Who shot ya!?
Hey, Pac, I’m still on the case
because ever since they murdered you
none of us have been safe.
Was it the police?
Was it your homeboys?
Was is the KKK?
On the Vegas Strip after a fight
I’m surprised nobody got it on tape.

I remember being nine on the cusp of defiance,
rejecting all the heroes I was assigned in my sociology class.
I told my teacher they were all murderers or murdered
or make-believe,
then I played her “Only God Can Judge Me”
before she ran to the stereo and threw my cd in the trash.

And that’s when I knew you were the hero I’d look up to,
somebody not in the history books
someone real I could grasp.
And then I saw the news
you had been shot
you had been killed.
Then I came back to school
and my teacher just laughed.

She said I should pick better heroes,
somebody not as aggressive,
someone on a much better path.

Then I had to remind her
of Malcolm
of Martin
of Huey
of Fred
of Medgar
etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,
and told her it didn’t matter,
black heroes don’t seem to last.

Who shot ya!
Hey, Pac, what are we gonna do?
How are they gonna find who kills us
if they can’t find who killed you?

I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto, verse three
you sounded something like a prophet.
You predicted 20 years ago that police
would be out here killing us
and we couldn’t do anything to stop it. You said,
“cops give a damn about a negro,
pull the trigger, kill a nigga he’s a hero”
and now, “the streets are death row.”
The cops are judge, jury and executioner
and apparently every bit of it’s legal.

And I don’t know if Heaven’s got a ghetto,
but I know its got a long line
and there’s some people waiting to get in
that could use your comforting
because we know Tupac cared
when nobody else did.
I’m sure we keep you busy up there,
we’ll make sure you died for something.

Who shot ya?
Hey, Pac, your killer is still on the loose.
I don’t know if you heard,
but they got BIG too.
They’re killing everybody that we looked up to.

And I know there’s people who will hear this
that won’t understand
“He was a thug”
“He got what he deserved”
“His music should have been banned”
And those are the same people who fear us
when we band together in death.
They mock us
they incite us
when we riot or protest.

Who shot ya!?
Hey, Pac, maybe it’s best we never know.
Jokes on them
because they will never be immortalized
and you will forever be the hero.

Improv 17

Let’s pretend you’re home.

Let’s pretend I never walked in that office.

Let’s pretend we always wore a rubber.

Let’s pretend 2Pac is still living and Bone Thugs N Harmony are touring
the House of Blues next week
and you swiped floor seats
off broke Lamont
because you beat him in 2K.

Let’s pretend the sidewalk never ended and our feet never tired.

Let’s pretend we ran to seven continents.

Let’s pretend you only speak French
and I’ve never been to France
but we danced instead of interpreting.

Let’s pretend the mice scurrying in the wall are secret pet spies.

Let’s pretend the less we touch, the closer we are.

Let’s pretend the lights never dimmed and we actually liked Miami.

Let’s pretend each time we yelled, God deposited $50 in our accounts.

Let’s pretend the past
earned us a Grammy.

Let’s pretend today
is a story.

Let’s pretend this silence is a kiss.

Lets pretend your skin is a script
and I can read every line.

Let’s pretend there’s time.

Let’s pretend you’re home.