Funkmaster Flex is standing behind his recent critical comments on the life and legacy of the late Tupac Shakur.
The clip, which shows Flex angrily admonishing those who revere the late icon (“I don’t suck Tupac’s dick!”), went viral over the past two days after lying dormant on YouTube for months.
While Flex apologized for his words, he stood by his stance of choosing not to idolize Tupac’s life, believing he brought a lot of negativity with his beef tactics that haunt Hip-Hop even 14 years after his death.
“He brought a negative energy into the game with the beefing, erratic energy, and the threats,” Flex explained on his Hot 97 radio show. “Dude didn’t have no good energy towards me…I can’t support everything people say about him. I feel that energy he brought put a lot of negativity, and brought changes to the game we live with now. That’s just the way I feel.”
Flex’s comments have already elicited a response from Shakur’s Outlawz crew, who dropped the diss song “Warning Shots.” On the track, the group issues standard threats (“They call your number you’re done/ See how Bigge and Pac felt up under the gun”), and blame Flex for ruining New York’s Hip-Hop scene (“He’s half of the reason Nas said Hip-Hop died…”).
At press time, Funkmaster Flex has not responded to the Outlawz record.
FUNKMASTER FLEX CLARIFIES HIS VIEWS ON TUPAC
OUTLAWZ “WARNING SHOTS”
I’m very surprised that Tupac rant from Flex was recent. I was almost certain it was something from the 90’s that someone just decided to post. With that said, Funkmaster Flex is more than entitled to opinion, and I respect him for clarifying his stance.
To make a boxing analogy, how Tupac is viewed in Hip-Hop reminds me of how Muhammad Ali is perceived in boxing. Most people love Ali for his affable personality, funny knockout predictions, and overall swagger. However, there is a small but vocal minority that call attention to Muhammad Ali’s darker side: his womanizing while married, the hypocritical racial taunts of Joe Frazier, and abandonment of his mentor Malcolm X.
Tupac had his own dark side that dominated the final two years of his life. For such a brilliant artist and mind, the ultimate tragedy and waste is that he died over petty, street bullshit. But if you look at the course he’d taken since joining Death Row, from the beefs to establishing deeper gang ties, the ending almost seems inevitable in retrospect.
The problem with Flex is that he initiated the conversation with straight malice, and even now hasn’t truly explained what happened at that nightclub to warrant such a response. Also, there’s his own hypocrisy to contend with. You can’t blame Tupac for making personal beefs popular, and then sit there happily interviewing your friend 50 Cent when he’s uses the very same blueprint. I distinctly remember interviews last year where Flex was in stitches listening to 50 imply a sexual relationship with the mother of Rick Ross’ son. That is the most troubling and undermining aspect of Flex’s stance, and in a way fulfills the stereotype many West Coast fans have about the “East Coast bias” in the media.
If any good comes out this, it’s that hopefully we start to look at our heroes as the three-dimensional, flawed people they are. We do a disservice to people like Muhammad Ali and Tupac Shakur when we deify them. Only by recognizing their humanity is when we can truly measure their triumphs and shortcomings.