Late rapper Tupac Shakur is a constant point of discussion when it comes to just about any topic. The prolific rapper managed to permeate so many aspects of pop culture prior to his passing. Outside of his obvious influence over hip-hop music, he also had an influence in the worlds of film, stage, poetry, arts, politics, religion and many many more. One popular cause today that was not as prominent during Tupac’s life time is the movement for equality and representation of LGBTQIA+ people. While not much can found on Tupac and his thoughts on gay people, members of his team thought it a good idea to represent for fans of the rapper who also happen to identify as queer during this years Pride Month.
Recently we reported on Pac and details surrounding his death. Tupac and former friend/rival Notorious B.I.G were involved in a massive rap beef in the mid 90’s that unfortunately seemed to fuel events that resulted in both their passings only months apart. New details came out on Biggie’s death a few weeks ago, with information on the weapon used to take Tupac’s life also resurfacing. According to a report from TMZ, the firearm was found by a citizen in his Compton, California backyard on May 30, 1998. A producer for the A&E docuseries, Who killed Tupac?, was able to discover the documents that detailed the finding and its mysterious disappearance. He documented the gun’s journey and reactions from Tupac’s family who at the time had not been made aware of the gun being found.
While details on his passing continue to be a mystery, so does his stance on people in the LGBTQIA+ community. Former label head and friend Suge Knight once identified Tupac as a homophobe while trying to out Dr. Dre as bisexual during an interview with Howard Stern. Knight says that Tupac told Dr. Dre, “I don’t want to be doing songs with a guy who’s pounding other guys in the b*tt,” and walked out of a meeting.
Pac’s family refuted these claims according to TMZ, citing Tupac’s friendship with Gianni Versace as proof that he did not have an issue with gay people. “The Shakur family feels very strongly that Suge’s claims are “totally false” … and point to his friendship with the famous designer Gianni Versace, who was an openly gay man. In fact, Tupac reportedly participated in a Versace fashion show in Italy back in 1996 … and even rocked a Versace suit on the catwalk.”
Today Tupac’s estate decided to unveil a Pride themed hoodie inspired by his single “Changes” that has some fans torn. Several commenters feel that this is not something Tupac would have stood by, while others feel it is tarnishing his legacy.
See fan responses below:
Tupac watching from Heaven like…. pic.twitter.com/cQR9v9fYsf— tyrone c demming jr (@T_D_ii) June 13, 2021
You guys disrespecting his name his legacy his history you peoples are shameful really this was not his message you should leave his every accounts for the people for his real fans from worldwide— Faris 🕊 (@_Fars7) June 11, 2021
Pac WOULD NEVER CONDONE this if he was alive. Stop disrespecting our legends— Judge Millz Lane (@JMillz347) June 13, 2021