Slain Rapper Mourned At His Boyhood Church: ‘I Will Weep for Tupac’
NEW YORK (AP) _ Tupac Shakur, remembered by many as a violent rapper who died in the gangsta culture he glorified, was mourned at his boyhood church Sunday as the victim of a society that destroys black youth.
``He had the genes, he had the ability, could we have provided the society that would have made him blossom,″ the Rev. Herbert Daughtry said at The House of the Lord Pentecostal Church in Brooklyn.
Two days after the 25-year-old Shakur died of gunshots wounds suffered in a drive-by shooting on a Las Vegas street, the pastor asked: ``Who will weep for Tupac Shakur?″
``I will weep for Tupac,″ he replied.
Though he left Brooklyn in his teens, Shakur still is listed as a member of the congregation he joined when he was 15, with his mother and sister.
Shakur _ who had served time for assault, weapons violations and sex abuse _ was hit by four bullets Sept. 7 as he rode in a car driven by the head of his label, Death Row Records chief Marion ``Suge″ Knight.
Knight, who suffered minor injuries, and an entourage of at least 10 cars, including bodyguards, have failed to provide any suspects.
Los Angeles police told Newsweek magazine on condition of anonymity that the shooting of three Crips gang members in Compton, Calif., last week was in retaliation for the Shakur shooting. Other sources told the magazine more retribution was likely.
``Whoever did it is seriously in some s--- because this isn’t something Suge is going to just drop,″ a friend of Knight’s said in the Sept. 23 issue. ``You will start seeing Negroes drop real soon.″
Sunday, Los Angeles police disputed the Newsweek report. While they acknowledged there was a triple shooting in Compton on Friday, they said the motive was unknown. Officer Vince Aguirre, a department spokesman, told The Associated Press there were no Shakur-related shootings ``that we’ve heard about in L.A.″
Despite the controversy and success of Shakur, anonymous music industry sources told Newsweek they believe Knight was the target.
``The best way to get Suge is to mess with his money,″ said a source close to Death Row. ``Tupac is his money.″
In Brooklyn, Daughtry told about 150 people in the half-full church that Shakur’s self-proclaimed ambition to be ``a revolutionary″ against injustice to blacks ``was just as real as Martin’s and Malcolm’s,″ referring to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
``I know that there are those who say he went about it the wrong way,″ Daughtry added. ``But it’s not for me to judge.″
The black activist preacher, who was Shakur’s spiritual counselor for the past decade, referred to the rapper’s mother, who was pregnant when she was jailed as a member of the militant Black Panther party.
Shakur, ``a young man who lived a violent life,″ followed in his mother’s footsteps by trying to rebel against a racist society, Daughtry said.
Violence will flourish, the minister warned, as long as black communities must struggle against high unemployment, poor housing and drugs,
Charles Barron, a former member of the Black Panthers and now Daughtry’s assistant, described Shakur as a ``very sensitive and a very shy young man.″
``I knew Tupac as a 10-year-old, and he wrote some poetry to me then. He was very sincere, very secure,″ Barron said.