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arts school to be named after thug

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
BALTIMORE - Jada Pinkett Smith donated $1 million to the high school from which she graduated and asked that a theater there be dedicated to one of her classmates, Tupac Shakur.



full article:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061212/..._pinkett_smith

is she and this school insane? glorifying a thug like this?


post #2 of 56
The same Jada Pinkett Smith that thought she could become a Heavy Metal Queen?

Yeesh. Stick with acting and being damn cute.

As far as the Tupac thing, he was a prolific rapper. Though the thug image and attitude was the death of him.
post #3 of 56
He was more than a "thug".

If you knew more about him you might not say that.
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post #4 of 56
I'm sure the school could use the money, regardless of the motivation behind her request.

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post #5 of 56
In the Event of My Demise

In the event of my Demise
when my heart can beat no more
I Hope I Die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had Lived 4
I will die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow's Depth
so much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death
I have come 2 grips with the possibility
and wiped the last tear from My eyes
I Loved All who were Positive
In the event of my Demise

- Tupak Shakur
post #6 of 56
If I were in charge of the school. I'd refuse the donation.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #7 of 56
Since when is moral goodness something we expect of our artists? Do we only expect the black ones to be "good" people?
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post #8 of 56
Guys, this is in Baltimore. It's fitting for a school to be named after a thug in what's almost surely in the running for most corrupt city in America.
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post #9 of 56
Who said anything about moral goodness? I'm sure people would have no problem with naming the school after Louis Armstrong a lifelong pothead or Ray Charles, longtime junkie.

There is a big difference between being morally good and basically advocating a life of crime including killing and harming others.

Advocate a little drug use... fund my school.
Advocate a little extra-curricular sex, fund my school. You aren't harming anyone but yourself.

Advocate a life where you take from, kill and hurt others... don't fund my school.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman


There is a big difference between being morally good and basically advocating a life of crime including killing and harming others.

Nick

Really? Because who has he killed? He's never been convicted of any violent crime.

Even his 1993 sexual assault conviction was dicey and very suspect, and it shows as he was released almost 2 months after his 5 year sentence...
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post #11 of 56
I think trumptman's post was intended more as a generalism. Not all of us know much (or care much) about Tupac Shakur, but the value of this thread isn't about Tupac. It's about the supposition of funding a school in the name of a crook, and the varying degrees of Tupac's alleged crookedness are somewhat ancillary to the points that may be made.
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post #12 of 56
I do not think trumptman's characterization of Tupac's work is fair or accurate. I would venture a guess that his familiarity with Tupac's work is extremely limited if it even exists at all.

The level of Tupac's "crookedness" is entirely the point here. I will take it for granted that he is not a good moral character, but that is not a disqualifying characteristic for an artist receiving recognition and praise.

I actually use Tupac's "Dear Mama" as an example when I do my personal narrative unit. It's a great song.
Quote:
You are appreciated

When I was young me and my mama had beef / Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face / Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool / with the big boys, breakin all the rules
I shed tears with my baby sister /Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids
And even though we had different daddy's, the same drama / When things went wrong we'd blame mama
I reminice on the stress I caused, it was hell / Huggin on my mama from a jail cell
And who'd think in elementary? / Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day
And runnin from the police, that's right / Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside
And even as a crack fiend, mama
You always was a black queen, mama / I finally understand
for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man
You always was committed / A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
There's no way I can pay you back / But the plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

Lady, don'tcha know we love ya? Sweet lady
Dear mama, place no one above ya, sweet lady
You are appreciated, don'tcha know we love ya?

Now ain't nobody tell us it was fair / No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn't there
He passed away and I didn't cry, cause my anger / wouldn't let me feel for a stranger
They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless, but all along / I was lookin for a father he was gone
I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs / they showed a young brother love
I moved out and started really hangin / I needed money of my own so I started slangin
I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks / It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
I love payin rent when the rent's due / I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
Cause when I was low you was there for me / and never left me alone because you cared for me
And I could see you comin home after work late / You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
Ya just workin with the scraps you was given / And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
But now the road got rough, you're alone / You're tryin to raise two bad kids on your own
And there's no way I can pay you back / But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

Pour out some liquor and I reminisce, cause through the drama / I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I'm hopeless / You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid / To keep me happy there's no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories / Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
And even though I act craaazy / I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel / You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate, how you raised me / And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away / If you can make it through the night there's a brighter day
Everything will be alright if ya hold on / It's a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there's no way I can pay you back/ but my plan is to show you that I understand

You are appreciated
proud resident of a failed state
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post #13 of 56
I believe Grove's example is proof that roses can grow in horse crap.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

I believe Grove's example is proof that roses can grow in horse crap.

