20 years after his untimely death, Tupac’s legacy feels as potent as ever. Although his music depicted a very specific time in hip-hop and the nation in general, the power of Pac’s words have proven to be timeless, and the inspiration he provided remains heavily felt to this day.
Today (December 20), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its list of 2017 inductees, which includes the legendary emcee, actor, and activist.
Pac is finally eligible for inductee status after his debut album 2Pacalypse Now turned 25 this year, making him the first solo hip-hop act to be inducted into the hall. He joins fellow hip-hop trailblazers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, N.W.A, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C.
To celebrate the induction, Pac’s estate released a touching message via 2Pac’s official Instagram:
What's particularly powerful is the fact that Pac’s career only spanned five years, whereas many of the other acts inducted into the Hall of Fame are either still performing today or have had at least a few decades of productivity under their belt.
Tupac’s career was tragically short-lived, but the strength and innovation of his work are still cause for awe over two decades later.
The timing of the induction couldn’t be more apropos, either. Pac’s music dealt heavily with the issues of racial and socioeconomic inequality, and his ability to unite people across disparate gang factions and ethnic backgrounds were revered by the common man and feared by the powers that be. I like to think that if Pac were here today, he’d still be a rallying voice against impending and existing tyranny, and he’d absolutely still be making thought-provoking, classic hip-hop.
Tupac Shakur is as deserving of the Hall of Fame as anyone, it's about time they let him in.