Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tupac Shakur Arts & Leadership Camp Comes to Los Angeles

Put your hands up in the air!...When I say Tu, you say Pac! Tu...Pac! Tu...Pac!

Gemini children, both of us; his mother's birth name is the same as mine; and both of our mothers are from the state of North Carolina and still live there. Those are just a few things Tupac Amiri Shakur and I had in common. And though we never met, I felt as if I had known him for years.

Multi-dimensional with boundless potential, "Pac", undoubtedly was on his way to becoming more than just a rap star. Though not always right, but definitely not always wrong either, his willingness to not only express his beliefs, but to stand by them too, was what I admired most about him. And then suddenly he was gone, snatched from us in an unsolved murder that still haunts us today.

That fateful night in Las Vegas was more than a decade ago, but the indomitable, artistic spirit of Tupac still lives not just in his fans, but also in those that work to keep his true legacy alive. The Tupac Amiri Shakur Foundation, founded by his mother, Afeni Shakur, works diligently to do just that. And recently, the foundation hosted it's first Los Angeles Leadership and Arts Camp at Art Share in downtown LA.

Surrounded by beautiful, eclectic artwork, colored walls, and enthusiastic kids I talked with those in attendance about the importance of the camp, giving back to the community, and how TuPac personally inspired them. Listen to what they had to say.

Cash Money Records Music Video Head Of Production and Talent Manager, Keith "KB" Brown

Guest Speakers: Black Thomas ("Step Up 2 The Streets"); G-Unit recording artist and actor 40 Glocc; 14 year old Gold Hip Hop recording artist/actor J. McCoy (Disney's "Jump In", Tupac's "Thugz Mansion" music video); and actor Sean Riggs ("Stomp The Yard", BET's "Hell Date").

Camp participant, Elisa Mendoza

TASF Camp Organizer, Vern Cambridge

Learn more about the foundation by visiting

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