by Minister of Information JR
Tupac was conceived while his mother, New York Black Panther leader Afeni Shakur was fighting for her life, as well as the lives of her comrades, in the Panther 21 case. So it was only fitting for the Panthers, the Oakland based organization that gave his mother Black revolutionary consciousness, to be throwing this party/fundraiser for the NAABPP.
Chairman and co-founder of the Black Panther Party Bobby Seale opened up the night with a few words of wisdom, and later Dotrix, one of the former DJs of Digital Underground, did a solo set showing off his new work, as well as the Pac protegé Mac Mall graced the stage. The night climaxed when the Atomic Dog, grandfather of the funk himself, George Clinton, walked into San Francisco Yoshi’s, right onto the stage to rock.
Tupac Shakur asked on his ‘93 “THUGLIFE” album, “How Long Will They Mourn Me?” Well, it’s been close to two decades, and judging from the sold-out crowd, Pac is still going strong, which says a lot next to some of the other musicians that were suddenly taken away from us, like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Gil Scott Heron, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Eazy E, Aaliyah and Left Eye, to name a few. With such a stellar lineup of revolutionaries and musicians in the house to pay tribute, the spirit of Tupac Shakur is alive and well without the Tupac hologram that performed at Coachella a few months ago.
I guess we’ll see you next year at Pac’s birthday bash. If he was alive, Pac would have been 41 years old.
The People’s Minister of Information JR is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He also hosts two weekly shows on KPFA 94.1 FM and kpfa.org: The Morning Mix every Wednesday, 8-9 a.m., and The Block Report every Friday night-Saturday morning, midnight-2 a.m. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.