Interview with Tony Patrick
Tony Patrick: Okay, I was fortunate to get a chance to read through your bio during my review of your album, and I understand that your mother was part of the Panther 21 way back in the day.
Tupac: Yes, My mother, Afeni Shakur, was part of the Panther 21. My father is Mutulu Shakur, Geronimo Pratt is also my Godfather, my auntie Assata Shakur, I came from a long list of straight soldiers.
Did your mother give any insight on her experiences as a panther?
Oh, yeah, she did. I mean, when you grow up as a single parent, and that single parent happens to be a Panther, who happens to be a single woman, who also happens to be black, then everything becomes an everyday test, and every day was the ultimate “look at how they’re treating us.” And when I say look at how they treat us, I don’t mean it in the perspective of “look at how white people treat us” or “look at how the police treat us,” but look at how society treats us as a whole, especially a woman. Men at least could fight and will their way to wherever they have to get to, but females got it so hard. I grew up watching that.
It’s interesting that you bring that up because what you have now is just a whole bunch of disrespect being shown towards women – shown towards each other, really. What are your thoughts on the foul behavior that has not only become commonplace on rap lyrics, but inside the hip-hop community as a whole?
Well, to me it’s like this. It’s true that we’re doing it to each other and it’s fucked up! That’s what I’m here for, and that’s why I’m rapping about it so that people could see what’s going on, and so that brothers could get their heads together. But I don’t blame brothers for flippin’ the fuck out, and I don’t know why we didn’t flip out a long time ago, and the only reason that we’re flippin’ out on the wrong side is because this is the behavior that we’ve been taught for years. There’s no denying that fact.
It’s been said over and over again, and it sounds like a broken record, but it’s the truth–this is the hate that hate made, and in order for us to break that, we have to be able to see love in ourselves, and through rap music I believe that could happen, ’cause I already don’t wanna shoot nobody, and I’m comin’ from straight bottom, and I’m cool. I’m getting things that I’ve worked for, and I’m cool now. So if the brothers start seeing some kind of success, then it’s going to work.
But what’s happening now is that they want brothers to be talking that peace shit in the middle of poverty, and that’s not going to happen, I can tell you that right now. Whoever thinks that this just say no shit is gonna work, that’s not gonna happen; none of that is going to work. You have to offer us a positive solution, and that’s the only way that you’re ever going to get people to come over to that side, because it doesn’t make any sense to jump outta the fire and into some ol’ nuclear shit.
Nowadays, people are just satisfied to just get crumbs off the table. That’s one of the reasons that you could never have positive change in the industry–too many people can be bought off.
First, we have to find success. Brothers really have to start gettin’ their grip, gettin’ paid, gettin’ money. And until that happens, we’re gonna have a lot of problems. And we’re gonna have a lot of problems because of this–if you never had anything in your life, and someone comes over to you and offers you everything you’re gonna go for it. That’s why I can’t blame a certain dancing MC or other MCs that swing their attentions over to the mainstream because that’s it, that’s the ultimate test for the black man–survival.