Nick

Hmm...

Quote:
Most of Shakur's songs are about growing up around violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, problems in society, and sometimes his feuds with fellow rappers. Shakur is known for the political, economic, and messages of racial equality found in much of his work.

Quote:
On April 17, 2003, Harvard University co-sponsored an academic symposium entitled "All Eyez on Me: Tupac Shakur and the Search for the Modern Folk Hero." The speakers discussed a wide range of topics dealing with Shakur's impact on everything from entertainment to sociology.[51]

Quote:
Many of the speakers discussed Shakur's status and public persona, including State University of New York English professor Mark Anthony Neal, who gave the talk "Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian" in which he argued that Shakur was an example of the "organic intellectual" expressing the concerns of a larger group.

Quote:
At one Harvard Conference the theme was Shakur's impact on entertainment, race relations, politics and the "hero/martyr"
post #15 of 56
Trump is prisoner to a stereo type.

You say Tupac

He hears Baby Got Back......

heh.
post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Hmm...

I'll give Grove credit for at least citing a primary source. You cite an adoring fan who has written up his life for Wikipedia and declare the matter done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR

Trump is prisoner to a stereo type.

You say Tupac

He hears Baby Got Back......

heh.

I'd gladly prefer to hear Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot. I much preferred rap as a social force and rap as a means to a good time as opposed to rapping egomaniacs who cap all suckaz for pleasure. Tupac got his wish in that the lifestyle he advertised was delivered to him. However I'd still rather listen to even him than the played out nonsense that passes for rap today. It is like a hair band in 1990. We are all waiting for the next real thing that will get rid of all the third cousins with record deals and pass for "rap" artists.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #17 of 56
Rap with socially relevant lyrics still exists, and you are far more likely to find socially relevant rap than anything the rock genre is putting on the radio. Take a listen to Kanye West's "All Falls Down".
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post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

I'll give Grove credit for at least citing a primary source.

Utterly irrelevant.

Are you disagreeing with the content or substance of what I quoted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

You cite an adoring fan who has written up his life for Wikipedia and declare the matter done.

An "adoring fan?"

That article has been edited thousands and thousands of times by all sorts of people.

Address the substance please.
post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat

Rap with socially relevant lyrics still exists, and you are far more likely to find socially relevant rap than anything the rock genre is putting on the radio. Take a listen to Kanye West's "All Falls Down".

...and

Common
Talib Kweli
Fugees
Lauryn Hill
A Tribe Called Qwest
De la soul
Mos Def
The Roots

among others...
post #20 of 56
If kids want a genre that parents absolutely do not understand hip-hop is the only way to go, rock is dead in that sense. Rock music today is completely accessible to parents, because it's the same stuff the parents of modern teenagers listened to. The parents listened to more controversial, challenging, and intelligent rock than kids listen to today.

What is controversial in rock?
What does rock have to offer anyone? It is crap.

The only decent rock-type music worth listening to comes from indie scenes.
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post #21 of 56
I'm so old school...these guys delivered "The Message" 24 years ago...



Best beat ever.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat

The only decent rock-type music worth listening to comes from indie scenes.

What have you been listening to lately?

Get your ass in that music thread we have going.
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Utterly irrelevant.

Are you disagreeing with the content or substance of what I quoted?

I am disagreeing with it because almost every artist biography I have read cleans up the dirt and turns the normalcy into the mythic. Music by its very nature is subjective and then when you have them spin the objective aspects on top of that, it just becomes adoration instead of information.

Quote:
An "adoring fan?"

That article has been edited thousands and thousands of times by all sorts of people.

Address the substance please.

The "sorts of people" editing that article have handles like "License2Kill" and "Lebo Thug."

On to the substance... at least what exists within that article...

Quote:
Shakur claimed his first album was aimed at the problems facing young black males, but it was publicly criticized for its graphic language and images of violence by and against police.[18] In one incident, a young man claimed his killing of a Texas trooper was inspired by the album.

Next..

Quote:
His second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., was released in 1993.

It featured the single...I get around which was considered very sexist and disrespectful to women.

