The Jay Graves Report

Tupac’s negative influence on Iverson, the NBA and black culture! “Blurred”

Confucius once said, “The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” Ryan Reynolds gave it to us like this, “When you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.” Then Earl Nightingale shut the buildin’ down with, “Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.

Well playas…a dun named Tupac Shakur re-shaped attitudes and expectations in this world for the worst and boyz wanna act like it didn’t happen. He was probably the most influential rapper of all-time. His music will transcend all genre’s and cultures for a lifetime and he was one of the most talented entertainers to ever hold a microphone. However, he  probably had the worse influence on African-American culture in history because he was responsible for makin’ it sexy to be considered a thug. Erasin’ nearly all of the self respect and dignity that those that came before him marched and died for.

His movement of Thug Life turned the game on it’s ear in the early to mid nineties. Because Pac had so much influence and leadership he was able to convince young African American women that bein’ a thug was not only acceptable but necessary. Allen Iverson, who was just inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, took the torch from Pac and ran with it into the NBA after leavin’ prestigious Georgetown University, I might add. Thus givin’ birth to the sexy-thug-baller-type cat that boyz don’t even blink twice at now.

Now everybody in the league looks like Iverson did 20 years ago and Pac more than 20. Boyz like Jordan were clean and always rockin’ a hot suit lookin’ like a million bucks. Now these cats look like they’re about to rob the corner store or be the toughest guy in the nerd house on campus with the gear they’re wearin’! They look like a thug on the floor and a nerd off the joint. Even corporate and college women have found it to be appealin’ now. Don’t get it twisted bruh, it was the poet that set the game in motion.

Let’s keep it real or all the way 100, whichever comes 1st! When I was kid growin’ up in the “G” there were thugs and gangsta’s everywhere. There were several street gangs that converged on my high school alone. We had the GD Folks, Vice Lords and One Way all under one roof.  It was cool because the ball players and thugs always had tall respect for one another. Thugs liked tellin’ boyz that the athletes were their homies and vice versa. Most importantly, they didn’t holla at the same women so there was never any beef.

Now the lines have been blurred. You can’t tell an honor student or athlete from a gangsta and the women love it. Thug cats were only able to holla at thug chicks in my day! They didn’t get the women that were in the honors classes or those that were serious about school. They passed around the same “bout it” chicks as my man Master P would say and never got into boyz lanes that were goin’ places. As an athlete or even some regular cat, the last thing you ever thought about was some thug cat takin’ your woman. It was impossible because women that were about their business weren’t hollerin’ at thug cats.

Now it’s common to see women in Corporate America datin’ a drug dealer or some thug type because of the influence of Tupac. How many times do you hear women say that he’s not ruff enough or that he’s too nice.

In 1993 MC Lyte’s first Gold Album featurin’ her first top 40 pop hit featured a joint called “Ruff Neck!” In 2004 even the sophisticated Destiny’s Child got in on the foolishness when they released the hot joint entitled “Soldier” to further the case of datin’ duns in the street. Now don’t get me wrong thugs need love too but just not from the educated, corporate workin’ class women.

It’s just crazy that professional women have allowed their standards to fall to the level of takin’ care of a dun or datin’ some cat that’s runnin’ the streets.

It’s seems to be adventurous until reality kicks in when he goes upside her head or until he dies in the street and there’s no life insurance, savings accounts, 401K, property or pension to fall back on. They’d wish that they had the nice guy then. I’ve seen it happen way too many times. Trust me.

Let me put it where the goats can get it. The dope game had a major influence on why thugs got in on the nice girls as well. When crack hit the scene in the late ’80’s it made it possible for just your everyday broke cat to become rich in the hood. You didn’t necessarily have to be a stone gangsta to sell crack because it was so cheap to get in the game. Therefore, many times what looks like a thug really isn’t based on what a real thug is. You’ll catch that one in a few minutes. When you’ve got money it’s easy to get women with low self-esteem regardless of whether they’re professional or not.

Tupac wasn’t a thug at all. He was one of the most charismatic and talented people of the 20th century. However, in my opinion, he misused his influence to promote a lifestyle that has been destructive to not only the black community but all communities. I see more suburban white kids lookin’ like thugs now than ever before.

Notice that I’m usin’ the words “lookin’ like” to describe these cats. Pac said it best, “If I can influence the women first dudes will follow”. He made his music for the ladies because the fellas would bump whatever the females wanted to hear. Men will only become what women want them to become. If they wanted clean cut well dressed men, then men would be clean cut and well dressed like they were when I was comin’ up.

You couldn’t get a woman if you weren’t “G’d up”  or “Prep” as we used to say because that’s what the ladies DEMANDED. Now because women only want the thug look, we’ve got everybody walkin’ around in a thug costume.

Allen Iverson is a legend of the game and he could easily be gettin’ paid as an analyst on TV talkin’ about the game of basketball. However, nobody will take the dun seriously because he looks a mess. Ole boy stood up on that stage durin’ his Hall of Fame induction lookin’ like he hasn’t combed his hair in a month with tattoos all over his hands and neck. Now that was cool 20 years ago when he was tellin’ boyz that he wasn’t gonna conform. He was keepin’ real at the time. Now that he’s 40 plus it’s not cute anymore. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”  In other words bruh, act and dress like a grown man.

Pac was my guy but he left a legacy that many people completely overlook. I’m not sayin’ that he wasn’t a powerful, politically savvy, outspoken individual but he was flawed in this regard. I constantly hear people givin’ him props for his music and influence which they should, but no one has given him props for ultimately changin’ the  expectations that black women put on black men for the worse, which has spiraled out of control into the larger community. Now all we see is a shell of what men ought to be. Stop me when I stop lyin’!

Playas Thesaurus:

1) Dun: the person in question, dude, guy, etc. It’s whoever I’m talkin’ about bruh.

2) “G”: noun – Gary, Indiana

3) Beef: noun – animosity

4) Bout it: adjective – a person that’s down for whatever, you name it and they’ll get into it. A person that will fight at the drop of a hat or shoot a boy if need be. Stone gangsta!!

The G is excluded from the endings of all words because the G is near and dear to my heart because I’m from “The G” which is Gary, Indiana. So I only use the G when I’m talkin’ about “The G!”

The caption under the photo isn’t real but its real talk!