Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Original Gangstas' Author On Tupac's Legacy And Early Hip-Hop's Influence

A mural dedicated to rapper Tupac Shakur in  Los Angeles. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)
A mural dedicated to rapper Tupac Shakur in Los Angeles. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

The late Tupac Shakur will soon become the sixth hip-hop artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honor Ben Westhoff says is well-deserved.

Westhoff (@ben_westhoff) is the author of “Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap,” as well as a recent article in The Guardian on Tupac’s legacy.

Westhoff talks with Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti about Tupac’s influence on modern rappers like Kendrick Lamar, and the inherent contradiction of gangsta rap glorifying violence while simultaneously calling for social change.

Book Excerpt: ‘Original Gangstas’

Array

Excerpted from ORIGINAL GANGSTAS by Ben Westhoff. Copyright © 2016 by Ben Westhoff. Excerpted by permission of Hachette Books.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.