April 14, 2003
Not from 'The Onion'

It sounds like a headline from The Onion: Eminem Says If Tupac Were Alive, 'He Would Never Ride With Ja' - but it isn't. It is in fact MTV News reporting on competing rappers dissing each other as if it was a serious news event. And they've been tracking this particular bragging match for some time reporting in earnest on this schoolyard battle about who started it, who has the upper hand, and whether unfair names were called. It is quite simply ridiculous. Could we please have either the good clean fun of 'Rapper's Delight' or the political seriousness of Public Enemy back.

The only interesting thing about it is the emergence of Tupac Shakur as a Gangsta Messiah, with all the rappers involved jockeying for position as the true keepers of Tupac's faith - and dissing the others for not keepin it real when namedropping Tupac.
At my local neighbourhood ethnic minority disco (catering to a largely black (which in Copenhagen means mainly African not American) crowd Tupac is regularly featured as a poster icon advertising the club (alternating with J-Lo). It's not necessarily his music that is being played. He's just in a league of his own as an icon - dying for the cause, as it were.

Posted by Claus at April 14, 2003 11:43 AM
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