Addison Sarter
15 min readOct 13, 2018


How Kanye Is Living Out Tupac’s Legacy

“We just want y’all to know that at Death Row we appreciate everything y’all doing for us,” Tupac said. “My record sales, we got six million. Snoop got four million. Dogg Pound got three million. And we keep going. That means we represent that many votes. If we can represent that many votes, we gotta let these politicians be scared of us. That means anytime we drop something y’all gotta pick it up. Every time y’all call for us, we gon’ come.” — Tupac Shakur (Voting Rights Speech at Brotherhood Crusade Rally, August 15th, 1996)

Less than one month after speaking at the Brotherhood Crusade Rally, Tupac Shakur would be shot and killed. A few hours before Tupac was shot, his body guards were ordered to not carry guns. Suspicious. According to the 2007 documentary called, “Tupac Assassination: Conspiracy or Revenge”, one of the body guards stated he heard “Got em” over the Deathrow Records walkie talkie. He said he heard this around the time Tupac was shot. Then he said he heard somebody say,

Don’t say anything over this radio again.”

Las Vegas Sun police officer, Cathy Scott, wrote that it is “widely printed that Tupac was under surveillance by the FBI at the time of his shooting.” It is a fact that members of his entourage from Deathrow Records worked for the Los Angeles Police Department. Deathrow Records was also affiliated with an officer connected to the Rampart Scandal, in which “more than 70 officers were implicated in misconduct, including unprovoked beatings and shootings, planting and covering up evidence, stealing and dealing drugs, and perjury.”

The cousin of Tupac, and also a member of Tupac’s rap group “The Outlawz” , Yaki Gadaffi(Yafeu Akiyele Fula)was the only person who could identify the person who shot and killed Tupac. Nearly 2 months later he would be killed as well. He was in New Jersey with his girl friend and his girlfirend’s mom, when the door bell rang. His girlfriend went to answer the door and two black males were are at the door. They say they were there for Yaki. He greets the males and is shot in the head and dies.

Another suspicious component , is that the FBI files, imply the Jewish Defense League may have targeted Tupac with death threats in order to extort him. This same organization is believed to have done this to the NWA rapper, Eazy E, who passed away from HIV about a year before Tupac.

Roughly nine months after Tupac was killed, the Notorious BIG would be killed. It was confirmed that the FBI had Notorious BIG under surveillance the night he was murdered. Below, skip to 1 hour and 15 minutes and watch until the 1:16:35 mark.)

LAPD detective Russell Poole said he believed that Biggie was killed to make it look like it was an East Coast vs West Coast war.

Why would the FBI want to kill Tupac?

It was because he was a political activist, who had a platform that could reach and inspire millions. One of those people that would be inspired was Kanye West. Tupac was born into activism. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was a leader of the Black Panther Party for the New York chapter. Her first husband, Lumumba Shakur, was a key member, and got her involved with the Panthers. Her friend Jamal Joseph, was an important figure of that chapter as well.

Other activist family ties that Tupac had, was his God-Aunt, Assata Shakur. She was a member of the Black Panther Party in Oakland. Assata Shakur moved back to her hometown New York, and joined the Black Panther Party there. She would eventually join a more radical organization called the Black Liberation Army. Tupac’s biggest mentor and step father Mutulu Shakur was apart of the Black Liberation Army. Assata Shakur and Mutulu Shakur would be put on the Top Ten Most wanted List. Today Assata Shakur is still in exile in Cuba and Mutulu Shakur is still in prison.

“In my family every black male with the last name of Shakur that ever passed the age of fifteen has either been killed or put in jail,” Tupac said in his deposition. “There are no Shakurs, black male Shakurs, out right now, free, breathing, without bullet holes in them or cuffs on his hands. None.” -Tupac

The Black Panther Party was an organization formed by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966, to protect the African American community from police brutality. They preached self determination and established what they called, Survival Programs, to uplift the black community.

These Programs included :

-The Free Breakfast Program for impoverished black youth.

-Schools for black children.

-Free ambulance services.

-Protected the community from police brutality.

-Free Medical clinics.

