June 16 would have been Tupac Shakur’s 49th birthday. This year a number of big name celebrities are slated to come together a livestreamed fundraiser and celebration called the I Got 5 On It! Unite and Rebuild Session.
Tupac, who once successfully sued the Oakland Police Department after being accosted and slammed to the ground by officers in October of 1991, would undoubtedly have something to say about this moment.
In his honor, the fundraiser will feature artists and entertainers who actually knew and worked with Pac, like Houston rapper turned political candidate Brad “Scarface” Jordan and famed boxer Mike Tyson. And there will be a number of talented local artists, including Sistah Iminah, SOBxRBE and Yukmouth of Luniz—the East Oakland-based duo who popularized the term, “I got 5 on it.”
These performers and entertainers are raising money for two important causes: the Movement For Black Lives, and Bay Area cannabis clubs damaged and during the recent uprisings.
Over 40 cannabis clubs in California and Oregon reported break-ins and burglaries earlier this month. Many of the incidents were not in direct connection with protests, but crimes of opportunity while police were occupied with crowd-control efforts.
In Oakland, a number of spots were hit. On West Grand Avenue, the plywood that covers the windows at Blüm reads, “Empty No Weed.” At West Oakland’s Magnolia Wellness, not only did the main business suffer loses, but so did the startup it was incubating. Ron Leggett, an Indigenous person who was working to launch his cannabis company “Chiefing” this month, told Rolling Stone, “They didn’t just steal ... they destroyed everything. It looked like a hurricane went through the building.”