Unreleased Footage Shows Tupac Speaking Incredibly Powerfully About Income Inequality (Video)
MTV News has released never before seen footage of Tupac from 1992, speaking about income equality. Shakur, the son of two Black Panthers, often incorporated strong political messages in his music and everyday discourse, and often his words carried themes of uplift and revolution.
In the MTV clip, after citing Donald Trump as an example of a wealthy person to whom people aspire, Tupac makes several powerful statements about wealth redistribution and reigning in greed. “It’s too much money here. Nobody should be hitting lotto for $36 million, and we got people starving in the streets. That is not idealistic. That’s just real,” he says. “There’s no way that these people should have planes and there are people who don’t have houses,” he continues.
Rather than advocating socialism, Shakur is more deeply passionate about what he sees as a moral responsibility for those with more resources to be charitable with the less fortunate. “Even if you earned it, you still owe. Look at me. I don’t have that mega money, but I feel guilty walking by somebody. I gotta give them some mail. If I know I’ve got $3,000 in my pocket, I feel like it’s wrong to give that person a quarter, or a dollar. It’s wrong. Only you know what you got in your pocket. No matter what they do. If they take it and drink it, they take it and drink it, but you got [money]” he asserts.
In a particularly passionate moment, Tupac questions how society celebrates the wealthy, saying “These are the type of people that get humanitarian awards. Millionaires. How can they be humanitarians by the fact that they’re millionaires, and it’s so many poor people, shows how unhumane they are.” Driving home the point, he emphatically states “I know you got $40 billion but, can you just keep it to one house?? You only need one house. And, if you only got 2 kids, can you just keep it to 2 rooms? I mean, why have 52 rooms and you know there’s somebody with no rooms?? It just don’t make sense to me.”
As America is in the throngs of making billionaire Donald Trump a nominee for president, and the gap between the world’s most wealthy and the rest of the population only widens, could Tupac’s words be any more relevant today?