Things That Matter

Tupac Represented For Latinos With Lyrics Like ‘It Wouldn’t Be L.A. Without Mexicans,’ But Here’s Why We Really Loved Him

An entire generation of rappers have come and gone since Tupac Shakur’s 1996 fatal shooting occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada, but the legacy of the slain icon has continued long after his death.

Among many things, history will remember Tupac as someone who almost single-handedly — because of a beef with Notorious B.I.G. — ignited a rap feud between two coasts during the height of the gangster rap era. He’ll also be remembered as one of the most successful rappers in history with a number of platinum albums and thousands of unreleased songs that continue to fill the radio airwaves across the United States.

But while his influence was universal, Latinos were especially drawn to Tupac’s music and made up one of his most loyal fan bases in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Phoenix.

CREDIT: Credit: 2Pac/Instagram

Like many other Latinos who grew up in L.A. during the early 1990s, I, too, was completely consumed by Tupac’s music.

He was the first voice I listened to when I turned the radio on in the morning, and the last voice I heard at the end of a day when I fell asleep listening to his music on my Sony Walkman.

Tupac was a lot of things to different people: He was the best friend who had your back the time Jose and his boys tried to jump you behind McDonalds, the friend who urged you to ditch school every Friday, and, of course, the friend who always seemed to have wisdom far beyond their age.

But he was far from perfect.

Like any other popular figure, Tupac was a complex person with undeniable shortcomings.

He was just as likely to refer to women as  b***** as he was to refer to them as queens. He was an advocate for peace between communities of color while firing back at rivals with threats of physical violence.

As a result, his songs reflected the multiple layers of his personality.

“He was an advocate for peace between communities of color while firing back at rivals with threats of physical violence.”

Songs like “Keep Your Head Up” and “Changes” uplifted us whenever we had a problem at home or school. “Hail Mary” is what you listened to when you finally got the nerve to confront Jose and his crew after school for attempting to jump you behind McDonalds. And “Dear Mama” helped us celebrate the way our mothers always found ways to provide for us beyond their means.

But as I noticed then, and continue to see, I was never alone in my love for Tupac.

Tupac, however, made it very clear about who his message was directed to. His music continued the legacy of African-American artists whose music was tailored for African-Americans in inner city communities who were facing multiple forms of discrimination.

CREDIT: Credit: 2Pac/Instagram

Still, Latinos often worked and lived in similar neglectful conditions, which created shared frustrations.

We’ll never know the moment Tupac started to understand the importance of Latinos to U.S. society, but we can estimate that living in Los Angeles gave him an idea, particularly when he paid homage to Latinos in his hit song, “To Live and Die in L.A.,” claiming that it “wouldn’t be L.A. without Mexicans, black love, brown pride, in the sets again.”

For Los Angeles-based poet Angela Aguirre, 29, it was songs like “To Live and Die in L.A.” that helped her build connections with African Americans in her community and helped her understand that his message was also intended for Chicanas.   

“Seeing how hard he rode for the black community empowered me to ride equally as hard for mine,” she explained to me over email. “I had always been an outspoken Chicana, but Tupac’s music came out during my formative years and the politically conscious nature of that music influenced me to be more conscious of the same types of oppression that he spoke about.”

The 1990s, as Aguirre explains, were, in fact, a particularly challenging time for Latinos in California.

CREDIT: Credit: Tumblr

Border security was being tightened up, police were targeting Latinos in inner cities, and state bills like proposition 209 and 187 negatively impacted the economic and social conditions of Latinos throughout the state.

In addition, we were still living in an era where Latinos were often excluded from mainstream conversations of race.

As a result, Tupac’s lyrics often resonated with Latinos because he gave a growing, and often invisible part of the U.S. population, a vocabulary to express frustration, fears, and hopes for the future.

