Congresswoman Maxine Waters Says 2Pac Is Her Favorite Rapper
As a U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district and one of gangster rap's original defenders, Congresswoman Maxine Waters is in a unique position to evaluate hip-hop and its relationship with the law. She does just that in a new interview with the hosts of Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club. During the conversation, Waters reveals 2Pac is her favorite rapper. Check out the discussion below.
Speaking on 'Pac, Waters notes she got to know the rapper's late mother Afeni Shakur and says it was the empathy showcased in the MC's hit single "Dear Mama," which was inducted into the Library of Congress Registry seven years ago, that grabbed her the most.
"That really struck me as somebody who not only was brilliant and smart and all of that, but had a real sensibility and a heart and an understanding that a lot of people don't have," she says. "Tupac for me was very special and he was smart and I just... I loved him."
Elsewhere in the interview, Waters explains why she's always defended rap from the dangers of censorship. "I was one of the defenders of rap music even when it was gangster music because I thought it was creative and I thought that it opened up a whole new economic opportunity for black people where jobs and positions were created when they wouldn't play rap music on some of the major stations," she says.
As we alluded to before, Waters was on the frontlines defending rap music when the censorship of its content was being advocated in the early to mid-1990s. She says there's political incentive to censor music with potentially subversive qualities and because of that, she's not with it.
"When you have people who are willing to challenge the establishment, that is potentially dangerous for the establishment, so no, I don't believe in censorship," she says. And if you don't want your children to listen to music you deem offensive? "Don't listen to it," Waters says. "What you don't want your kids to hear or see, shut it down. But when you start to talk about limiting voices and opinions, I think that's dangerous."
Check out the rest of Waters' conversation below. The bit about 2Pac begins at the 11:25 mark. She explains her reasoning for defending rap at 12:45.
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