Sibylla Nash’s poem ‘If Tupac Lived’

If Tupac lived

If Tupac lived
Who would he have become?
He was a man child raging it’s me against the world
Prescient, he knew he would die young
I just wonder If Tupac lived
What amazing things he could have done
Would he have channeled his energy and charisma into championing a cause
Would he have faded from the limelight
Overshadowed by Weezy and Drake
Or would he have uttered the battle cry free Breezy, free Bobby, free fill-in-the-blank of the next
artist needing freeing because he remembered the time he did time

If Tupac lived
Would he have remained on top
Or would he have abandoned hip hop
Kind of like how Will Smith did with rap
He became the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and never looked back
Would he have become a writer, director, producer, or congressman
Would he have won an Oscar or an Emmy
Instead his potential was snuffed out like so many
Would he have stood on the senate floor
Spitting hard truths wrapped in rhyme
Creating a filibuster to kill time
Straddling two worlds – gangster and artist
Artist and gangster
He was a flashpoint of rage

If Tupac lived
Would he have found a way to get the youth engaged
What would he think about Suge getting 28 years?
Would he say you set me up but I ain’t mad at cha?
As he settled into being an elder-statesmen in the game like Jay Z
Trading in on his fame for more money to shill vodka or clothes, trading up from those girls he
met at clubs
Would he have married, settled down, found a wife
Attended PTA meetings, created a college fund, passing on hard earned lessons to his daughter
or son

Instead he’s canonized in his tats, forever repping Thug Life
If Tupac lived
Would old beefs be bygones?
Would he apologize to Faith, mourn Biggie, collaborate with Diddy, march for Trayvon, for
Eric, for Sandra, and all the countless others who died too soon for no reason
Like blackness is a sign for hunting season

Black and blue, blue on black, black on black, blackness is under attack
Would he take a knee in solidarity with Cap
Would he rep a tee with Black Lives Matter on the back
If Tupac lived to be 30, to be 40 to today, who would he have become
Man, I just wonder If Tupac lived,
What amazing things he could have done?

 

Sibylla Nash
Sibylla Nash is an author and freelance writer. Her non-fiction work has appeared in a variety of publications including The Chicago Times, Vibe magazine, Essence, Lit Hub and others. She has independently published two novels and is currently finishing her MFA in Creative Writing at Otis College of Art and Design. She received her BA in Journalism at the University of Southern California. If Tupac Lived is her first performance piece.

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  1. Pingback: Partnered Reading, March 29th, at Portland (OR)’s OpenHaus | SYNCHRONIZED CHAOS

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