Unsolicited Career Advice for… Tupac Shakur

Written by Music, Unsolicited Career Advice

Hip-hop music is not typically Uncle Donnie’s thing, nor is hip-hop slang, nor hip-hop fashion. Basically, Uncle Donnie doesn’t understand hip-hop, though he does try. Apparently, he doesn’t read much about it, either, because he’s still wondering why he hasn’t heard back from Tupac, whose estate received the following missive from Uncle Donnie about a month ago. —RS

TO:  Tupac Shakur
FROM:  Don Skwatzenschitz
RE:  Career advice

Hi, there, Pac. You might not remember me, but we ran into each other in the men’s room at the Palladium back in ’94, at a Janet Jackson show. Wasn’t she great that night? My God, the sheer athleticism of that show—now there’s someone who has talent, who never has to stoop to silly publicity stunts (like, you know, public nudity or something) just to get people to listen to her music. Awesome. Though, I did really want to see the end of her show but couldn’t, because that one overly eager bodyguard of yours snapped my collar bone like he was breaking a pencil. But I let bygones be bygones, you know? Life’s too short.

So here it is, 2009, and I’m just now hearing the last record you put out, Pac’s Life, from 2006 (my wife Mitzi and her hip-hop tai chi class use “Playa Cardz Right” in their “2zday Mix”). What amazing poetry you, um, drop. Bringing in T.I. and Ashanti on the track “Pac’s Life” was a stroke of genius too, uh, playa. They’re totally hot right now. Why haven’t you done anything in the last two or three years? I went back to some of your other records, and was just floored by your delivery and the way you bring in these awesome guest stars and producers. “Fuck ‘Em All,” from Better Dayz? Talk about universal sentiment, uh, dawg. And “Thug N U Thug N Me,” from Until the End of Time is my new anthem. I’m even getting a t-shirt made with that on it.

Anyway, uh, homie, I think you need to get back out in front of people again, and I have some ideas to help you do just that. Be open-minded, though—some of these might seem odd, particularly to an obvious recluse like yourself. Just hear me out, though, um, yo. Check out this, uh, fly shizznit:

  • Make more music. Remember the buzz when “California Love” came out? You’ve got to put aside any issues you have with Dr. Dre and get back into the studio. Like, now. You’ve obviously been fairly prolific until recently (how many double albums have you put out? Three? Four?). Maybe you just need to rekindle a flame that’s gone out. Even if you and Dre can’t hash things out, you simply must have more tunes left in you. More rhymes. I’ve got a great rhyming dictionary here; if you think it’ll help, it’s yours.
  • Get back into movies. I’ve seen Poetic Justice about 100 times (it’s that Janet thing again), and Above the Rim was pretty, um, bangin’. But you haven’t been in anything since Gridlock’d in ’97. What’s wrong with you? You are a real acting talent, buddy, and you’re just wasting time while that pansy-ass Will Smith gets all the good roles (you would’ve been perfect in I Am Legend). In Hollywood, you take 11 or 12 years off, and it’s like you’re a ghost. People have got to see you again; you’re too good to not be onscreen. I’ve got a contact at Dreamworks, if you’re interested. Let me know.
  • Blog. It’s the 21st century, Pac, and you’ve got to be out there, communicating with your fans, letting them know you’re alive, man. You’ve got these hit records and you’re working with talented people, but get with it on the technology end, pal. Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Twitter. Do you even know what Twitter is? Well, to be honest, I just found out about it myself a couple weeks ago. But that just proves my point—technology moves fast, friend. Get on the wagon, or you’ll get left in the dirt.
  • Fake your death. People will buy damn near anything you put out if they think it’s a posthumous release. Now, I respect you and all, Pac, but you have hung with some tough elements in your life. We could concoct a scenario no one would ever believe, like, getting shot somewhere really public. Do you think De La Hoya’s going to fight again? Maybe you could do it in Vegas. Somewhere completely implausible, so people think you’re gone. Instant millions, Pac. I’m telling you. You could fart in front of a beat, or rap a nursery rhyme, and if we say it’s from “the late Tupac Shakur,” they’ll buy it.

Then you could go back to the hermit’s life, like you’re living now. Go silent. Like, Sly Stone silent. And rake in the bucks. It’s all there for the taking, um, G. Give me a call, and we can make it happen.

All the best,
Don

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