I have mad love for 2Pac. I refer to it as “mad” because it’s a love that you know you shouldn’t have for someone (or something) but you can’t help it. You just do.

I didn’t realize today was the 14th anniversary of his death until I read this article at theloop21. Interestingly though, last week I caught a part of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Mike Tyson and 2pac called One Night in Vegas, which highlighted the similarities of their lives and the events which led up to that fateful night when 2Pac was shot and subsequently died after attending the Tyson vs. Sheldon bout on September 7, 1996.

I never found 2Pac’s music enlightening or even all that positive… but that doesn’t mean it’s unenlightening or negative. It’s not that simple to me… it’s a little more complex than that. His music touched a part of me which I always had to keep in check. It moved deep within me and stoked my black rage, but not in the way Public Enemy’s music did. With 2Pac it enflamed my “I don’t give a fuck about you and much less about myself” attitude. Within all of us is “the light” and “the dark” side of our personalities and 2Pac spoke to my “dark side”… and made it appealing.

I’ve seen a number of documentaries and programmes about 2Pac and in some ways his life reminded me of the fascinating but troubled life of Marvin Gaye, as depicted in his biography “Divided Soul“. Both had polarizing forces struggling with them and they would at times choose to indulge in the best and worst of themselves. I can relate to this for at times that has been my life. However, due to age, maturity and Jesus, I have been able to transcend (or is “suppress” a better term)… for the most part… the more destructive side of my personality.

Every so often, when someone pushes my buttons, I smile and shake my head and think to myself: “if they only knew”. There was a time when I lived my life by these lyrics of 2Pac: “I ain’t a killa but don’t push me, revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin pussy…” But with that said, Jesus isn’t finished with me yet.

In remembrance of a real souljah: