One of the most influential rap artists of all time was shot 15 years ago today, September 7th, 1996. He died six days later on September 13th at the age of 25. Born in East Harlem in 1971 to parents active in New York’s Black Panther Party, his brief life was very troubled. But if all you know of him are his run-ins with the law I recommend you listen to the video.
“Me Against the World” is one of his best selling hits, a rare and soulful denouncement of the thug lifestyle. It’s gentle and jazzy, a slice of 1994 recorded not long after the first shooting that left him nearly dead.
“It was like a blues record.”, he said at the time. “It was down-home. It was all my fears, all the things I just couldn't sleep about. Everybody thought I was living so well and doing so good that I wanted to explain it. And it took a whole album to get it all out. I get to tell my innermost, darkest secrets I tell my own personal problems.”
"Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive."
So much talent.