-Protecting the elderly from muggings.

-Maintenance repairs for low income black residents

-Free Clothing

There were over 60 social programs that the Black Panthers provided to the black community. To learn more about those programs, click the link below.

The Panthers also worked to end gang violence and crime in the black community. Due to the Black Panther Party’s efforts to liberate blacks, the FBI declared a war against them. They documented it. One of the tactics used in this war against the Black Panthers were to:

Prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement.”

The document added,

“Malcolm X might have been such a ‘messiah’… . Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, and [Nation of Islam leader] Elijah Muhammed [sic] all aspire to this position … . King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed ‘obedience’ to ‘white, liberal doctrines’ (nonviolence).”

Since 1963 (before the Black Panthers were founded), FBI Assistant Director William Sullivan, head of the Intelligence Division, reported to Hoover about information that would destroy Dr. King and his reputation. He said “if handled properly, [could] take him off his pedestal… the Negroes will be left without a national leader of sufficiently compelling personality to steer them in the proper direction.”

This is clear evidence of the American Government admitting that their goal was to sabotage black Americans from succeeding in society. They did not want the black community to have any leaders.

Other tactics included:

1. Divide and Conquer. The goal of the FBI was to cause gang violence between the Black Panthers and other groups and to create different frictions inside the Black Party.

2. Assassinating key leaders of the Black Panther Party.

3. Using tax investigations to drain the resources and harass activists.

4. Raiding the Black Panther offices with guns and initiating shoot outs.

5. Framing and arresting black leaders on false charges etc.

6. Sending false stories to the newspapers, journalists, and media to discredit them. Ruin their reputation so they will lose support from the white and black community.

More can be read below.

One of the FBI documents that shows how to destroy black organizations and black leaders said;

“Prevent the COALITION of militant black nationalist groups. In unity there is strength; a truism that is no less valid for all its triteness. An effective coalition of black nationalist groups might be the first step toward a real “Mau Mau” [Black revolutionary army] in America, the beginning of a true black revolution.”

This explains why the FBI has tried to stop black political organizations and black gangs from uniting together. After the 1992 Bloods and Crips truce, (which Tupac was involved with)Los Angeles police wanted to keep the gang war going. One member of the Crips, named Crip Cal, talked about how the police pulled him over, arrested him, took his car, and did a drive by against the Bloods. The police did this to make it seem like the Crips committed the drive-by. This was done to keep the gang war going and gun violence in the black community going. (To here is account, skip to 1 hr and 11 min and watch until the 1 hr and 13 min and 22 second minute mark) 1:11–1:13:22

The Los Angeles police used the divide and conquer tactics back in the 60’s as well. They started a program to cause violence between the Black Panther Party and a black political organization called U.S. or United Slaves. The LAPD credited their divide and conquer program for shootings and beatings between the two groups.

Shootings, beatings and a high degree of unrest continues to prevail in the ghetto area of southeast San Diego. Although no specific counterintelligence action can be credited with contributing to this overall situation, it is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is directly attributable to this program.”

The FBI used the divide and conquer tactics against the leadership in the Black Panther Party. The FBI sent false messages to divide them. An anonymous letter was sent to Black Panther Party Leader,Eldridge Cleaver to cause dissension between him and other party members.

In 1969, two of the biggest gangs in Chicago, united to stop the violence that was plaguing the black community. David Barksdale, leader of the Disciple Nation and Larry Hoover, leader of the Gangster Nation, joined to form one organization. They worked towards the same economic mission of Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers. This was, “doing for self” and controlling the economy of the neighborhood. When they formed the gangs into one, they began changing the community for the better. They opened up businesses, restaurants, community clean up programs, and advocated against truancy, and pushed for voter registration drives.The gangs were given two centers in the community. Larry Hoover operated a free lunch program to feed youth in the community. They even marched nonviolently with Dr. King, when he was trying to end housing discrimination in Chicago. Other gangs such as the Vice Lords opened up a ice cream store for teens, a recreation center, and ran after school programs. Gang members of Chicago started getting involved in politics. Chicago gangs even marched nonviolently with Dr. King, when he was trying to end housing discrimination in Chicago in 1966. The unity and activism of the gangs was one of the fears of the FBI.

