T.I. Believes Tupac Shakur Would've Dived Into Politics

"Just his diverse intellect, and the way he thought outside the box could have led him anywhere in life," the rapper said of the music icon. 

Fans and critics alike believe the world might be spinning on a different axis if Tupac Shakur was still around. Rapper and Tupac fan T.I. shared the same thoughts with reporters before his tribute to the music icon in early April at the Rock and Roll of Fame induction ceremony.

READ: Snoop Dogg Reacts To Inducting Tupac Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

As the only solo rapper to be inducted, Tupac's legacy now rests among other greats like Chuck Berry, N.W.A., Parliament-Funkadelic and Micheal Jackson. "It's an extreme honor," T.I. said to the Associated Press. "I feel like, you know, as a kid, 'Pac was my favorite rapper since the first time I heard him, and you know, that's the first person I ever, as an artist, hoped to pattern myself after."

Filmed for HBO, T.I., Alicia Keys and YG all performed tributes to the rapper. Shakur lost his life towards the peak of his career in 1996 when he was gunned down in Las Vegas. Tip thinks his legacy would've been bigger and brighter given Pac's connection to the youth and activism. "Anything could have happened with 'Pac, man. Just his diverse intellect, and the way he thought outside the box could have led him anywhere in life," he said. "He may have gotten into politics by now. Who knows? Just his diverse intellect, and the way he thought outside the box could have led him anywhere in life."

Tupac shared his political ambitions with VIBE in 1996 and explained how he would change the world. "That’s the way for us to overcome a lot of our obstacles, is to have political power. Nothing can stop power or recognize power but power," he said. "Everything you telling me to do, Let’s sit down and talk. If Bosnia disrespects America, or Saddam Hussein disrespects America, they gonna go to war. Cause America wants its respect. And they gonna sit down after Saddam Hussein recognizes that they should respect America. We have to have respect before we can have communication. Before we can communicate, there has to be a mutual respect. And we don’t have that.I respect the east coast. The east coast know I respect them. I used to beat ni**as up for Queen Latifah. You can ask Chuck D. When they robbed P.E., I was there. When Treach was out there and ni**as wanted… It’s not as bad as everybody think. It’s not like everybody fighting."

As for his own career path, Tip has shown his more righteous side in recent project like US or Else, but he's not interested in getting into politics. "I don't think so. I'm not a politician. I'm not a politician," he said. "If I can use my influence for the best for someone else, who I feel is deserving, I would do that, but I am not a politician. I'm too motivated."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will air on HBO April 29.

READ: 10 Songs That Embody Tupac’s Love For The Kids Of Black America

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Jeezy Seemingly Challenges T.I. To A Verzuz Battle

An ATLien edition of Verzuz could be on the way. Jeezy appeared to challenge T.I. to a friendly battle after the Grand Hustle frontman “respectfully” shot down an offer from Busta Rhymes.

Without directly naming Tip, Jeezy posted a cryptic video message on Instagram on Wednesday (Oct. 21) subtly calling out his potential rival. “I don’t know what you’re avoiding me for. I’ll tell you what though, since it means that much to you put a date on it,” said Jeezy.

Tip jokingly replied in the comments, “Could this long time constituent of mine be referring to me???”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

PUT A DATE ON IT ☃️ @therealswizzz @timbaland @verzuztv

A post shared by @ jeezy on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:58pm PDT

The Verzuz battle isn’t confirmed just yet but fans are already excited at the thought of two of ATL’s finest going toe-to-toe. In the meantime, Swizzy and Timbaland are still prepping the lineup for Verzuz season two, and revealed that Busta threw his hat in the ring. “He’s ready for any type of Verzuz action coming his way,” Swizzy told Jimmy Fallon.

Busta also confirmed to Fat Joe that’s he's down to go up against T.I.

KING T.I. aka KING OF THE SOUTH aka @Tip aka MR. EXPEDITIOUSLY aka YOU SAID YOU WANTED THAT N.Y. ENERGY/SLASH NEW YORK SMOKE 💨? I’M HERE FOR YOU WITH OPEN ARMS... DON’T GET SHOOK NOW SHAWTY!!RESPECTFULLY (IN MY @RealSway voice) HARLEM!! @fatjoe #ITSTHESILENCEFORME @verzuzonline pic.twitter.com/O1fFmJYsYe

— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) October 21, 2020

But it doesn't look like the Verzuz showdown will be happening as Tip responded back citing a “generational gap” between him and Busta.

“I didn’t know we were reaching back through generations. That’s a huge generational gap there isnt it? I have a huge amount of respect for you,” noted Tip. “An exponential amount of respect.”

Watch his full response to Busta below.

TI declines Busta Rhymes’ #Verzuz Battle challenge due to generational gap 👀🤔👀 via: @hiphopdx pic.twitter.com/n9nLyNBF5c

— 935 KDAY (@935KDAY) October 22, 2020

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Beyonce Shows Solidarity With Nigeria Amid Protests Over Police Brutality

Beyonce is showing solidarity with Nigeria following Tuesday’s (Oct. 20) brutal massacre in the country’s capital city of Lagos. The Bey Good Foundation has been partnering with local youth organizations supporting the protests, and working with coalitions to provide food, shelter and healthcare to those in need, Beyonce revealed in a statement.

“I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria,” she said. “There has to be an end to SARS (Special Anti-Robber Squad). We have been working in partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter.”

Bey added in closing, “To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you.”

A message from Beyoncé. pic.twitter.com/5Ng7JF2stf

— BeyGOOD (@BeyGood) October 21, 2020

The statement directs viewers to her website where they will find links to donate or get involved in the movement to end SARS. Graphic videos and images of the brutality in the Lekki region of Lagos, have been circulating the web, but despite overwhelming evidence of corrupt and violent government forces, kidnapping, murders, non-fatal shootings, and other violent attacks on peaceful protestors,  the Nigerian government continues to downplay the issue. Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu claimed only one fatality in the massacre, and roughly 25 people wounded.

The #EndSARS movement has been amplified across social media, and prompted numerous protests around the globe Wednesday (Oct. 21). Also on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the violence and expressed condolences to the families of the bereaved. Guterres encouraged Nigerian authorities to investigate instances of police brutality and “hold the perpetrators accountable.” Guterres went on to urge security forces to “act with maximum restraint,” and encouraged protestors to remain peaceful.

“While the number of casualties of yesterday’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos is still not clear, there is little doubt that this was a case of excessive use of force, resulting in unlawful killings with live ammunition, by Nigerian armed forces,” said UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet. “Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned and coordinated.”

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Watch Viola Davis And Chadwick Boseman In Trailer For ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The two-minute clip released on Monday (Oct. 19), gives viewers a sneak peek at Chadwick Boseman’s final film role. The 43-year-old actor portrays the ambitious and outspoken trumpet player, Levee.

Viola Davis transforms into Ma Rainey in the Denzel Washington-produced film, centered around a 1927 Chicago recording sessions of “Mother of the Blues.”

Speaking during Monday’s press preview, Davis praised Boseman’s passion and commitment to his art. “Not to compete with Chadwick’s mother, but he was my baby. Chadwick was an artist. That is just what he was… he loved it, he demanded it in every single way. For someone so young it was incredible to watch,” said Davis.

“We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready,” she added. “ They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He [Boseman] loved it. He demanded it. He demanded it in every single way.”

The film, Davis said, gives a window into “what Black life was like” in the '20s and ”how it was informing our relationships.”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix on Dec. 18.Check above for the trailer.

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