Son of a Black Panther, Tupac Amaru Shakur was born to
fight injustice and rally for change. While other children told their teachers
that they wanted to be doctors, teachers and police officers when they grew up,
Tupac told his new pastor that he wanted to be “a revolutionary”. His
mother surrounded him with strong morals and world beliefs deriving from her
immersion in the Black Panther Party. Tupac tried to understand his environment
and studied his experiences of violence and oppression when he tried to understand
the world around him. When this appetite for knowledge and a flood of
environmental conditions was presented, Tupac’s unique perspective was created.
With a poetry love and a need for a large audience, Tupac found his home in
hip-hop music. As he challenged the perception of Black America with his texts
and in interviews, his star value made him the goal of ongoing controversy and
criticism, which is still active over a decade since his death in 1996.
Traits personality: The Big Five
According trait theorists,
characteristics or common patterns of behavior, thought and emotion are the
core components of a person’s personality. These characteristics are relatively
stable over time, and vary depending on the individual. Most importantly, these
personality traits affect the behavior. Gordon Allport defined personality as
the dynamic organization within the individual of the psychosocial systems that
determines his characteristic behaviors and thoughts. According to the Big Five
Inventory, there are five main dimensions that can be used as a measure of
personality: openness; conscientiously; extroversion; Grace; and neuroticism.
Openness is defined by an inviting
attitude to new experiences, creativity, imagination and curiosity. Tupac would
rank high on the transparency dimension; He is described by many who knew him
as broad interests and tastes for all types of music and literature (Dyson 71).
He was well-read in literature ranging from classics, history, feminist
literature, education systems, mystics, philosophy and so on. He wrote poetry
as a young teenager and channeled his creativity to rap music in his late
teens. He was curious about everything and tried to constantly understand how
the world worked and how we could do it better. His imagination is well-known,
in an interview when he made the interesting suggestion that President Ronald
Regan should help with the homeless epidemic by including some of the displaced
persons in the White House (Dyson 82).
Consistency is defined by a lack of impulsivity, in principle,
accurate, persistent and reliable behavior. Tupac would be judged moderately on
this dimension. He was an extremely basic person and driven to receive a
message of reform and revolution to the masses. He took his work seriously and
was persistent in pursuing his musical career. He was, however, a very impulsive
person. His life was chaotic and his minute-to-minute decision was indicative
of his wild spirit. He missed once to meet a young girl who had seen the news,
which had been attacked by a dog and was at the local hospital. His behavior
was impulsive, but he continued to have a relationship with that family to his
Extroversion is described as the opposite
of introversion, as an outward, sociable, aggressive, assertive, external
expression of a person’s personality. Tupac would be very high on this
dimension. He is described by many in this way, as a very sociable, dominant,
assertive, talkative spark of a person. He had spoken of his need to write his
music as a way for him to breathe; By laying on the words on paper he could
find a release, and put his passion into something that could live beyond his
time. His sense of urgency and passion for his message is seen by his ability
and habit to write 4-7 songs a day (Dyson 11). Throughout, Tupac moved
extensively and used this energy and sociability to give the world during his
short career, the rock of music and a host of interviews that allow people to
continue analyzing their legacy after more than a decade.
Agreeableness is described as compatible,
trustworthy, empathetic, altruistic and modest nature. Tupac would be
considered moderately pleasant. He was extremely empathetic and felt the need
to tell the stories of all oppressed people in his music, where he was a voice.
His altruism was uniquely boundless, he said he would bring someone to meet him
on the street, when his homes became supreme protection for all he felt needed
a hand. He was also a modest person. In his texts, there were countless
examples of explaining that he is not perfect, and not a model, just the person
who wants the world to wake up and care for young people so that a model can be
born. He noted his imperfections as he described that he was just a product of
his environment, in a world “he did not” and if someone was insulted
by their presence, they would be upset about the world in which they live. But
Tupac was all other than compatible and trusted (by authority). He constantly
urged people to resist oppression in all forms and fight for a better future.
Shakur was very opposed to compliance with all kinds of tyranny, especially in
the case of abusive law enforcement personnel.
Neurotics, characterized by emotional instability, anxiety,
hostility, depression and vulnerability, explain much of Tupac’s emotional
state. Although he could become a successful musician, he was in a constant
state of upsetting and desperate about his environment and surrounded himself
with thoughts that he would not be on this land long. He masked a lot of this
emotionality with marijuana and alcohol and used these substances to medicate
themselves regularly. Because he was high on the neuroticism dimension and did
not lead a structured life, his emotional instability resulted in ruthless
behavior that contributed to his premature death at the age of 25.
Dyson, Michael Eric. Holler If You
Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur. New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2001.
Powell, Kevin. “2pacalypse Now.” Light, Alan, ed. Tupac Shakur. New York: Three Rivers P, 1997.
Shakur, Tupac A. “Unconditional Love.” By Tupac Amaru Shakur. Greatest Hits. Interscope/Amaru/Death Row, 1998.