Tupac stated in a 1993 Rolling Stones interview, that he believed there wouldn’t be so much violence in our communities had the FBI let the Panthers work towards their mission. The war on the Black Panthers and black gangs started about 50 years ago. Imagine what our communities would have looked like had the American government not tried to sabotage the liberation and independence of black people. Imagine how our different our inner cities would be if these black organizations like the Black Panthers were left in peace and continued to do what they were doing for over 50 years. They opened black businesses in our community, got into politics, policed and regulated our own community, feeding impoverished youth, and working to end gun violence. Think of all the lives and wealth that were stolen from the black community when they got rid of that leadership and movement.

Kanye West, accompanied with NFL hall of famer/activist Jim Brown, and Larry Hoover’s Lawyer, met with Donald Trump. In the meeting he advocated for the release of Larry Hoover from prison. He spoke about Hoovers impact in Chicago and said,

“Really, the reason why they imprisoned him, is because he started doing positive for the community. He started showing that he actually had power. That he wasn’t just one of a monolithic voice, that he could wrap people around.”

Later in the Whitehouse meeting, Kanye would say,

“So I believe he’s what — you say don’t tear down the statues? Larry Hoover is a living statue. He’s a beacon for us, that needs to see his family, that needs to go out and represent. When you have a block leader on every single block, they can own the block. That’s something I learned from Jim Brown, from Amer-I-Can”

As most black millennials know, Chicago’s influence on the rest of society has been evident since the rise of the “Drill Music” scene, from the music to the slang. “Opps” “Hitta” “Thot” “Lackin” “Sneek Diss” are just a few slang words that I have heard people from all over the East Coast use. This slang originated in Chicago. Chicago’s drill music and slang has even made its way to black communities in London.

Kanye is literally trying to get one of the biggest black political leaders left from the Black Power Movement, to come back and bring order to the community. Due to the influence of Chicago’s black culture on the rest of the inner cities in America, this would have a tremendous effect on black neighborhoods. If the gangs in Chicago unite it would cause a pattern all across black inner city America.

These black political organizations were and are the solutions for war torn black neighborhoods in America. If over 80 percent of the murders in Chicago go unsolved, that means the police have failed miserably at protecting black residents in Chicago.

Protecting and policing our own communities was what the Black Panthers and gangs of Chicago were trying to do, police their own communities.

Proof we need to be policing our own communities.

The document below that shows Chicago Police would kidnap black men and hold them in warehouses to force them into false confessions.

If Kanye were to get Larry Hoover freed from prison it could help spur a pattern that could decrease brutality, mass incarceration,gentrification, and the amount of black girls and black women missing every year(thousands).

The same leadership that once worked to effectively end gun violence in Chicago, is what Kanye West is trying to bring back to the streets of Chicago. At this point Kanye West could literally get on the table of the White House and start tap dancing. It doesn’t matter. As long as he is working to bring back the greatest solution for the black community , which is to “do for our selves”, then keep on tappin Kanye. Yes there are many other issues that we should hold politicians accountable to fix, but at the end of the day there is a genocide in our community. There should be no other political issue more important than the fact that black children are getting shot and dying left in right in Chicago, and in other low income black neighborhoods in this country. The first immediate solution to ending this genocide, is to continue the work of those that paved the way.

It’s been said that many black politicians don’t represent our community, but the establishment instead. You know where many of the black political leaders that do represent our community are? They were killed, exiled, and imprisoned for trying to uplift the community. As we know the False War on Drugs was created to end the movement and arrest black civil rights leaders.

Many of those black political leaders are still in prison today. Innocent but still in jail. These were the people that were supposed to be the politicians and leaders for the black community after the civil rights movement.

If Kanye were to get Larry Hoover free, it would possibly set a chain reaction of black political leaders still in prison, being released.

