Tupac Shakur and the Origins of Thug Life

“My mother was a woman, a black woman, a single mother raising two kids on her own. She was dark-skinned, had short hair, got no love from nobody except for a group called the Black Panthers.

“I don’t consider myself to be straight militant. I’m a thug, and my definition of thug comes from half of the street element and half of the Panther element, half of the independence movement. Saying we want self-determination. We want to do it by self-defense and by any means necessary. That came from my family and that’s what thug life is. It’s a mixture.”

Tupac Shakur, in a 1994 interview with Entertainment Weekly, resurfaced by Blank on Blank. Read more on Tupac.

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