The book “Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap” by Ben Westhoff recounts an interesting detail about Pac’s life.
In the early nineties, Pac began dabbling in drug dealing. It was a means to an end. But he also realized how damaging the drug trade was to the black community.
So Pac and his stepbrother Mopreme developed a code of ethics for drug dealers to live by.
The code later acted as a framework for the famous Watts ‘Truce Barbecue’ treaty between Bloods and Crips. Westhoff writes:
Fights interrupted the proceedings, and a police helicopter descended upon the scene to break things up. But the meetings produced fruit; the involved parties agreed to abide by a twenty-six-point treaty, a code of ethics for the drug‑dealing game to reduce violence and harm to the community at large. Its bullet points decried selling to the underage and pregnant, as well as protecting civilians and making the hood “safe for squares.”
This was the code Tupac and Mopreme had dreamed up in Oakland before the truce meetings took place. They called it Thug Life, and had received help from Mopreme’s father, Mutulu Shakur, locked up at Lompoc federal prison upstate, who put it to paper. Mopreme said their thinking was: “If we could just put a governor on the greed and focus on survival, we might save a few lives.”
It’s extraordinary that Tupac was able to facilitate this. He’d only recently arrived in California and didn’t come from a gangbanging background. But suddenly the hardest gangbangers were enlisting his counsel. Tupac’s Black Panthers connections, with whom he’d stayed in touch even after moving away from his mother, helped connect him with these veteran Watts gang members, who loved his music and what he stood for. “I got people in the penitentiary, big‑time OG criminals, calling me, telling me they want me to lead their movement,” Tupac explained.
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