Tupac Amaru Shakur was a rapper, poet, actor, and activist from the United States. Tupac’s inventiveness and genius are on display in these 109 Tupac quotations.
He was born in Harlem in 1971 and showed an interest in the arts from an early age, honing his skills in the schools that he attended.
During his high school years, Tupac performed in plays and rapped. His music career took off after his family moved to California in 1988, when he was hired by the group Digital Underground and began rapping in some of their tracks.
Tupac began starring in films such as Poetic Justice and Above the Rim in 1992, after releasing his debut album, which was met with criticism.
Tupac released four more albums during his lifetime, all of which contained political and social commentary. The messages in these excellent Tupac quotations are still relevant today.
I don’t see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have answers.
It’s the game of life. Do I win or do I lose? One day they’re gonna shut the game down. I gotta have as much fun and go around the board as many times as I can before it’s my turn to leave.
I think I’m a natural-born leader. I know how to bow down to authority if it’s authority that I respect.
For every dark night, there’s a brighter day.
I know it seems hard sometimes but remember one thing. Through every dark night, theres a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep ya head up and handle it.
It’s a struggle for every young Black man. You know how it is, only God can judge us.
I just don’t know how to deal with so many people giving me that much affection. I never had that in my life.
All I’m trying to do is survive and make good out of the dirty, nasty, unbelievable lifestyle that they gave me.
When you do rap albums, you got to train yourself. You got to constantly be in character.
Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.
A coward dies a thousand deaths. A soldier dies but once.
No one can take away your dreams.
During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams.
There’s gonna be some stuff you gonna see thats gonna make it hard to smile in the future, but through whatever you see, through all the rain and the pain you gotta keep your sense of humor. You gotta be able to smile through all this bullshit…remember that.
Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here cause even thugs cry, but do the Lord care?
Life’s a wheel of fortune and it’s my chance to spin it.
We wouldn’t ask why a rose that grew from the concrete for having damaged petals; in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the roses, this is the concrete and these are my damaged petals. Don’t ask me why, thank God, and ask me how.
I’m a reflection of the community.
Everybody’s at war with different things. I’m at war with my own heart sometimes.
Let the Lord judge the criminals.
I would rather have been shot straight-up in cold blood-but to be set up? By people who you trusted? That’s bad.
The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams.
What I learned in jail is that I can’t change. I can’t live a different lifestyle – this is it. This is the life that they gave and this is the life that I made.
We all gonna die, we bleed from similar veins.
I feel like role models today are not meant to be put on a pedestal. But more like angels with broken wings.
My mama always used to tell me: ‘if you can’t find somethin’ to live for, you best find somethin’ to die for.’
If God wanted me to be quiet he would’ve never showed me what he does.
I’ll probably be punished for hard living.
I’d rather die like a man than live like a coward.
I am society’s child. This is how they made me and now I’m sayin’ what’s on my mind and they don’t want that. This is what you made me, America.
I don’t have no fear of death. My only fear is coming back reincarnated.
I’m 23 years old. I might just be my mother’s child, but in all reality, I’m everybody’s child. Nobody raised me; I was raised in this society.
There’s nobody in the business strong enough to scare me.
If we really are saying that rap is an art form, then we got to be more responsible for our lyrics. If you see everybody dying because of what you are saying, it don’t matter that you didn’t make them die. It just matters that you didn’t save them.
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive. Never surrender.
That which does not kill me can only make me stronger. I don’t see why everybody feel as though that they gotta tell me how to live my life.
Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up. And when he tells you you ain’t nothing, don’t believe him. And if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him.
I’m not sayin’ I’m gonna rule the world, or that I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.
Can’t close my eyes cause all I see is terror. I hate the man in the mirror cause his reflection makes the pain turn realer.
In my mind I’m a blind man doin’ time.
With all my fans I got a family again.
I believe that everything that you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that’s bad, I’m going to suffer from it. But in my mind, I believe what I’m doing is right. So I feel like I’m going to heaven.
It seems like every time you come up something happens to bring you back down.
Of course I’m going to say ‘I’m a thug,’ that’s because I came from the gutter and I’m still here!
I’ve been shot five times but I’m still breathing, living proof there a God if you need a reason.
Though things change, the future’s still inside of me.
I don’t want to be a role model. I just want to be someone who says, this is who I am, this is what I do, I say what’s on my mind.
Fear is stronger than love, remember that. Fear is stronger than love. All that love I gave didn’t mean nothing when it came to fear.
One day I’m gonna bust, blow up on this society. Why did you lie to me? I couldn’t find a trace of equality.
I said, I’m gonna write a song about the women like my mom, women like my sister, who I think represent the strong black women, and I did that. Now I’mma write about the women I see everyday and that was ‘[I] Get Around.’ If I just write songs like ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ it would make me seem more than what I am, but I’m just a normal man.
What makes me saying ‘I don’t give a f***,’ different from Patrick Henry saying ‘Give me liberty or give me death?’ What makes my freedom any different than Bosnians or who ever [America] wants to fight for this year? They should give money to the ghetto.
Hip Hop when it started it was supposed to be this new thing that had no boundaries and was so different to everyday music. Now it seems like I was starting to get caught up in the mode of what made hip hop come about. As long as the music has the true to the heart soul it can be hip hop. As long it has soul to it, hip hop can live on.
Why can’t [the President] take some of those people off the street and put them in his White House? Then he’ll have people from the street to help him with his ideas. They haven’t been homeless forever; they’ve done things for society.
Every day, I’m standing outside trying to sing my way in: We are hungry, please let us in We are hungry, please let us in. After about a week that song is gonna change to: We hungry, we needsome food. After two, three weeks, it’s like: Give me the food Or I’m breaking down the door. After a year you’re just like: I’m picking the lock. Coming through the door blasting.
The seed must grow regardless of the fact that it’s planted in stone.
I have not brought violence to you. I have not brought ‘thug life’ to America. I didn’t create ‘thug life;’ I diagnosed it.
If I was white, I would be like John Wayne. I feel like a tragic hero in a Shakespeare play. Somebody who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, from poverty.
Behind every sweet smile, there is a bitter sadness that no one can see and feel.