Tupac Shakur's 15 most memorable quotes on poverty, Shakespeare, hip-hop and race

The famed rapper and actor would have been 44 today

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The Independent US

Tupac Shakur was born June 16, 1971 and died on September 13, 1996.

The rapper, actor, poet and producer would have been 44 on Tuesday. Here are some of his most memorable and thought-provoking quotes.

1. "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 need some 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." — Resurrection, 2013

2. “I have not brought violence to you. I have not brought ‘thug life’ to America. I didn’t create ‘thug life;’ I diagnosed it.” —The Lost Prison Tapes, 2010

3. “I had no record all my life, no police record until I made a record. As my video was debuting on MTV, I was behind bars getting beat up by the police department.” — Conversations with Ed Gordon, 1994

4. “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.” — Entertainment Weekly, 1994

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5. “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.” — MTV, 1994

6. “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.” — MTV, 1994

7. “I believe that everything you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that’s bad, I’m gonna suffer for it. But in my heart, I believe what I’m doing is right. So I feel like I’m going to heaven.” — Vibe, 1996

8. “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.” — David D, 1991

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9. "You see you wouldn't ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love it's will to reach the sun. Well, we are the rose - this is the concrete - and these are my damaged petals. Don't ask me why, thank God n*****, ask me how!" — 'The Rose That Grew From Concrete,' 1999

10. “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.” —Thug Angel, 2002

11. “If we really are saying rap is an art form, then we got to be more responsible for our lyrics. If you see everybody dying because of what you saying, it don’t matter that you didn’t make them die, it just matters that you didn’t save them.” —Vibe, 1995

12. I think some cool motherf***** sat down a long time ago and said, Let’s figure out a way to control motherf******. That’s what they come up with the Bible. ’Cause if God wrote the Bible, I’m sure there would have been a revised copy by now.”—Vibe, 1996

13. “Until it happened, I really did believe that no Black person would ever shoot me. I believed that I didn’t have to fear my own community, You know, I was like I represent them. I’m their ambassador to the world, they will never do me wrong.” — The Lost Prison Tapes, 2010

14. “I don’t have no fear of death. My only fear is coming back reincarnated. I’m not trying to make people think I’m in here faking it, but my whole life is going to be about saving somebody. I got to represent life. If you saying you going to be real, that’s how you be real-be physically fit, be mentally fit. And I want n***** to be educated. You know, I was steering people away from school. You gotta be in school, because through school you can get a job. And if you got a job, then that’s how they can’t do us like this.” — Vibe, 1995

15. “Every time I speak I want the truth to come out. Every time I speak I want a shiver. I don’t want them to be like they know what I’m gonna say because it’s polite. I'm not saying I’m gonna rule the world or I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee you that I will spark the brain that will change the world." — MTV, 1994

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