At the Coral Room in New York City on June 16, everyone from former Panther members to celebrities in the hip-hop industry to everyday people like yours truly came out on a hot steamy night to celebrate the Earth day of Tupac. This event was organized by the likes of special people like Kamel Bell, the son of political prisoner Herman Bell, Russell Shoatz III, son of Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, Warrior Queen Sista Erica Ford of the Code Foundation, and many others who volunteered their time to honor a legend and a comrade all in one person: Tupac Shakur.
The event was also a fundraiser for Dr. Mutulu Shakur. As most of you know, Dr. Shakur was a staunch member of the Panther Party and the BLA here in New York and is a legend in his own right. Currently, Dr. Shakur is serving a 60-year sentence for “Conspiracy to Aid Bank Expropriation.” He was charged under the U. S. conspiracy laws known as "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization" or RICO laws - eight counts.
For more information on Dr. Shakur's case and how you can help, go to the website at www.mutulushakur.com and get involved. You can also write to Dr. Shakur to show your love and solidarity. His address is located on the site as well.
Dr. Shakur’s beautiful daughter Nzingha Shakur, who has a beautiful singing voice, thanked the entire crowd and artists who came out to show love for her brother Tupac and her family as a whole. His son Mopreme of T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E. gave us an update on his father’s situation. He informed us that not only did they deny his parole, the Board told him to come back in 15 years.
You can hear both of these talented people on the “Dare to Struggle” CD. Various performers took the mic that night and contributed their voices to the cause.
Independent artists like Hasan Salaam and Immortal Technique ripped the mic in their own special way. Immortal Technique spit the truth about how some folks who claimed to have loved Tupac and were his “friend” did not have no real love for him when he was here. No investigation needed for that one.
Dead Prez came through with the People’s Army/RBG family to show their love for Pac. All of them represented lovely by exciting the crowd with their educational and inspiring revolutionary lyrics. DP even invited Mopreme and the T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E family to join them on stage.
By the way, I highly recommend you pick up DP’s new CD “Revolutionary But Gangsta” and pick up P.O.W.’s mixtape “The Street Report Vol. 1.” P.O.W. consists of RBG family members Umi and Scribe. Their CD is very good. A special message from Young Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. of the POCC is featured on it also. If you get the opportunity to check out P.O.W. when they come out West to the Bay, definitely cop their new CD if you haven’t yet.
The most touching of the many tributes given to Pac was from Treach of the group Naughty by Nature. He took us back to when hip-hop still had a quality message and it was fun to dance to. He went from OPP to Hip Hop Hooray. For those of us who know what REAL hip-hop is, we enjoyed the memories.
Treach then displayed a tattoo he has on his left arm of his beloved friend while he did the song “Mourn You Till I Join You,” his own personal tribute to the good times he and Pac had together. Their strong, ambitious, positive and determined attitudes made them the success stories they were. Both artists saw the bigger picture, and the future for them back in the ‘90s became a milestone in