Review: “Wake Me When I’m Free” multimedia exhibit explores Tupac’s life beyond rap

By KAELEE CONTRERAS 

Located in Los Angeles, California, the Tupac museum experience, “Wake Me When I’m Free,” is a tribute to the late rapper Tupac Shakur and the significance of his life. Not only is this museum filled with amazing visuals and exhibits, but it also shares many of Tupac’s poems, songs and his upbringing.

One of Tupac’s poems displayed in the entrance of the museum. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)


This museum was a listening experience and required a headset to listen to Tupac’s music, his interviews, events that took place in his life, and much more. Simply aim the remote at a small sensor and listen to the audio designated with the exhibit.

An example of the remote is displayed in the image on the right. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

As visitors walk through the museum and view these stunning exhibits, they are able to listen to the meaning and background story to each section and also get to take time for photo opportunities. One of my favorite visuals is the painting of Tupac as seen in the middle image above. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

Tupac’s music, poetry and life had a very big impact on the world and has inspired millions of people to express themselves and pursue their dreams. He was a positive role model for people and was a very talented and influential artist. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

One room of the exhibit was filled with a rose scent and displayed falling petals along with with an excerpt from a poem written by Tupac. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

Tupac Shakur was widely known for being one of the best-selling music artists and sold more than 75 million records worldwide. What a majority of people don’t know about Tupac is how he began his music career as a rebel with a cause to fight for injustices endured by people of color. His music brought awareness to injustices, gun control, equality, social injustices, immoral acts and many other world issues. Due to his gangsta rap music aesthetic, a majority of people misunderstood what he stood for and saw him as a bad influence and a nusiance for society and youth.

Growing up, Tupac lived with his mother and his sister and lived a very difficult childhood. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was an American political activist and a previous member of the Black Panther party. Due to being charged with drug possession, Afeni was arrested and pregnant with Tupac while imprisoned. 

Tupac’s childhood included a lot of literature, and also him getting into trouble and involved with the company of criminals. He was exposed to violence at a very young age.

The young artist began rapping at the age of 14 and started making music to project his political view and fight against racial injustices poetically.

Tupac’s music career took off after he studied poetry, theater and music in high school and soon after became a roadie and backup dancer for the rap group Digital Underground in 1990. The growth of his music career and talent was very significant and his legacy still lives  on today even after his life was unjustly taken from him at such a young age.

The museum exhibit features information on Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, and the Black Panther Party. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

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