“Tupac was a lot of things,” Aguirre continued, “which is why I fucked with him so heavy. He was so multidimensional and complex as a person and an artist. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t problematic or even misogynistic at times, but because of his upbringing, Tupac was woke before ‘woke’ was even a thing and the most appealing thing about him was his sincerity.”

What made Tupac’s appeal even more far-reaching, I believe, was that his message also impacted Latinos outside of major California cities like, Mikael Rojas, who grew up in state of Washington, and Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez, 28, who grew up in Ensenada, Mexico.  

“Tupac was one of the most important people in my life,” explained, Rojas, a native of Yakima, Washington. “He said it was OK to be a minority and it connected with me even though I lived in rural Washington.”

“….Tupac’s lyrics often resonated with Latinos because he gave a growing, and often invisible part of the U.S. population, a vocabulary to express frustration, fears, and hopes for the future.”

Sanchez-Lopez, who grew up in Mexico, had a similar connection to Tupac.

“I didn’t even know what he was saying the first time I heard his music,” he explained, “but I knew how his voice made me feel.”

That Tupac was able to connect with fans and listeners outside of Los Angeles and other major West Coast cities should come to no surprise given the way his music was able to transcend race, sex, gender, and class. 

For people like Anaheim, California, native, Jesus Cortez, 37, however, Tupac’s song, “Life Goes On,” represented a form of therapy that helped him cope with the death of two of his friends which he lost to street violence.

“That song helped me get me through and helped me maintain my level of sanity,” he explained to me from his home in Anaheim. “I had just lost two good friends of mine to the streets and he said that life goes on even if you lose your homies.”

“My mind was all over the place and I was able to focus and he got me through.”

For Cortez, who like Tupac, was also raised by a single mother, life often presented challenges for him and his family, Tupac’s song, “Dear Mama,” helped him understand that being a single mother and raising a male teenager was no easy task.

CREDIT: Credit: Instagram/@independent_quotes5 and @2pac

“I was growing up with me and my mom and “Dear Mama” hit home because nobody had talked about their mom like that before in a song. We all loved our moms even though they were sometimes flawed. And a lot of us were growing up in broken homes and he made it OK to say ‘I love my mama.’”

“Dear Mama” indeed brought families closer together and allowed men to express their feelings towards their mothers in a vulnerable way, but Tupac’s legacy also inspired a generation of his fans who named their children in honor of his legacy.

Peruvian-American, Ana del Rocio, 31, grew up in California during the height of Tupac’s career and named her son, Tupac Amaru, in honor of the the rapper’s career and his namesake: Incan general Tupac Amaru II, who led revolts against the Spanish.

“What he stood for — revolution, poetic lyricism, and building up mothers and women of color — inspired me so much that I named my first child Tupac Amaru,” she described from her home in Portland, Oregon where she works as a policy director. “I chose the name to honor both the artist and the indigenous Peruvian warrior-chiefs, my ancestors, that Tupac Shakur was named after.”

“I see so many powerful warrior legacies living and breathing in my son every day, and it gives me so much hope for our resistance as a people.”

CREDIT: Credit: http://celebsofcolor.tumblr.com/post/162942657842/kendrick-lamar-for-interview-magazine and http://caballooscuro.tumblr.com/post/74791927343

Del Rocio reminds us that while Tupac may have directly impacted her life in the 1990s, the legacy of his impact continues in the next generation of Latinos like her son, who will continue to carry his name and his message.

In the same vein, Tupac also inspired an entire generation of west coast rappers like, Compton native, Kendrick Lamar, whose autobiographical albums, “Good Kid M.A.A.D City,” and, “To Pimp A Butterfly,” have individual songs, which continue Tupac’s message about black-brown unity.

Latinos, today, are often drawn to Kendrick’s music for many of the same reasons: sincere, heady, and jarring depictions of the human experience. But, more importantly, Kendrick understands, like Tupac did over twenty-years ago, that Latinos are an important part of U.S. society that continue to grow in size and influence as each day passes. 

READ: Cardi B Reminds Us That Latinos Have A Complicated Relationship To The N-Word

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Latinas Are Sharing What Their Eyebrows Tragically Looked Like When They First Tried Anastasia Dipbrow

Entertainment

Latinas Are Sharing What Their Eyebrows Tragically Looked Like When They First Tried Anastasia Dipbrow

We all know that eyebrows trends are cyclical. For every decade that there’s a pluck-everything-out-and-sharpie-it-on trend, there’s another that’s all about the au naturel “Blue Lagoon” look. For example, back in the 90s, the look du jour was pencil-thin arches that Latinas like Christina Aguilera and Cameron Diaz favored. But as the 2000s wore on and celebs like the Kardashians and Cara Delevigne grew in popularity, it was no longer the style to have barely-there brows. Instead, the fashion was big, bold, and bushy. And for those of us who were not naturally blessed with bushy brows, the only option was to march our butts into Sephora and invest in some Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Dip Prow Pomade. 

Anyone who’s tried ABH’s infamous Dip Brow Pomade knows that it takes a light touch to skillfully apply the makeup and avoid looking like Oscar The Grouch. With this particular brow pomade, a little goes a long way. But when you’re scrolling through Instagram for hours and seeing all of the Baddie Influencers in all their brow-licious glory, it can be easy to get carried away with your spoolie and angle brush. Hence, the over-filled brow trend was born. 

Naturally, with the advent of social media, all of our embarrassing eyebrow-related missteps are now documented publicly for the world to see forever. 

Recently, Twitter celeb @cakefacecutie posted an all-too accurate Tweet about the way her eyebrows used to look.

The tweet referenced the aforementioned Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Prow Pomade that had virtually taken over Instagram a mere few years ago. While the rest of us were trying to forget the brick-like ombre eyebrows that looked like they’d been tattooed onto people’s faces, @cakefacecutie was reminiscing about the good ol’ days.

Who knows how the over-drawn brow look started? A more natural-looking brow has come back into style since then, rendering the “Baddie” eyebrow look obsolete and embarrassing. But at the time, it had taken over the makeup world’s aesthetic pretty quickly and with a vengeance. We all knew that girl (or were that girl) who was walking around with perma-RBF because her brows were penciled into a terrifying scowl. 

Obviously, @cakefacecutie’s tweet struck a chord, because soon her followers were sharing their own personal stories of their eyebrow evolution.

It seemed as if Twitter users were practically jumping at the chance to chime in with their makeup horror stories. 

Even this girl’s cat was side-eyeing her questionable eyebrow decisions. 

Of course, there were more than a few Latinas who shared their pics of their too-thick fake dark brows.

Let’s be honest: Latinas have never really been able to resist a thick brow (we’re looking at you, Frida!)

Back in the day, it seems as if no one was immune to the shiny allure of the dip-prow pomade!

As we said before, we blame the trend on the emergence of Cara Delevigne as Tumblr’s new It girl. We all wanted bold brows and if we had to resort to Sephora to get them, then that was just the risk we were willing to take. 

How could we forget the concealer-under-the-brow look?

Of course, an over-done eyebrow look wouldn’t be complete without “carving out” your eyebrows with a too-light concealer to really define the look with sharp edges. Because heaven forbid one hair is out of place.

As more and more people added their memories to the Twitter thread, the photos became funnier and funnier.

Maybe the Universe allows bad brow trends to happen so we can laugh about it years later on Twitter? Just a thought.

Some people’s pictures honestly looked like they were joking, the photos were so over-the-top:

There’s something about eyebrow trends that makes people go blind to the oddity of what they’re doing to their faces. And so many of us were walking around like this without anyone stopping us. Let’s be honest: friends don’t let friends overfill their brows with ABH Eyebrow Pomade. 

Unfortunately, because of the way fashion works, we’re sure that we’re currently indulging in some sort of trend that will make us look back and cringe in years to come. Maybe it’s our beloved high-waisted jeans, or the drawn-on freckles, or the resurgence of the 90s face-framing tendrils. But, one thing’s for sure: we’ll all be roasting ourselves on Twitter for thinking we looked good.

This Latina Got A Text From Her Ex Right Before His Wedding Day And Twitter Is Wrecked

Fierce

This Latina Got A Text From Her Ex Right Before His Wedding Day And Twitter Is Wrecked

What would you do if an ex of yours were to hit you up out of the blue? To some it might not be a big deal, to others, it might be a little weird, and to many, it might just be a little random.  

Added plot twist: what would you do if an ex of yours were to hit you up right before his wedding day? What are you supposed to do in a situation like that? Alexa, play “Someone Like You” by Adele. 

Last week, Twitter user Alexsa Sanchez Aquilar tweeted out a text she received from an ex right before his wedding day.

Yup, you heard that right.

In a post to her Twitter feed, Sanchez Aquilar shared that her ex texted after out of the blue. The day before his wedding.  the “I’m getting married tomorrow. I wanted to send you this message. (My fiance knows I’m sending this to you) Thank you for being my first love. Thank you for always encouraging me, thank you for keeping me out of trouble, thank you for the times you took care of me when I was sick, and depressed. Thank you for loving me. If you haven’t already I hope you one day find love,” the message says.

While the woman who shared the tweet didn’t say much when sharing the initial screenshot beside “i–i’m speechless” –– other people on Twitter had a lot of mixed reactions as the tweet quickly went viral.

The really long message from her ex goes on to say, “If you loved me that much when we were young I can only imagine how strong people and powerful your love is now. The way your heart is made it’s amazing. I know we were only kids when we dated but you taught me what love is. To the man who is lucky enough to have you as their wife I hope he treats you with care, I hope he knows who he has in front of him, I hope he shows you love and loyalty every day. You deserve that and more.”

“My point in all of this is, you are the reason why I know how to love someone. You taught me love, you taught me how to deal with my anger, how to deal with my depression and how to live life to the fullest and I’m grateful for you. I wish you love and happiness.”

BuzzFeed, who first wrote about the viral tweet, also reached out to Aguilar for comment. “At first, I didn’t know what to say. I started crying when I read the text –– it warmed my heart that I helped him be a better version of himself.”

But of course, many didn’t share Aguilar’s sentiment had questions about why the ex felt the need to send her a text the day before his wedding?

Like, should Aguilar have been like “congratulations, but are you sure about getting married?”

While some understood where @masonrain_ was coming from, they felt that perhaps the ex-boyfriend was simply reflecting and expressing his gratitude toward Aquilar –– even if the timing felt a bit sketchy.

But @masonrain_  flat out thought it was disrespectful to both Aguilar and the fiancé. It got people thinking and arguing about whether you’d be a little thrown off if your partner told you that they’d be reaching out to their ex the day before your wedding?

Ultimately, many Twitter users disputed these sentiments and arguments pointing out that in a lot of cases, breakups and past relationship make can make us stronger and that reflecting on them and growing from those mistakes is a good thing.

Plus, while some relationship may have ended badly –– you don’t always have to hold on to resentment or residual feelings of animosity for the rest of your life.

It sounds like Aguilar and her ex-boo went through a lot during their time together as a young couple, and it sounds like they look back at it fondly rather than negatively.

For one, Aguilar tells BuzzFeed that the texts weren’t weird at all –– despite everybody else’s two cents about the situation. She tells BuzzFeed that she and her ex had helped each other through difficult times. “We helped each other heal, I feel like no matter what happens, he and I will forever have respect towards each other,” she said.

Like Aguilar said we can all benefit from a broken heart and allow ourselves to see why a relationship might not have worked out and chalk it up it as a lesson learned.

I wanted to show that just because things don’t work out with someone, that doesn’t mean you should have hate towards them,” Aguilar said. “Regardless of everything, you were meant to be a part of that person’s life, and them, yours.”

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