Michael Eric Dyson’s Hour-Long Tribute to Tupac Shakur

We look back at the life and legacy of rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur on the 15th anniversary of his tragic death. We start by speaking with entertainment journalist P. Frank Williams the media coverage of Tupac’s life and death.

For a more personal take on Tupac the young artist, we turn to someone who knew him in the early days of his career.

Danyel Smith, editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine, knew Shakur before he achieved the status of hip-hop icon, and we explore with her some of the inner workings of the man, as well as his early songs including “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and “Dear Mama.”

Finally, we get help decoding some of the messages behind Tupac Shakur’s music with “hip-hop” professor James Peterson, professor of English at Lehigh University. We deconstruct the music from an intellectual and artistic perspective, and look at the some of contradictions that characterized Shakur as both a socially conscious artist and a gangster rapper.

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