Let me say first, that my intention in writing this is not to convince anyone of anything, but only to give you a better idea of the man I believe Tupac to be.
Many of us know Pac’s life well & have a good established Idea of his personality, mentality & thought processes. We use this to deduce meaning out of various lyrics, interviews & so forth. Though we may often disagree on the meaning of his words, we can all agree that Tupac most definitely had a message, many messages really. What they all were & what they mean combined; well, that really remains to be fully discovered.
Another thing most of us can agree on is that Pac was a prophet of sorts; he seemed to know his fate & predicted it, among other things. Now myself, I truly believe he knew he was going to face a death. Why? Because, he himself said it, he knows what it will be like when it’s really happening, that’s how he discerned he wasn’t finished in 94’.
I have noticed a clear shift in mind state & character that occurred sometime during his imprisonment. The stress of the media & his court case combined with the conformation of his suspicions that yes, some one is most definitely trying to kill him & the fact that he knows he has a fate to face produced a kind of paranoid mind state. He knew what lay ahead, but he feared & was uncertain of it. He didn’t seem to yet understand what its purpose truly was or, how to use it. Examples of this theme/mind state can be found throughout the MATW album on songs such as “If I Die 2Nite”,”So Many Tears”, “Fuck the World” & “Death Around the Corner” to name a few.
Most of us are aware of the wealth of books Tupac read during his imprisonment. Some of the most prominent & promoted by the Shakur’s being Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince & Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Both great books filled with masterful strategy which can be readily applied to almost any position of power. Pac said it himself, Machiavelli is his father figure & he is now Machiavelli Thus, the change in aliases. We can argue how this change occurred exactly or what he really chose to believe but, I would like to attempt to show you now with the use of various materials from Pac himself & the two above mentioned titles, that Pac truly absorbed these strategies & used them.
I would like to possibly give a new deeper definition to his actions. I will use a mixture of NM: The Prince as it is the most relevant to what I would like to call the “Makaveli mind state” &, ST: The Art of War as it stands very closely in stature to it.
2pac discovered something in prison, I believe he discovered himself. I believe he discovered his true potential & how to take hold of and wield the hand he had been dealt. And most importantly, I believe he discovered a way to identify & defeat all of his enemies. “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles” but, “to win a hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” A different man emerged from that dark imprisonment, one with a renewed understanding of the world & how to accomplish the task that lay before him.
Soon after 2pac bails out of prison he releases his double AEOM album quickly followed by his infamous “Hit em’ up” track. Both of which, feature a seemingly different 2pac or Makaveli rather. No longer filled with this fear & discontent for the world and the fate it’s given him. A new fire replaces it; He openly attacks & taunts his enemies. If you really listen to Pac’s post prison tracks, he seems to be talking in riddles, speaking to those who are “in the know” in regards to specific events and workings of the world; often openly taunting them in a blatantly dangerous fashion. This as I will attempt to demonstrate, was all strategy.
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” Though, this strategy works both ways in Pac’s situation since the enemy is aware of & uses these tactics as well. So, one must appear to be able to attack so the enemy may believe you are weak, when in reality you are prepared. “Pretend to be weak, so that (your enemy) may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”
It was also no less important for him to “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.” This strategy can be contributed to Pac's supposed “Untouchable & wild” attitude; A mere act of strategy. After all, Pac is a great actor.
In regards to the “Hit em’ Up” track, the strategy there was to “murder” biggie “lyrically” because “Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.”. Thus, the blatant assault style of the song. Which biggie never replied to & actively denied ever making any kind of reply.
These strategies were applied even more heavily on the 7 day theory album, as this album was “for Pac” & not “for Suge”. From the title, to the intro, to the very last words spoken the whole album is full of blatant taunts to various enemies coupled with some more of Pac’s eerie predictions of things to come. Like I said before Pac seemed to know his fate & did not originally understand the purpose of this knowledge. I believe he realized “that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and (he was) able to turn both to (his) advantage” & “the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general (Pac) conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge.”
Plan, plot, strategize & bomb first. State your Ambitions as a Ridah “Rise from one ambition to another: first, seek to secure yourself against attack, and then attack others” for “the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined for defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”
Pac always openly admitted his fierce work ethic was due to him “preparing for his death” but I believe this preparation goes far further than recording a couple “insurance albums”. I believe he prepared & thoroughly planned for his “death”. He realized it was not an obstacle but an opportunity, an opportunity to be reborn & reach a new level.
Pac knew the score for radical leaders of political & social change, he is a “black panther prince” after all. “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things because, the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions.” He was fully aware of this, & played into it. He planned to “die” to secure his place as an eternal legend & martyr while in all actuality being safely alive in secret to accomplish his mission of Change. “O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.”
There are many advantages to being “dead” to your enemies; it offers a very unique position of power. “To be without ascertainable shape then the most penetrating spies cannot pry in nor can the wise lay plans against you.” It allows you to easily “be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness, (To) be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.” & for Tupac it meant a real chance at those Better Dayz he often dreamt of.
