For most of my childhood until the age of 12, I wasn’t really exposed to music or different forms of communication other than school work. I was busy in books forgetting the real world where people’s lives change everyday. Thanks to my parents I was shielded from this, but Tupac and Eminem really changed my life. It sounds quite cliche, but the way they expressed themselves so simply and eloquently, albeit in a crude manner, gave me a unique look at another’s perspective. The language they used was as powerful as messages ten times the length.
Tupac has put out a lot of hits, but I think one of the particular songs that I can classify as an “artifact” for me would be “Soldier Like Me”. He pulls the audience into the song by uniting them with a common goal of beating this war that people fight everyday. He calls himself a soldier which alludes to the struggles and obstacles he had to overcome every single day. One line he keeps saying “Everywhere I see a soldier, a soldier” was engrained into my head after listening to it the first time. It gave me the sense that there is more out there than just money and economic stability, but life itself and people’s oppression. Eminem and Tupac take their definition of soldier to all aspects of their career such as their rapping endeavors. They fought with tradition itself and changed the music industry significantly even if only in my mind.
What really alluded me to this genre, specifically to this song is that they talk about their lives and give no mind to the outside world even while drawing them into the story. People for the most part struggle for part of their life at least and this commonality that they both keep referring to in their music is what makes them great artists in my opinion.