Monday, January 24, 2005

POEM: Ode 2 2Pac

The clichés come pouring out:
Killed by the life you sung about

Riddled with the bullets you praised-
A fitting comeuppance for one so crazed

But what do those clichés see?
Only black skin, and an ethnic goatee

A hard one to defend, for sure
Like the rest of us, far from pure

Arrests and convictions and endless fights
And a few too many wild nights

Alleged treatment of a devoted fan
Did you really treat her that way, man?

You reflected the horror of kids like yourself
The ones left behind on the ghetto shelf

After the ones like you make it big-time
Laying down albums of violence and crime

You rapped of bloodshed and proud misogyny
But amidst such vitriol, you added poetry

You laced your rants with rays of hope
And eloquently addressed the struggle to cope

And you changed your view of women as things
With a song for your mother only you could sing

So those who curse you should stop and ask
As they hide behind their self-righteous masks:

How and why did you find the time
To add those words to your million-selling rhymes?

Like your lyrics, your life, too, was a schism
Rendered asunder by a nation's racism

But you rose over that rift, you rose high
For a boy from the 'hood, a boy of 25

Gave the USA a mirror of itself
Fanned the flames of a fire we built

Rapped the words we're afraid to hear
Gave a visage to our race-based fears

Stayed true to your mother's legacy
But infused it with a '90's reality

Couldn't you have survived
And let the dark angels pass you by?

The rift was too much to bear, stretched you too thin
Being a clear-voiced black man in this country we're in

As high as you went, the lows waited for you
The schism tore and burned and tortured you

You fell back down, time and again
Cheating death once, but not in the end

And now your murder causes so much glee
Among so many people whose smirks I see

Why do they stress 'He got what he deserved'?
Why do they ignore the evidence of your worth?

Pointing to you, relieved, they say
'There, in that hooligan's death, go our troubles away'

But little do they know
As they slither so low

The fire that consumed you
Targets them, too

It burns on, 2Pac, it burns on
And the flames will only grow hotter that you're gone


teenage dirtbag said...

wow thats deep.

Anonymous said...

A nice job with a topic I know nothing about - having said that, I think you ran out of steam at about here:

"Why couldn't you have survived
And let the dark angels pass you by?"

From that point on... I dunno, it looses something.

What is there, however, is very strong.

Anonymous said...

I like the way you address such contemporary themes here, its refreshing and intriguing, especially considering how many consider rap and hip-hop to be the most relevant form of poetry in today's world. However, I'm inclined to agree with Shuushin that you lose your momentum towards the end, as it feels like something of an anticlimax.

Anonymous said...

I, too, know nothing of the rap scene. But you've shown it to me here and it makes sense. I'll listen closer next time I hear it.

Anonymous said...

This white boy captures Tupacs life struggle so eloquently. HAHA. Sorry, man, it's just kind of funny.

Anonymous said...

Our troubles gone? what? eh? Hay, fate has a funny sense of humor, as for racism plugging ears, "Rapping the words we're afraid to hear", After 2pac went down, Eminem snatched the torch and blazed an inferno that leaves makavelli consumed, drowning in the ashes, his tombstone engraved with the title of "old skool."

Anonymous said...

an interesting piece...the last few stanza's were my favorite...sarcastic and foreshadowing...nicely done

Anonymous said...

This should have come out closer to the 2Pac movie.

Anonymous said...
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angelica said...

Hi Pod, I loved your poem very much, I am interested in finding out who Tupac Shakur was and how did he die?