As we continue to commemorate the life of the late Tupac Shakur on the 20th anniversary of his death, an attribute that will live on is his candor. One striking presentation of the legend’s conviction, ideals and unapologetic stance was his 1994 interview with BET’s Ed Gordon. The award-winning journalist sat down with the rapper/actor/activist to dive into his ever-controversial persona.
In a highlight of the in-depth conversation, ‘Pac defends the rap game, citing his peers as the ones responsible for bringing widespread attention to violence in the ghettos of America. He also drew parallels to how the right to bear arm is perceived when it comes to black citizens versus white ones. A foreshadowing of the #BlackLivesMatter mantra, Tupac begged a question that remains poignant to this day.
“Why is a a black life any more recuperable than a white life?”
‘Pac also eerily detailed that his own life was constantly in danger, sharing that he had a number attacks attempted against him by those that surrounded him. He also made it clear that his take on carrying weapons was one motivated by self-defense, not senseless acts of violence. As he had done several times before and after his conversation with Gordon, Tupac also referred to the impending loss of his physical life.
“Once my life is gone, it’s gone; can’t nobody give it back to me. Not the judge, not the President, not the governor, not Calvin Butts, not Jesse Jackson. They can’t do nothin’ but come to my funeral and talk pretty about how Black people suffer.”
Fortunately for us all, Tupac’s lives on as we continue to remember him. Watch an exclusive clip from his 1994 BET interview with Ed Gordon above.