The same tactics used to destroy black political leaders during the 60's, would be used to destroy Tupac. Due to his mother’s Panther background, he and his family were under surveillance by the police when he was a child. Tupac said that one of his childhood memories was, waking up in the middle of the night, and seeing the police looking through the window and spying on his mom and their family.

When his step father Mutulu Shakur went into hiding due to harassment by the FBI, an FBI agent approached Tupac when he was at school as a child. The agent was trying to get him to tell them where his step father was. By 11 years old he knew he wanted to be a revolutionary. Tupac was named after an Incan warrior. He said his mother raised him to think he was the “Black Prince of the Revolution.”

At age 17 Tupac would become the National Chairman of the New Afrikan Panther Party. This was a continuation of the Black Panther Party.

The Black Panther Party was viewed as terrorist organization by the American Government. They were labeled as the “biggest threat to the internal security of America”, by J Edgar Hoover and the FBI. What does one think America would do, if Osama Bin Laden’s son lived in America and began to gain fame and got to preach the same ideologies that his father and Al Queda stood for? Not even just preaching, but also carrying out the same actions that stemmed from the ideologies of Al Queda?

In 1990 Tupac entered the music industry when the grammy nominated rap group, Digital Underground, took him on tour. In 1991 Tupac released his debut album,”2pacalypse Now.” On songs like “Words of Wisdom”, “Brenda’s Got A Baby” and “Trapped”, Tupac raps about topics such as the War on Drugs, Mass Incarceration, police brutality, poverty, corruption in America, and gives a shout to Malcolm X.

That same year Oakland police, officers harassed him and beat him unconsciously.

In 1992, Tupac would star in the movie Juice, which would turn him into a movie star. Tupac now was a political activist with fame and a platform to influence millions.

During this same time, Tupac was funding the New Afrikan People’s organization. With his new fame, he would begin speaking at more rallies and conferences through out his career.

Tupac began working with his stepfather, Mutulu Shakur to politicize and create truces between the Bloods and the Crips. Tupac and Mutulu create a code of conduct called “Thug Life” Movement, with 26 points. This was a way for the Bloods and Crips too restore order in their communities, provide unity, and to prevent innocent children and the elderly people from being accidentally harmed by the gangs. Some of the points included, putting an end to rape in our community, respecting black women, and to unite to fight against racism and not against each other. Tupac would travel across the country speaking to gang leaders about following this code of conduct. He and Mutulu were able to inspire the former Crip Gang Leader “Monster” Kody Scott to change his name to Sanyika Shakur. This same former Sanyika Shakur joined the New Afrikan Movement as well. Here is a short clip below explaining how Tupac’s Thug Life Movement was modeled after the Black Panthers.

The politicization and unity between black organizations and gangs have always terrified the American government.

In 1968, Fred Hampton, a Black Panther Party Leader for the Chicago chapter, worked to establish a truce between the black panthers and the notorious street gang called the Black P Stone Rangers. In order to prevent this unification, the FBI sent an anonymous letter to Jeff Fort, the leader of the Black P Stone Rangers. The letter was implicating that Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers had a “hit out” for Jeff Fort. This was done to cause gang wars like the FBI documents stated. The FBI would recruit a black man named William O’Neal to infiltrate the black Panthers. O’Neal would give the FBI the floor plan of Hampton’s bedroom. Not only did he provide the FBI with the floor plan of Hampton’s residence, he drugged him the night he was supposed to be killed. That night on December 4, 1969, the Chicago police raided the Black Panther headquarters, killing Fred Hampton in his sleep as well as Mark Clark.

What made Hampton so dangerous is what made Tupac so dangerous. They had the ability to work with gangs and to politicize them. They both had the ability to unite all races as well. Most of the fans that bought Tupac’s albums were white people. Fred Hampton was able to create a rainbow coalition. This coalition united the black Panthers with white working class organizations, and latino organizations. Hampton understood that in order to beat the oppressor, all of those oppressed, no matter what race or color, would have to join in on the fight. Tupac who was now a rapper and movie star, had this same potential to unite all races.

In the last few years Kanye West, has been preaching the same ideologies as Marcus Garvey , Malcom X, and the Black Panthers, which was economic empowerment.

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