Join me as I watch “Views” by Drake. We can sip a tall icy glass of “Lemonade” served by a Queen named Bey. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, we can revisit childhood with “Coloring Book” by Chance the Rapper. If you haven’t recognized, these are just a few of the new hip-hop albums of this year. Clearly, it’s been a big year in hip-hop and its only May.
The stylish sounds of pain and triumph paired with the colorful language of a vivid memory are just some of the few ways artist from this year have satisfied our musical palettes. They’re unapologetic attitude, representing exactly what they believe is the main reason their albums was received well by fans.
Pause. Where did good unadulterated music oozing confidence and style come from?
This month hip-hop celebrated the birthday of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez and Notorious Big. However, generally May is known for Mother’s Day, but honestly, Mother’s day should be every day. Mothers have the ability to shape our tough or actions and in this case our music.
In the opening lyrics from the song “Dear mama” the late artist Tupac Amaru Shakur paints a vivid picture of what it was like for him growing up in a single parent home. “When I was young me and my momma had beef 17 years old kicked out on the streets. Though back at that time I never thought I’d see her face. Ain’t a woman alive that can’t take my momma place.” At the time, this expressive raw approach of storytelling was very promenade in Hip-hop, but Tupac’s reality was very relatable. Similar to the way Beyoncé related to her fans by using imagery to share a story of someone’s marriage.
The song “Dear Mama” was one of the first’s times a mainstream hip-hop artist shared such candid moments of the realities of growing up with his single mother. Tupac had no problem sharing the challenges he faced in hope of helping someone else. “And even as a Crack fiend momma, you always was a black queen momma,” he said. The song went on to create a template for other artist like, Nas, Jay Z and Drake to express their genuine raw private memories and stories.
Earlier this month, the hip-hop community took a huge loss on May 2, 2016 when Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur was found dead at her home in Sausalito, CA. She was the muse behind the song “Dear Mama.” With the help of her son, she made it cool to be in tune with emotions over a dope beat.
If you were able to witness the movie she produced after the death of her son you were a real winner. In the documentary titled, Tupac: The Resurrection Ms. Shakur reshaped her son’s reputation by balancing his unapologetic, socially conscious, yet vulnerable character. Sound familiar? Ms. Shakur played a vital role in what hip-hop has become today.
From all the WM around the world, we put her legacy to rest, as we send her off to the great heavens where we pray she reunites with her beloved son Tupac. Rest In Peace, you were and always will be appreciated, Ms. Afeni Shakur.