when he was in HS that’s easily accessible from a google search that show the poems in his handwriting.

They’re pretty clear, too. No chicken scratch.

I always found it interesting the Tupac and Jada Pinkett were best friends from high school.
 

Randolphkeys

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Keep Ya Head Up is an incredibly powerful song. There's so much to unpack, but for the most part pretty clean. IMO it's one of the most powerful hip hop songs of the early 90s.

I also have found Thugz Mansion by Tupac & Suicidal Thoughts (both need censoring for your purpose) to be powerful.

Keep Ya Head Up is my go-to. He manages to hold off on dropping too many N-words that were so prevalent in rap in the 90s, also holds off on glorifying gang life and gang creedos. Using it this week.

Biggie is harder to package in a middle school classroom. I used excerpts instead of entire songs. The songs I chose were Who Shot Ya, Warning, and Juicy. So - obviously Ready to Die was the only Notorious B.I.G. album I owned back in the 90s.
 

bigfoot5415

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Keep Ya Head Up is my go-to. He manages to hold off on dropping too many N-words that were so prevalent in rap in the 90s, also holds off on glorifying gang life and gang creedos. Using it this week.

Biggie is harder to package in a middle school classroom. I used excerpts instead of entire songs. The songs I chose were Who Shot Ya, Warning, and Juicy. So - obviously Ready to Die was the only Notorious B.I.G. album I owned back in the 90s.
Juicy remains my #1 hip hop song of all time. I'm 32 and the song did come out before I was of age to appreciate it, but as soon as that beat drops and he starts "it was all a dream, I used to read word up magazine"..... I feel it and always start rapping. There's something soothing about that song and some of his others.
 

Steve_424

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I heard "Changes" on the radio the other day and it bummed me out when I realized how much still fits 30 years later.
 

KevinLoveFan

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Tupac's appeal is universal: men and women, Black or White, he had something meaningful to say. His raps and poetry have stuck with me for years, particularly his poem about God, and "So Many Tears" from his Me Against the World album. More than any rapper before or since, he had a way with words and could speak insightfully, charismatically, and philosophically about a number of topics.

Biggie is always said to be the more gifted emcee (technique, wordplay, etc), but he's less relatable.
 

bob2the2nd

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I always found it interesting the Tupac and Jada Pinkett were best friends from high school.
Yeah and they were friends to the point Im pretty sure there are theories Will smith had Tupac killed.

Also Im going to make this thread controversial. As talented as both of these guys were (and absolutely they were very talented), it was the fact that they were killed in their prime, during the heat of the east coast/west coast feud, which has elevated them to where they stand in the public's eye today.
 

Vee-Rex

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Tupac's appeal is universal: men and women, Black or White, he had something meaningful to say. His raps and poetry have stuck with me for years, particularly his poem about God, and "So Many Tears" from his Me Against the World album. More than any rapper before or since, he had a way with words and could speak insightfully, charismatically, and philosophically about a number of topics.

Biggie is always said to be the more gifted emcee (technique, wordplay, etc), but he's less relatable.
This sums it up well. Lyrically, Biggie is one of the best ever. His style and delivery was unique. When it comes to rap, a lot of people seem to have their preferences and think a particular rapper is better than another, etc... Biggie had that talent that was undeniable by all parties. He was quite subtle with his disses but you always got the feeling that you didn't want to battle that dude. His career was ballooning before his untimely death.

Pac had the passion, creativity, and world-reaching charisma. He was versatile like crazy - being able to entertain in many different ways. While he wasn't top-tier lyrically (IMO), he could deliver the heat. Seem like he could level and relate to just about anyone. He had a transformative/innovative approach and incredible foresight about a variety of topics including his own path and fate. Prophetic in some ways, which makes it even more sad that he could see how things would end up but still maintained that same energy. Shouldn't have tried to be so loyal to Death Row, but that was his nature.

Both aren't "heroes" and their deaths certainly heightened their fame/glory, but they were absolutely premier talent and a lot could be learned from their lives.
 

Randolphkeys

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I'm going to attempt to pivot into Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes, but the Biggie/Tupac lessons actually had kids enjoying my class. It's a keeper.
 

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