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Tupac Immortalized in Grammy Museum

Tupac is about to be institutionalized. In a good way. The Grammy Museum will celebrate the life and times of one of the most iconic figures in hip-hop history with a new exhibition named after his 1996 album: “All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur.” The exhibit opens on February 2 and will cover Tupac’s entire career, from his Digital Underground days to his successful solo career.  All memorabilia will be provided by the Tupac estate.

“Tupac Shakur was one of the most original and important of all hip hop artists. His writings are both powerful and provocative,” Grammy Museum Executive Director Robert Santelli said in a statement to the LA Times. “It is an honor to be the first music museum to acknowledge Tupac’s legacy and to bring context to what was an incredible career.”

The “All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur” exhibit will feature Tupac’s poems, performance footage, lyrics, tape box, studio notes from recording sessions, and even the Versace suit he wore to the 1996 Grammy Awards.  The exhibit will also feature handwritten notes­­­­ that Tupac wrote before his death, to give viewers a more intimate view into his life. What a way to experience the man, the myth, the legend.

At age 25, Tupac was fatally shot in a 1996 drive-by shooting during the most widespread East Coast / West Coast hip hop war in history.  The beef also claimed the life of fellow rap artist Biggie Smalls. 2Pac’s music and writings reflected a mixture of this violence, social consciousness, his own melancholy and a celebration of the flashy hip-hop lifestyle.  Prominent, however, is ‘Pac’s overwhelming desire for radical cultural and political change in our world.  He was heavily influenced by the Black Panther ideals of his mother.

Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur (who runs the Tupac estate), was pleased that her son was being honored.

“Tupac’s writings are an honest reflection of his passions for, and about life,” she said. “His timeless messages have instilled hope for those who have little, and for others, they serve as a catalyst for change. His words continue to motivate and inspire new generations.”

“All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur” will be on display through April 22.


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Mic check 1,2,1,2. Not the words you expect to bust out of Orange County, California, but that's where Deborah Jane found her funk. Daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Deborah grew up in an all-white suburb where she was one of the only black kids in her school. (Fun fact: She didn't make her first black friend until attending Stanford University). Hip-hop gave her a voice and helped her discover her roots. Now she is an emcee and writer who both spits raps and writes editorials, TV shows and films - especially hip-hop musicals!

At Stanford, she wrote and produced an award-winning hip-hop musical, Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera (www.strangefruithiphopera.com) - now in development as a feature film. Deborah also launched her hip-hip theatre webseries, The HOTT (www.youtube.com/TheHOTTtv), published in Urban Cusp Magazine. Currently, she is penning her first hip-hop album, Do You Love Me Deborah Jane? And do you? She truly hopes you all love her.

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