Thug Life

Tertiary sources: (1)
Vibe Online. “Inside the Mind of Shakur” Editors of Vibe 97-102.
Secondary source:

Tupac’s messages, beliefs and personality are best portrayed through his lyrics which is partly why I added the video “Changes” to my blog. I also included the video because about 1:09 into the video is a short clip of Tupac Shakur being interviewed and explaining his philosophy behind the acronym THUG LIFE that was created by him. “…live my life is to be responsible for what I do, I don’t know how to be responsible for what every black male does. Yes I am gonna say that I’m a thug. That’s because I came from the gutter and I’m still here.” The meaning of Thug Life is commonly misinterpreted to represent the life of a gangster or a criminal, which was not Tupac’s original intention. Tupac  made the acronym THUG LIFE (“The Hate U Give Little Infants F*cks Everyone”) to make the public aware of things that were specifically effecting the lives of young black males.  In many of his songs such as his track “Panther Power” he sends out messages to the public indicating that the government is corrupt and racist to the black population.
As real as it seems the American dream / Ain’t nothing but a calculated scheme /
To keep us locked up shot up and back in chains / To deny us our future to rob
our name / Kept our history a mystery, but now I see / The American dream
wasn’t meant for me
In an interview he mentions that his rhymes are for thugs and gangstas — not killers and rapists. He continues, “When I say thugs, I mean niggas who don’t have anything they dressed liked the killers and the thugs but they have that talent, have that spark, whatever it is that can get them out, these are thugs” (1)
To Tupac, thug life is when you have nothing “came from the gutter” and you still find a way to overcome life’s obstacles and succeed.