Quote:
Shakur was convicted of "sexual abuse (forcibly touching the buttocks)". In sentencing Shakur to one-and-a-half years in prison, the judge described the crime as "an act of brutal violence against a helpless woman."[24]

Quote:
In 1994, he was convicted of attacking a former employer while on a music video set. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail with additional days on a highway work crew, community service, and a $2000 fine. In 1995, a wrongful death lawsuit was brought against Shakur in the 1992 shooting of six-year-old Qa'id Walker-Teal of Marin City, California. The child had been the victim of a stray bullet in a shootout between Tupac's entourage and a rival group, though the bullet was not from Tupac's gun.

How is that for a start from your own article?

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

...and

Common
Talib Kweli
Fugees
Lauryn Hill
A Tribe Called Qwest
De la soul
Mos Def
The Roots

among others...

You prove my point from an initial read all those performers/groups are from the late 80's/early 90's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat

If kids want a genre that parents absolutely do not understand hip-hop is the only way to go, rock is dead in that sense. Rock music today is completely accessible to parents, because it's the same stuff the parents of modern teenagers listened to. The parents listened to more controversial, challenging, and intelligent rock than kids listen to today.

What is controversial in rock?
What does rock have to offer anyone? It is crap.

The only decent rock-type music worth listening to comes from indie scenes.

Rock is dead because the people making it aren't about sex, rock and rebellion. They are about being whiny, self-loathing little shits.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman

I'm so old school...these guys delivered "The Message" 24 years ago...



Best beat ever.

UTFO


Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #26 of 56
Hell if we couldn't name places after undesirable characters we'd have just about no names at all.

"Careful, Chief. Dig up the past, all you get is dirty"
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post #27 of 56
How is that?

It's skirting pretty much every point I quoted.

Who cares what screen name someone uses to edit a user-contributed encyclopedia? If you want to talk about the accuracy of what I quoted-- try directly rebutting it. Yes, his lyrics might be sometimes sexist and yes he has a jail record-- but people in the black community look up to him because of what I quoted, which is a far-far different interpretation of his work than your analysis that he simply " advocat[ed] a life of crime including killing and harming others."

There's more there, trumptman, than what you think.

I'd just like you to see that.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

How is that?

It's skirting pretty much every point I quoted.

What you quoted was almost exclusively endorsements. People are entitled to their opinions. One doesn't refute an opinion. I gladly accessed the facts of the article you linked and pulled what was relevant.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #29 of 56
You know-- I don't care.

I'm not gonna get into it with you because I really don't have the patience.

Good luck to everyone else.
post #30 of 56
Yeah, thought about it too Shawn but just too lazy. You're not the only one out there.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #31 of 56
Man don't throw my irony out with the bathwater!

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman




I'd gladly prefer to hear Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot. I much preferred rap as a social force and rap as a means to a good time as opposed to rapping egomaniacs who cap all suckaz for pleasure. Tupac got his wish in that the lifestyle he advertised was delivered to him. However I'd still rather listen to even him than the played out nonsense that passes for rap today. It is like a hair band in 1990. We are all waiting for the next real thing that will get rid of all the third cousins with record deals and pass for "rap" artists.

Nick
post #32 of 56
Although I could really give two sh*ts that they name the school after Tupac... I do find it a bit hypocritical considering Will Smith was the one who always had a problem with Gansta Rap and the themes of the genre.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

You prove my point from an initial read all those performers/groups are from the late 80's/early 90's.

Uh, are you joking? Even de la soul, which is the only group with an album in the 80's (89) and along with tribe called quest is the only group that was popular in the "early 90's," has still been hugely popular and collaborated with gorillaz on a grammy winning song as recently as last year. And maybe Common Sense was popular in the early 90's in the sense that the "I Used to Love HER" video was played on BET's Rap City for a couple weeks in 94, but he certainly wasn't in Gap ads as he his today. The Fugees didn't even become popular until The Score in 96, and Mos Def and Talib Kweli became popular in the late 90's (first in 98 ) and early naughts, with Mos Def even becoming a film actor in recent years.

And I'm no tupac fan, but failure to recognize his cultural significance really requires a special kind of ignorance.
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

The level of Tupac's "crookedness" is entirely the point here. I will take it for granted that he is not a good moral character, but that is not a disqualifying characteristic for an artist receiving recognition and praise.

The thing is, we have established that Tupac is a crook who at least advertised a life of crime. For me at least, that's the end of the story. Tupac is associated with a degenerate culture (crime), and I think that no school should want to associate itself with that. It's equivalent in my eyes to naming a church after a crooked clergyman.

Whether they choose to do so or not is not something under my control, and ultimately it doesn't matter to me that much if it goes through or not, but I personally disapprove.
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post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

Since when is moral goodness something we expect of our artists? Do we only expect the black ones to be "good" people?


This is an interesting point. We definitely hold our citizens of color to a higher standard. Steinbeck expressed this most elegantly in an essay found in the compilation America and Americans
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Uh, are you joking? Even de la soul, which is the only group with an album in the 80's (89) and along with tribe called quest is the only group that was popular in the "early 90's," has still been hugely popular and collaborated with gorillaz on a grammy winning song as recently as last year. And maybe Common Sense was popular in the early 90's in the sense that the "I Used to Love HER" video was played on BET's Rap City for a couple weeks in 94, but he certainly wasn't in Gap ads as he his today. The Fugees didn't even become popular until The Score in 96, and Mos Def and Talib Kweli became popular in the late 90's (first in 98 ) and early naughts, with Mos Def even becoming a film actor in recent years.

And I'm no tupac fan, but failure to recognize his cultural significance really requires a special kind of ignorance.

I don't get you giant. I never claimed that though the acts originated in that time frame that they somehow stopped making significant music. I also didn't use the criteria of "when they became popular." Also I said it was just an initial read. Not to be rude, but these years fly by too fast and more often or not I keep scratching my head wondering how an even that seems like it was "recent" somehow become "retro." Eitherway, my view is that present rap is finished and hollow as a cultural force. (Totally secondary conversation within this thread anyway)

Finally I never even said that Tupac didn't have a cultural significance. I would state quite the opposite. He did and it wasn't a very good one. He may have shown that gangsters and thugs can have some redeeming qualities, but it would be much more impressive if he showed they could indeed be redeemed.

Instead he lived and died his credo. It isn't one that a school should be named after.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

It's equivalent in my eyes to naming a church after a crooked clergyman.

Like that's never been done.
post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Not to be rude, but these years fly by too fast and more often or not I keep scratching my head wondering how an even that seems like it was "recent" somehow become "retro."

So? What are you saying, that even under 40 you are getting so senile that you think the dot-com boom was in the early 90's, too?
Quote:
Eitherway, my view is that present rap is finished and hollow as a cultural force.

It's clear that your view of hip hop is dominated by a disproportionate focus on west coast g-funk, particularly that of the actual late 80's/early 90's (ice-t, tupac, nwa and its offshoots), a pinch of bad dirty south and capped with the modern "gangsta" hip hop version of bubblegum pop that virtually only exists in the minds of marketers and 13yo suburban kids, ignoring that underground hip hop in most of the country and worldwide is dominated by other sub-genres and that many of the largest acts of the past 10 years (or even 5 years), including those in shawn's list and others like outkast, gorillaz and gnarles barkley, are making some of the most interesting contemporary popular music.

And, frankly, your view "that present rap is finished and hollow as a cultural force" is really totally irrelevant since most genres in the world's cultural centers (aka, not beaumont, ca) have been increasing cross-pollinating with hip hop, to the point where hip hop artists are now often drawn from the indie, electronica and shoegaze ranks. Even the neptunes, who have been responsible for a huge percentage of the biggest pop and rap hits in the past 7 or so years, have basically an electronica production style and have also put a huge amount of energy into NERD, their rock/electronica band. That's increasingly the case with hip hop producers, and dangermouse is another chart-topping example. This trend is reflected 10 fold in the underground hip hop scene.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

The thing is, we have established that Tupac is a crook who at least advertised a life of crime.

We certainly haven't.

His legacy is social consciousness-- not thuggery.

I'm not sure just who some of you guys think this guy is... he's a tamer version of his father (a leader of the black panthers) and his god-mother (a pretty famous political activist for the black liberation army). His lyrics focus on the social condition of blacks in this country. You can just ignore what the black community reveres him for or just continue to ignorantly assume he's a meritless thug. It's not quite racist but really lazy and frankly disappointing of you all.

Also-- they're naming the theater after him-- which is appropriate considering he's a musical artist after all. They're not naming the freaking school after him.
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

We certainly haven't.

His legacy is social consciousness-- not thuggery.

I think the argument Nick is trying to make is that his lyrics weren't exactly…*constructive or encouraging. He didn't do much (if anything at all) to suggest improvements for the situation.

I wouldn't quite label him a "thug" (though ironically, I think he'd quite enjoy being called that), but I sure wouldn't hand him the nobel peace price either.

It's not about whether gangsta rappers bring up legitimate, real problems. They do. It's about whether they do much to actually solve them, or merely whine about them (and possibly even increase the problem).
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