Compare And Contrast Essay, Research Paper
Although they lived in very different times, Tupac Shakur and Saint John the Baptist had many commonalities. Both became extremely famous for expressing what they believed. The media’s portrayal of Tupac Shakur as a tattooed thug has focused public attention on his accused crimes instead of his music. This rapper, raised in Marin City, California, by a Black Panther mother, is more complex than his enemies like to admit. Shakur (who performs as 2Pac) was a talented lyricist with a gift for storytelling and getting his point across to our youth. He continued to grow as a writer on his hard-hitting album, All Eyez on Me which benefits from West Coast-style production by such artists as Dr. Dre. Recorded shortly after Shakur was released on bail from a prison sentence for sexual assault, the double album shows a relatively contemplative rapper who’s ready to make peace with some of his demons.
The following list of positive lyrics from Eyez and 2Pac’s previous albums certainly doesn’t make him a saint, but it does reveal surprising emotional depth:
1. “Life Goes On,” All Eyez on Me : In one of the most touching moments on his new album, the rapper with “Thug Life” tattooed on his chest shows that he isn’t insensitive to the loss of those he loves: “How many brothers fell victim to the streets / Rest in peace young niggaz / Is there heaven for a G? / Be a lie if I told ya that I never thought of death / My nigga, we the last one’s left / And life goes on.”
2. “Dear Mama,” Me Against the World : An insightful 2Pac repents the stress that he’s caused his mother: “Mama, I finally understand / For a woman it ain’t easy trying to raise a man / You always was committed / A poor single mother on welfare / Tell me how you did it / There’s no way that I can pay you back / But the plan is to show you that I understand. / You are appreciated.”
3. “Keep Ya Head Up,” Strictly 4 My Niggaz : With a kind of compassion that is rare from any performer – let alone a gangsta rapper – 2Pac advises: “Be real to our women / And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies / Who hate the ladies / That make the babies / And since a man can’t make one / He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one.” Hard to believe this is the guy who wrote “Wonda Why They Call U Bitch.”
4. “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” 2Pacalypse Now : This tearjerker from 2Pac’s first album tells the story of a 12-year-old trapped in the hopelessness of ghetto life and a teenage pregnancy. “Now Brenda never really knew her moms / And her dad was a junkie putting death into his arms / It’s sad because I bet Brenda doesn’t know / Just cuz you’re in the ghetto / Doesn’t mean you can’t grow.”
5. “Can U Get Away,” Me Against the World : Playing the knight in shining armor, 2Pac expresses his love for a woman who is mistreated by another man: “I refuse to give up / Because I believe in what we share / You’re living in prison / And what he’s giving can’t compare.”
6. “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,” All Eyez on Me : Despite the carelessness, or the, as Tupac would say, f— it all persona he often projects, 2Pac shows that he can also forgive. Over a catchy beat, he raps, “I moved up out of the ghetto / So I ‘ain’t real now’ / They got so much to say / But I’m just laughing at cha / Niggaz just don’t know / I ain’t mad at cha.” Pretty charitable for a guy who s been shot five times.
The bible tells us that all of em did this because they suffered.. So much that’s what makes them special people. I got shot five times and I got crucified to the media. And I walked through with the thorns on and I had shit thrown at me ; You ain’t been on the streets lately? Heaven now, look! (Referring to his plush apartment) we’re sitting up here in the living room, big screen TV s- this is heaven, but only for the moment. Trust me, this is what’s real and all that other shit is to control you. 2Pac had the power and money to buy the material things he didn t need, while St. John had nothing but God, and powerful words.
2Pac felt that churches should give back to the community through donating money and giving God to those who really needed him (IE: the homeless, and less fortunate). There’s one’s that take up the whole block in New York. There’s homeless people out here. Why ain’t God lettin’ them stay there? Why these niggas got gold ceilings and shit? Why God need gold ceilings to talk to me? Why does God need colored windows to talk to me? Why God can’t come where I’m at where he sent me? If God wanted to talk to me in a pretty spot like that, why the hell he send me here then. This was 2Pac s mentality while growing in the ghetto, not having enough to survive. St. John didn t need the materials to give praise to God. He knew in his heart, that he could talk to God whenever he needed to. All he had was a one-way relationship with God and that s all he needed to survive.
That makes ghetto kids not believe in God. Why? So that’s wrong religion -I believe in God, I believe God puts us wherever we want to be at. They didn’t make sense that God would put us in the ghetto. That means he wants us to work hard to get up out of here. Tupac s notion as to where God puts us where we should be and that we shouldn t have to go into a church to praise him and talk to him, it s similar to St. John the Baptist lifestyle while living in the Desert of Judea. Even though the desert and the ghetto were different, that s where they both came from. Both are very similar, because both didn t have material things, only the necessities to live and sometimes not even that. Like 2Pac, John the Baptist didn t live in the ghetto but he made due with the same provisions. He wore clothes that were made of camels hair, and his food consisted of locus and wild honey.
In conclusion, this was overall an interesting assignment. I ve learned that we don t need depend on material things. Both people were humble and made due with what they had.. And both, lived a hard, yet influential life. They tried to give back to the community as much as they could with their wisdom and views on life.