Deconstruction is a way of reading text to bring these hidden paradoxes and contradictions out into the open. Here’s an excerpt from the book Tupac Resurrection, the national best seller published in 2003.
“When I say thug I mean not a criminal, someone who beats you over the heard, I mean the underdog. You have two people – one person has everything he needs to succeed and one person has nothing. If the person who has nothing succeeds, he’s a thug. Cuz he overcame all the obstacles. Don’t ask me why, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the dictionary version of thug. Sorry.
When my heart beats, it screams thug life.
“To me thug is my pride, you know what I’m sayin’? Not being someone who goes against the law. Not being someone that takes, but being someone that has nothing and even though there is no home for me to go to, my head is up high, my chest is out, I walk tall, I talk loud, I don’t stutter. I’m being strong.”
I don’t understand why America doesn’t understand Thug Life. America is Thug life. What makes me saying ‘I don’t give a fuck’ different than Patrick Henry saying ‘Give me liberty or give me death’? What makes my freedom less worth fighting for than Bosnians or whoever they want to fight for this year?
Young black males out there identify with thug life because I’m not trying to clean them up. I am, but I’m not saying come to me clean. I’m saying come as you are. Everybody, come as you are and feel my genuine love for the street elements. I love that, you know what I’m sayin’? I take the good and the bad – we have to work through it, but we can’t work together if we not unified.”
Thinking about Tupac’s statement what are your thoughts on where we go from here?