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.
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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.
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