Archive | March, 2010

Tupac Shakur’s ‘Thug Life’ Tattoo

30 Mar

Tupac Shakur’s ‘Thug Life’ tattoo presents a statement that is much more than just being a tough person. According to the sources, ‘Thug Life’ is an acronym for, “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.” Considering that this statement made absolutely no sense to me, I researched what the actual statement of ‘Thug Life’ meant for Tupac Shakur.

‘Thug Life’ represents the life of a person that struggled since birth, a person who continues to struggle, but overall, a person that works through those struggles to succeed in life. Urban Dictionary defines ‘thug life’ as “someone who had nothing, and was nothing, and became something.”

According to Urban Dictionary, it is essential for one to not confuse a thug with a ‘gangster’. A gangster is one who commits illegal acts, does not necessarily work hard for what he/she wants, and is also a “wannabe thug.”

However, I find this statement to be contradictory because when looking at Shakur’s lyrics of “Thug for Life,” he states that he is a thug because he worked out of poverty through illegal work; specifically, selling drugs. This act of illegal work is also seen in Shakur’s “Code of Thug Life.” Shakur established the “Code of Thug Life” at the ‘Truc Picnic’ (a friend/family gathering) in California. The code entails rules such as selling drugs and not obeying the police. However, there are positive rules that state that all should show respect, must stop rape and brutality to others, and stop the abuse of the elderly as well.

In all, I believe that Thug Life represents a life that shows success. However that success does not have to be achieved through legal means. Rather, it does not matter how one’s goals are achieved, just as long as one works hard for those ultimate goals. I also believe that one does not have to come out of poverty. Therefore if one’s goal is to go from a millionaire status to a billionaire status, and works hard for that goal, that also represents a life of a thug. Thus anyone can live a ‘Thug Life’ and be considered a thug.

Primary Source:

  • Tupac Shakur’s torso that displays the tattoo stating ‘Thug Life’

Secondary Sources:

Tertiary Sources: