Reconciling Duplicity: Feminism & Misogyny in 2Pac

Gender & Society, Spring 2013

Reconciling Duplicity in Tupac Shakur: Feminism and Misogyny

“So tell me am I wrong for trying to communicate through a song…”
-2Pac, “Run Tha Streetz”

The life and music of Tupac Amaru Shakur present an inextricable clash between feminism and misogyny. With over 75 million albums sold worldwide, 2Pac’s discography addresses a vast and diverse array of social and political issues that affect the black community. Ranging from lamentations of sexual abuse (“Brenda’s Got a Baby”) to outcries against poverty (“Po Nigga Blues”), 2Pac’s music often voices the plights of low-income, black, urban communities to audiences beyond “the hood.” Nonetheless, as a celebrity and sex icon, 2Pac and his lyrics attracted strong criticism from many prominent feminists, including C. Delores Tucker, decrying the misogyny and overt sexuality in his music.

Without a doubt, many of 2Pac’s songs are indeed filled with mentions of “bitches” (“Wonda…

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