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September 26, 1996 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-26

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1{A - The Michigan Daily Weeken Magazine Thursday, September 26, 1996

xi . Ik

® Music Feature

eMichgan Dl eedMa
IBCommunity Feature

Lies tore

Tupac apart long

before his murder

Bowling in Ann Arbor:
Fun for students and
the average Joe

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
If I die 2nite,
No fear nigga, never worry.
IfI die 2nite,
Bury me a mutherfuckin' G, closed
casket, fuck death.
IfI die 2nite,
You know.
-Tupac Shakur; "IfI Die 2Nite"
I've wanted to write about Tupac
Shakur ever since "Me Against the
World" was released early last year; I
wanted to try to organize his turbulent
life on paper. Ironically, that which I
wanted to record - Tupac's life - was
the very thing that made me unable to
do so. Shakur was a living question
mark full of contradictions. I didn't
want to write about him only to wake up
anTdiscover that he'd pulled yet anoth-
er 360-degree turn on me. In fact, I used
to joke with myself that he would have
to be dead before I'd dare to write a sin-
gle word about him ... .
Saturday, Sept. 7. He'd just gone to
watch his boy Mike Tyson perform a
sort of 30-second, deja vu obliteration
of Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand in
Las Vegas. Afterward, he and boss-man
Suge Knight (CEO of Death Row
Records) were cruising in a '96 BMW
750 Sedan on their way to the local club

Then it came. A white Cadi.
The shot heard 'round the world. Then
another. And another. Thirteen in all.
Tupac was standing through the sun
roof... .
They were taken to University Medical
Center. Suge was grazed by shrapnel; he
was fine. Shakur was taken into surgery.
It was the first of three operations.
His right lung was removed. He may
never rap again. But it wasn't the end.
In the end, Tupac was dead - Friday,
Sept. 13, 1996, 4:03

of Thug Life. All that promise, all that
potential. Gone.
Shakur was many things, but most of
all he was a victim of his own words.
He was unable to escape the lifestyle he
both idealized and demonized without
apparent contradiction. Perhaps the
Rev. Jesse Jackson summed up Tupac's
life best when he said, "Sometimes the
lure of violent culture is so magnetic
that even when one overcomes it with
material success, it continues to call.
(Tupac) couldn't break the cycle."
Shakur was cer-
rtainly a very intro-
verted individual.
aWMAM He didn't say

Tupac Shakur's turbulent life and rap music career ended suddenly two weeks ago.

The doctors said it
was respiratory fail-
ure and a heart attack.
His mother, a for-
mer Black Panther,
was at his bedside.
He was 25 years old.

The shot1
-'rnlF 59 g

Then another And

much about him-
self to too many
people. And it
would be unfair to
take his tattooed,
nose-ringed body

Thus ended the
saga with more twists and turns, ups
and downs than "Forrest Gump."
Tupac's life was an epic spanning his
time as a dancer / rapper with Digital
Underground, four highly successful
solo albums, three movies, more than
half a dozen arrests in three years, a
sexual assault conviction, marriage and
finally his gruesome death, a morbidly
fitting end to complement his 25 years


and hardcore demeanor and assume that
to be the complete Shakur. It is only
through his music that one can begin to
see a more complete picture of this
mind-boggling man.
Tupac Shakur was delivered by God
into the bowels of American society. He
lived in a world most of America wishes
it could forget. There, the smallest tear,
the slightest sign of compassion, affec-
tion or the tiniest hint of fear would cost
him his manhood, the respect of others
and quite possibly, his life. Thus, like
many born into America's underclass,
Shakur had to create an identity, a lie of
coldness and unfeeling.
And when a man lives a lie, eventual-
ly he, too, comes to believe it. In his
own eyes, Tupac was the "I Get
Around" man, mackin', gattin' and
winning in the game of ghetto life.
While he had his moments of sensitivi-
ty on songs he rapped like "Brenda's
Got a Baby" and "Keep Your Head Up,"
nothing could compare to the hardcore
persona he worked to keep - no small
feat considering his fairly scrawny six-
foot, 160-pound frame.
Last year's sexual assault conviction
and a sentencing to four and one-half
years seems to have been the dose of

