Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: September 1996 In The Wake of 2Pac's Murder

Posted by Billyjam, October 21, 2014 07:00am | Post a Comment
For this week's Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I rewind the clock back eighteen full years to September 1996 and to the hip-hop news related to 2Pac that I was reporting on at the time via various media outlets. The shooting death of Tupac Shakur was the big story of that year.  The shooting death of 2Pac, who died in September of 1996, had a major impact on many people and often - oddly enough - in a positive way. At the time I reported on how 2Pac's death sparked discussion and unity among California inmates interviewing the then incarcerated Oakland rapper Pooh-Man (aka MC Pooh). "I've never seen anything quite like it before.  It brought every culture in here closer together; blacks, whites, and Mexicans.  Everyone was  touched by his death," Poohman told me at the time speaking by phone from San Quentin two days following the  Sept 13th news of 2Pac's death.  "I'm in a dorm with two hundred muthafuckas who is always talkin' and hollerin' but now whenever 2Pac's song comes on the radio everybody gets silent.  He meant a hell of a lot to everyone.  He was the voice of a generation.  He was speaking for all of us," said Poohman, "Right after his death a lot of the blacks got together in circles and talked about it and rapped the words to his songs," he said.  In fact at that time Poohman and fellow inmate, Oakland rapper Beehive, even went so far as to write a rap song in honor the slain rapper entitled, "We Still Feel Your Presence."

2Pac "I Get Around"

Further impact of Pac's passing at that time was that of San Jose producer/rapper DJ Assassin rushing into the studio the week after 2Pac's murder to record a song dedicated to the much loved rapper.  Entitled "Listen To Me Brother"  the positive song featured San Jose rapper Young Life and also Marin City's Ryan D from the group 5150 who had been a good friend of Shakur's since he first moved to California in 1987. Coincidentally DJ Assassin's then new album Hitworks Vol I  featured a track with 2Pac and Dee from Boss entitled "Real Bad Boys." 

Recalling how that collaboration came about Assassin told me at the time that,  "I was in the Blue Palms recording studio in LA when he was recording the Me Against The World album.  I'll always remember how incredibly gifted he was.  He just walked in,  picked up a pen and paper and wrote his part in fifteen minutes!  Amazing!  He can record a song in no more than two or three takes."

2Pac "To Live And Die In LA"

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