Many argue Tupac would not “run & hide” like that, but to that I say “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.” “The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.” Many also argue that Tupac wouldn’t lie like that. Well to that I say “Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts” “A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.”
I’ll say as I’ve said before, He did it not only for himself & his family but, for all those who look up to him. To give the world hope that for once, A Great Man who’s only wish was to help us, was not stolen from us by those who cower in the shadows & feed off others misery. To give us all hope that real change is truly obtainable in this world.
I will finish with this... “No proceeding is better than that which you have concealed from the enemy until the time you have executed it. To know how to recognize an opportunity in war, and take it, benefits you more than anything else.” “Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”
So now we wait & wonder, what’s next for Mr. Makaveli?
Shouts 2 Cush Love for inspiring me to do this.
the manifest 'tupac as a modern folk hero' was written and lays out 3 different perspectives that correlates precisely with what you are saying ms spiicer... the first is that
1) tupac is no longer with us, but there was some sort of living will or conspiracy in place to give the impression that tupac was/is (or could be) alive (when in fact he is not)... what that reason would be or mean is a different story...
2) tupac is no longer with us in physical but his spiritual is strongly evident and can be seen interacting with the physical universe through these mysterious coincidences and happenings. pac spoke of reincarnation, being a ghost on these battle fields, and rocked with one nation bcc talkin bout slayin his enemies with tai chi... nuttso says movin them with telekinesis... so the fact is whether or not (you) believe that tupac ghost and spirit can interact with the known world... it would seem that from all available evidence tupac did so....
3) tupac is alive, or at least lived past the vegas shooting for some time....
this is just theories anyway...
This analysis has inspired me to really study "The Prince".. and to keep Pac's situation in mind while reading it.. I always learn something from Tupac.. whether its from TAT, MB, his music, Pac is everywhere.. "and then inside of you, I'll be reborn.."
I was reading Ch.3 of "The Prince", ' For this reason, however strong one's armies may be, one will always need the favor of the inhabitants to gain possession of a country"
and Pac's verse from California Love came to mind..
Let me serenade the streets of L.A.
From Oakland to Sacktown
The Bay Area and back down
Cali is where they put they mack down
Give me love!
good analysis, but at the end of the day you are working out what he was thinking or his messages. They are very very clear to the right mind, listen to all the lyrics and apply it to the 99% movement, 1% of the world owns 40 percent of the worlds wealth, rockerfella rothchild ect. "Expose snakes coz they breathe freely, see me ride, LOCATED WORDWIDE LIKE THE ART OF GRAFFITI" this was a man who saw the opression 15 years before the movement, he was a prophet and he was killed purely for the fact of change they did not want. "I may not change the word but i promise you i will spark the mind that will" and "mama tod me If you cant find something to live for you BEST find something to die for"
Unneccesary death, starvation and war which we are all realising now, u spread his word in the right context and he has changed the world from the grave :)
Ahh yes but "its from the grave" as Pac knew all too well what his actions would get him, As he clearly states in several ways. He used this as an opportunity like I said, to Become the Living ghost, the unknown, To use the veil of secrecy to accomplish his mission of change in secret. Because after all like it has been said, no proceeding is better than that which you have concealed from the enemy until the time you have completed it. "Im hard 2 kill, So Open Fire, I see you kill me, witness my steal" He knew my friend, & to say he wouldnt use what he knew to his advantage & take what is rightfully his(freedom & those Better Dayz) is to say Pac, Aint Pac. & That aint just the way it is lol
this is a very good post..i agree...tupac definatly knew what was going to go down soon...and either had accpted it and made plans to act on it before it happened or stradigize how to turn it around in his favor..and ours! i agree it wasnt just for himself n family only...but for all the people(fans) who he knew loved him!! he didnt want to be another malcom x, or martin luther king, who for his beliefs would be assissinated an taken from his people...though those prophets of that time was able to make change, there untimely murder left many once again hopeless after there deaths...(as this is the ultimate goal of the assissans..to shut them up) we know that this so called plan, far as pac...did not work...he music still teaches, give messages of change, and a hope for a future of new people that will see through all the blurriness of the goverment...pac said "still i rise" a message to those who chose to dig deeper beyond just his supposed death in sept 13, 1996...for those who only chose to see the 'rapper' and not the polictial activist, prophet, and teacher...well its not obviusly meant for them...i also agree, a true general aim is to win..at any cost nessisarily...if it mean having to lie or whatever...to save lives, is the first duty of any true soildier, to sacrafice his own to save his men!! and thats what pac did...gave up fame, notority, and it all...let them have there day..sept 13...many thought was the end...and as we see it was not!! just now are we only beginning to start to see the true planning n stradigizing pac did in jail.. pac didnt want sadness n a feeling of hopelessness from his fans, once he was gone.."smile for me now" and many other songs he made to help with the pain he knew was coming at the annoucement of his death...shows us what a great n caring man this man was with his fans...."stuff will come out and everyone will understand why i did it"...and interview with tupac that was release in 97...as years go on, we are truly finding out more and more things that 'have come out' and as he said...we do now understand pac....1luv...great post!! keep up the awesome work on here!
Im sure he is homey, Im sure he is..