Death was a recurring theme in a lot of Tupac Shakur songs.

It’s as if he knew his time here would be cut short. Perhaps that is the reason he recorded so many songs, a lot of which have yet to be heard by the public.

In a rare 1994 interview with Benjamin Svetkey of Entertainment Weekly, the music icon gave a lot of insight into what it was like being trapped in a fishbowl because of fame, predicts his death and more.

Excerpts From The Interview Below …

On Where He Saw Himself Being in 10 Years.

Best case, in a cemetery. Not in a cemetery. Sprinkled in ashes smoked by my homies. I mean, that’s the worse case.

Best case. Multimillionaire owning all this sh*t. Because anywhere else if I was white, I would have been like John Wayne.

Somebody who pulled himself up from they bootstraps. From poverty, from welfare, now I’m kissing Janet Jackson, I’m doing movies.

I feel like a tragic hero in a Shakespeare play.

On His Calling in Life.

I’m not really that educated and I’m not really a religious person, but I believe God wants me to do something and it has to do with Thug Life.

I want there to be a life for the street element instead of we always getting shut out. Instead of defenseless, having power.

On His Mother, Afeni Shakur, and The Black Panthers.

My mother was a woman. A black woman, single mother, raising 2 kids on her own. She was dark skinned, had short hair, never got no love from nobody except for a group called The Black Panthers.

So, that’s why she was a Black Panther. I don’t consider myself to be straight militant. I’m a thug and my definition of thug comes from having a street element and having the Panthers element.

Self-determination and we want to do it by self-defense, by any means necessary. And that came from my family. That’s what Thug Life is. It’s a mixture.

On Being Isolated From The World and Being Used By Friends.

They believe in the machine and not Tupac anymore. They don’t even know know me no more. They just know about the machine.

Everybody wants to use me, everybody. From this level to the street level. I’m used on every level. I have no friends, I have no resting place, I never sleep. I can never close my eyes. It’s horrible.

Can you imagine what it’s like for you to be who I am, who I was? For them to say that I raped a woman. And for the whole world to actually be entertaining the thought that you raped a woman. That’s hell.

On Being Persecuted By The Press.

I am being ripped off because I never lied to the press. Just as much truth I bring to my work. A journalist should bring that much truth to their work.

Why do I have honor and you guys don’t have honor? I’m not a f*cking journalist, I’m a thug. There’s a machine that I have nothing to do with. It’s called the Tupac machine. And the media in this country have just feuded and made me a monster.

They say I’m a criminal. They say I spit vicious, hateful, violent lyrics. It’s like, I’m ready to be the bad guy. They gave me that job, I’m ready to have it.


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