Hear Symba’s homage to Tupac Shakur with Juneteenth freestyle
(Credit: YouTube)


Hear Symba's homage to Tupac Shakur with Juneteenth freestyle

Bay Area-born and Los Angeles-based rapper Symba has recently paid homage to his fellow Oakland counterpart, the late icon Tupac Shakur. The rapper (real name Sylvain Mabe) freestyled over 2pac’s ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ to celebrate Juneteenth, a US federal holiday that celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the confederacy.

Mabe posted the freestyle to Instagram on Monday, June 19th. The video shows the emcee in a luxurious Mercedes Benz celebrating African-American strength and resilience. However, as well as Juneteenth, the Oakland native also highlighted the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and the genre’s exceptional progress.

Smoothly flowing over the instrumental, Mabe rapped, “I know you fed up and life won’t let you keep ya leg up / but when it all falls down my n*gga, keep ya head up / I remember having trouble tryna’ get my bread up / feeling like God let me down but I never let up / We made it through the struggle, bills late playing catch up / Always had hotdogs, but couldn’t keep ketchup.”

He continued, “Heating up the house with the same oven that fed us /Too broke to catch a cold and ain’t got it to get a check-up / Government assistance keep us in these conditions / It’s hard to keep fighting a system when it’s against us / Drug dealers ain’t no different from politicians/Benefiting from bad conditions is a common interest.”

Symba is well-known for his interest in current affairs, and this isn’t the first time he has addressed the government and politics more broadly. Earlier this year, the ‘Never End Up Broke’ artist spoke out about NBA player Ja Morant and heavily scrutinised hip-hop for its glorification of firearms. Mabe asserted that, presently, rap music is fostering gun culture, discouraging young individuals from looking up to the young NBA player.

Aiming a track at Morant, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies team, Mabe rapped, “To my n*gga out in Memphis, moving senseless / I love you, you someone that my nephew and all my cousins look up to / You sell out every game at every stadium you come to / And you made it out environments that most of us get stuck to.” Although conscious rap is less popular nowadays than it was in the 1990s, Symba has still managed to obtain a healthy fanbase. You can hear his freestyle in the video below.