But it’s an old statue! And it’s not in Dallas!
Social media thrives on lack of context. The less research people do and the more quickly they react, the more entertaining content there is to be consumed. Due to this dynamic, a tweet about Tupac Shakur statue was able to go viral today. Someone shared a photo of a statue that used to sit outside the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The photo was accompanied by the poorly-typed caption: “New Tupac statute in Dallas, what’s your thoughts.”
People’s thoughts were not good. The statue was unrecognizable. For some reason, Tupac was depicted in a suit, wearing a huge cross around his neck and holding what appears to be a Bible. The late rapper was rarely seen with this sort of getup, which makes sense because he wasn’t a missionary. Twitter wondered why he would be immortalized in this manner… and in this location, since he didn’t have any strong ties to Dallas.
However, some users in the replies did a bit of Googling and discovered that this statue is not new, nor is it in Detroit. As mentioned above, it used to be in Georgia, but was removed when Tupac’s mother, Assata Shakur, sold the arts center in 2015. The center’s new owner, Jim Burnett, wishes to keep Tupac’s spirit tied to the space by erecting a new statue of him there. In 2017, it was reported that a $500,000 bronze statue was commissioned for artist Nijel Binns to complete. The final product has yet to be revealed, but with that kind of budget and this much time to work on it, hopefully it will bear a stronger resemblance to the hip hop legend.
Read the disapproving reactions to the old Tupac statue below.