reality which finally snapped Tupac's
delusions of invincibility. In one fell
swoop, Shakur was given his first taste
of mere mortality. And as the day drew
near when Tupac would be locked up
among bigger, badder and even more
hardened men, his well-conceived lies
that were developed in those housing
projects ever-so-many years ago, began
to unravel. Yet Tupac could not cry; by
that point in his life he must have for-
gotten how.
But he still had his music, and
from him was born "Me Against the
World." Hearing this LP, the world
could sense Tupac's self-stripping.
His songs expressed every emotion
which, for his entire life, he'd been
forced to pretend he, never had. "Me
Against the World" was a manifesta-
tion of Tupac's fears ("Death around
the Corner"), anger ("Fuck the
World"), hopelessness ("Heavy in the
Game," "It Ain't Easy"), love and
affection ("Dear Mama," "Can U Get
Away") and yes, even a longing for a
better life ("Temptations").
"Me Against the World" was the
truth. It was the exposure of all that
Shakur had fought to keep concealed
due to his misguided notion of what it
means to be a black man. And while I
feel it relieved him a great deal to speak
out honestly about his hidden self, I also
feel that he was very embarrassed and
uncomfortable with this truth. Tupac's
entire life up to that point had been a
constructed illusion, and in that illusory
life, he could never be hurt, never be
sad, never be afraid.
The real world can be a cold and
lonely place, and Tupac wasn't ready to
face that. So when he was released from
prison pending appeal, he quickly

jumped back under the blankets of pro-
tective lies which he had cast aside on
"Me Against the World," and from those
quarters came "All Eyez on Me," a two-
CD self-glorification meant to put him
back on the pedestal of demi-god-ness
he'd lied himself into thinking he
belonged on. Nothing could yank him
down ... -
... Save 13 bullets. They pulled him
down through the sunroof and out of the
clouds. They brought him crashing
headfirst into real life, and no amount
of Thug Life could raise him back up.
No one can say Tupac wasn't given a
chance. He was given much more than
just 15 minutes of fame, and he chose
to use the popularity and power to bol-
ster the illusions. It wasn't the bullets
which killed Tupac Shakur. The lies
tore him apart long ago. I can only
hope that, wherever he may be now,
Tupac will be able to review the con-
tents of what was his empty life. And
at one point, when the angels and
demons have their backs turned and no
one but God can see, I pray Tupac will
be able to summon the energy and the
courage to allow a single tear to drop
from his eye.
I'm havin' visions of leavin'here in
a hearse, God can Yafeel me?
Take me awayfrom all tha pressure
and all tha pain.
Show me some happiness again; I'm
I spend mv time in this cell, ain't
livin ' well.
I know my destiny is Hell, where did
I fail?
My life is in denial, and when I die,
baptised in Eternal Fire.
Shed so many tears.
-Tupac Shakur; "So Many Tears "

By Use Harwin
Daily Music Editor
Bowling. Conjuring up images of
really funky shoes, really boring tele-
vised championship games and gutter-
balls, bowling is the beloved sport of
the average Joe. Rarely does anyone's
average score impress others and rarely
does one manage to get more than three
strikes in a row. Fortunately, the sheer
fun and community of the game has
inspired all generations of people to set
forth and head out to the alleys. And,
the youth of Ann Arbor is no exception
to this rule.
Bowling. In
technical terms, Conjuring
bowling is any
of several o
games in which
balls are rolled funky she
on a green ort e i
down an alley att
an object o fchampion
group on:
objects. It's the d'1mes
game many of
us played indE erbal
middle or high
school phyical i t e sp
education class-
es when we Avarada 1



is, bowling
art of the

regular basis.
Beta Theta Pi
has regular Rock
'n' Bowl nights,
a chance to, as
one patron put it,
"Get loaded and
have a good

that that's not all Rock 'n' Bowl is
about. "In general, it's just a fun thing to
do on a Thursday night," Gordon said.
In fact, she likes Rock 'n' Bowl so
much that she's never even bothered to
check out any other alleys. But, when
pressured to talk about the current DJ
situation, Gordon did have a few com-
ments. "DJ Romeo didn't play our
request. He also doesn't encourage
dancing as (Reggie) did. There aren't
any contests any more, but Romeo does
do the 'Birthday Song."' Really, what
would bowling be without the
" B i r t h d a y
An over-
whelming com-
r ally ment of all Rock
'n' Bowl atten-
dees was that a
certain fraternity
could be spotted
-Es. there on a fairly

