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Tupac Shakur, one of the most influential artistes of all time, has never failed to be an inspiration to others both in life and in death. Though his life ended while he was quite young at 25, he greatly influenced the hip-hop culture. His knowledge of history and poetry was apparent in his music. The source of his material and quality of delivery remains unmatched. He lived a life that he felt the world should know about. He was a voice for the black.
Till date, many study his lyrics and his discography. They treat what he offered like a gospel. He is commemorated often and now, there is a better opportunity for hip-hop lovers to connect with this inspiration.
Temple University recently received about a dozen items belonging to the late rapper, Tupac Shakur. These items were donated by Runnemede, a New Jersey-based Goldin Auction. Some of the rapper’s items donated include a bullet-dented golden medallion he was wearing when he was shot five times in New York in 1994 and handwritten lyrics from some of his biggest hits like “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” and “It Ain’t Easy”.
These items are featured in the School’s main campus’ Charles L. Blockson collection which contains these latest attraction amongst about 500,000 items that bespeak the “global black experience.”
Aaron Smith, a professor of Africology and African American Studies teaches a Shakur-focused class at Temple University. He expressed to Philadelphia Inquirer that “for a hip-hop head, this is truly a dream come true. Just 20 years ago, they were saying hip-hop was a pariah in society. Here, we have legitimization from the academic community on the highest level.”
Some track listings from unreleased albums including Street Fame, Troublesome, and Nuthin Gold are also on display. His famous diamond earrings that he wore while pictured on the cover of the album “All Eyez on Me” are also in the collection donated to the University.
Smith goes on to say that with the mystery surrounding Tupac and his jewelry, it meant a whole lot to have some of it with them.
The collection’s curator, Diane Turner, said that the Charles L. Blockson collection will increase its focus on hip-hop culture with the addition of Tupac Shakur’s items.
According to Turner, “this is just the beginning of a long journey to collect and preserve hip-hop culture. “
Any hip-hop enthusiast who will like to add to his or her bank of knowledge can visit this latest attraction at the Temple University. Or if you are a Tupac believer or a wannabe expert in his gospel, take some time off to feel by making yourself available to appreciate in reality the efforts of this influential rapper who has engrained himself in the heart of the hip-hop genre.