On what would have been iconic rapper Tupac Shakur’s 40th birthday, the city of Atlanta along with mother, Afeni Shakur, Mike Epps and a star-studded guest list came together to celebrate the West Coast rapper’s life and legacy late last week. With classic rappers, new faces and Erykah Badu headlining the event, crowds of people attended of all ages and nationalities. Afeni told the crowd who gathered outside the Atlanta Symphony Hall prior to the event, “Tupac left a hole in my heart. But he wasn’t the only one, there are more Tupac’s to be found. We’ve just got to find them!”
The event hosted my comedian, Mike Epps was also put on to support and acknowledge the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation which is geared toward advancing the dreams of young people interested in the arts. Unbeknownst to momma Afeni or Tupac’s sister, Sekyiwa ‘Set’ Shakur, Epps presented the Foundation with a check for $10,000. He jokingly added, “It would’ve been more, but the tax man is on my ass.”
The Shakur family then surprised Epps by presenting him with a limited edition plaque of Tupac’s records. Epps was genuinely moved by the gesture and proceeded to “give all the glory to the Lord.”
After the sentimental moments passed, the celebration began with powerhouse performances from the legendary Roy Ayers, Bun B, Too Short, Warren G, 8Ball & MJG, Meek Mills, Rick Ross plus more!
Toward the end of his set, a misty-eyed Rick Ross told the crowd, “For a lot of lil’ dudes in a single parent home [like me] with my mother, Tupac played father for a lot of dudes like me.” Ross went on to say, “Tupac was the first one that showed me how to be fully committed. I took [aspect of him like] his [loyalty], to his hard work, his ethic, his family with me.”
The main attraction came at the very end of the evening at the iconic Erykah Badu took to the stage to pay her respects to Tupac through song. She later expressed, “This event is not about you or me, it’s about remembering a man who wanted to make a difference… It all starts with one. You can be the one, you can be the one, and even you can be the one.”