Chris Mayberry practices bowling at Colonial Lanes in Ann Arbor.
Bowling in the Ann Arbor area
Most bowling alleys have weekly nights for open bowl -i
tion on joining a league.
V Bel-Mark Lanes: 3530 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 994-843
~ Chelsea Lanes: 1180 S. Main St., Chelsea; 475-8141.
V Colonial Lanes Bowling Center (Rock 'n' Bowl on Thursc
Ann Arbor; 665-4474.
~ Dexter Bowling Alley: 2830 Baker Rd., Dexter; 426-470
~ Maplewood Lanes: 830 Woodland Dr., Saline; 429-5457
~ Ypsi-Arbor Lanes: 2985 Washtenaw Rd., Ypsilanti; 434-


ArlwsQp r it




were getting
away with something because it was
just too easy. It's strikes and spares that
have nothing to do with irate workers
or flat tires. It's drinking with buddies
and cheezy bowling alley music. For
locals, it's Colonial Lanes Rock 'n'
Bowl every Thursday night.
W hy Rock 'n' Bowl? Why not Ypsi-
Arbor Lanes, Detroit's Majestic or any
number of others bowling venues? For
University students, it all comes down
to atmosphere. As said before, bowl-
ing just isn't bowling without bad
music, alcohol and friends, and, lucky
for them, Rock 'n' Bowl manages to
have all of these qualities in abun-
The only downfall of Rock 'n'
Bowl, according to University stu-
dent Dave LaMond (top score 183),
is that the powers that be let DJ
Reggie go. "DJ Reggie from last year
was excellent. Now it's some other
fool. It used to be good, cheezy R&B
... now it's everything from AC/DC
to '80s hits."
But is this really enough to be upset
about? To LaMond, it is. "DJ Reggie
used to have a contest called 'Turkey
Fest.' The first lane that got three
strikes would win all sorts of prizes
ranging from free CDs to T-shirts.
Now it's not the same. There aren't
any contests!"
Other students seem to feel that
change is good. Cynthia Gordon, anoth-
er Rock 'n' Bowl regular (her room-
mate scored a 180), feels that the new
DJ, Romeo, still plays bad music, but

Though he
does wish they would play more bands,
Newhauser said that when he manages
to go to Rock 'n' Bowl, he's usually
"too drunk to know."
As with any other Rock 'n' Bowl reg-
ular, Newhauser, along with Gordon
and LaMond, felt that Rock 'n' Bowl
was an experience not to be missed by
any student and that, as LaMond put it,
anyone who comes once will "be
For those of you not interested in
bowling to the oldies, Ann Arbor offers
several other options for your bowling
pleasure. There are Bel-Mark Lanes,
Ypsi-Arbor, Dexter and others. And,
for those of you with an affinity for
Detroit, there is always the Majestic /
Magic Stick, which manages to com-
bine live rock 'n' roll, pool tables, bars,
a nice restaurant and several bowling
lanes in one tremendous building.
Overkill for some, but for others, the
perfect way to spend an evening with
All in all, several Ann Arborites have
found bowling to be the most enjoyable
way to relax after a full day of classes.
The most important things to keep in
mind are that to bowl, one never has to
be good -just willing to deal with a
gutterball or two. Just remember, a
bowling alley draws a diverse and
interesting crowd, so be prepared to
people-watch. Young, old, Greek or not,
keep in mind that everyone wears
funny shoes in a bowling alley and
everyone is guaranteed to have a good


k wmwmmmm

just $2.00 a class,
pay at the door
Now until December 6!
First come-First serve
Saturdays 10-11ameSundays 3-4pm
All classes in room 3275 CCRB

--\' '.--

F s
* Herbs* Foods.
*Vita mins.Books.Cosmetics*

for Students

Qead "e6tate
of the Arts"
every week
in the
Ltc. Magazine.

1677 Plymouth Rd.* Ann Arbor eTel. 665-7688
Located in the Courtyard Shops at North Campus Plaza


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