Late rapper Tupac Shakur‘s mother, Afeni Shakur, has shared her reaction to Pac’s “Dear Mama” song being added to the Library of Congress.
Honored by the achievement, Afeni discussed the song’s overall meaning.
“I’m incredibly touched. It could have been any song, but I’m honored they chose ‘Dear Mama’ in particular,” Afeni Shakur said. “It is a song that spoke not just to me, but every mother that has been in that situation, and there have been millions of us. Tupac recognized our struggle, and he is still our hero.” (All Hip Hop)
Pac is only the third emcee to be placed in the Library of Congress.
The rapper’s 1994 song “Dear Mama,” about a mother struggling with poverty and addiction, was selected for the 2009 National Recording Registry for its cultural significance, alongside works by Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Patti Smith and R.E.M.. Tupac is the third rapper to be included, following Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy. (Washington Post)
The terms on what songs are allowed to enter the library were revealed earlier this week.
Selections for the 2009 National Recording Registry are being announced Wednesday. They must be at least 10 years old and be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. Organizers said Tupac’s “Dear Mama” was a heartfelt homage to mothers struggling with addiction and poverty. It’s also a “relatively tame” recording, and the cultural impact of hip-hop is undeniable, program coordinator Steve Leggett said. (Access Atlanta)
Additional reports suggest that a limited amount of songs may be chosen each year.
Annually, 25 works are nominated by the public and expert panelists to be preserved for their cultural significance. “Dear Mama,” released in 1995, is a song about mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of poverty and addiction. The song will be the third rap act to join the registry, joining tracks from Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy. (TIME)
Listen to “Dear Mama” below: