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Kasinova Tha Don – Thug Life Lives

Kasinova Tha Don

NOTE: CLICK HERE TO READ OUR ALBUM REVIEW FOR KASINOVA THA DON’S (AKA K. PRINCE’S) JANUARY 2015 EP ENTITLED ‘BORN ROYAL‘. 

Before I get this post going, I want to emphasize two things. Firstly, I do not believe that Tupac Shakur is alive. Secondly, though much of the following text will in fact discuss the tug of war between the alive theories and debunking them, my main purpose for writing this piece is not to convince you one way or another, but rather to bring light to an artist whose music I recently came across that quite simply fascinated me, in large part because of my affinity for Tupac’s music; namely, Kasinova Tha Don. As per his various social media profiles, he’s an emcee out of New Jersey, endorsed by The Outlawz (the group Tupac founded who also hail from the Garden State). On his Facebook page he explains, “I discovered my love for music at the age of 9, when I stumbled across “Makaveli The Don 7 Day Theory,” and later decrees, “I am not here to replace “Pac”. I am here to complete his mission.”

With that established, let’s get into this. A few days ago a buddy of mine who knows of my deep fandom for Tupac sent me this article, from December of 2013. At first glance, the piece appeared to go over a lot of the same theories about ‘Pac’s death and the inconsistencies surrounding it that I’ve come across over the past 18 years . My knee jerk reaction was, “meh, here we go again.” Particularly in the few years after his passing, I read it all: The many conspiracy theories about him being alive, the supposed clues in his music (including listening closely to the messages buried in his adlibs and those revealed by playing parts of given tracks backwards), all the numerology stuff (primarily surrounding the numbers ‘7’ and ’13’), and the curious handling of his corpse.

Was he really cremated the very next day after passing away, with no autopsy? Was the ‘leaked’ autopsy photo that’s made the internet rounds doctored? Why weren’t any reporters allowed in the hospital during the final week of his life? Why was his funeral cancelled twice and never re-schedule? Why does Suge Knight’s story about the incident seem to change every few months? What of the purported eye-witness accounts of ‘Pac being flown away in a helicopter shortly after the shooting, despite official reports to the contrary? Does he really have a multi-million dollar life insurance policy against which no claim has ever been initiated? If he does, why hasn’t a claim been filed? Was the guy who cremated Tupac really paid three million dollars by Suge Knight to disappear? Did the Outlaw really smoke his ashes in a blunt? And most curiously, to me at least, how the hell did Suge walk away from that shooting unscathed? The purpose of this piece isn’t to rehash all of these theories, but here are a few links that cover both sides of the “is ‘Pac alive?” coin. You can draw your own conclusions…

Various clues and alive theories

A case for the autopsy photo being real

The newscast footage of the woman who claims she saw a helicopter fly Tupac away the night of the shooting:

Tupac’s bodyguard debunking the helicopter theory:

More alive clues and hints, attributed to Chuck D

Ultimately, I accepted his passing and was thankful for the vast catalog of music he left behind. Between said catalog and the enormous influence he had on Hip Hop, with so many artists after him borrowing from his themes, catch-phrases, and rap style (from rhyme patterns to delivery), it’s like he’s never really been gone. I chose to leave it at that and haven’t really thought about it too much in about a decade. Then my buddy sent me the aforementioned article. In the midst of what at that point was an underwhelming long weekend, I figured, “alright, let me see what this is all about.”

Pac PicSo I started reading and was intrigued by a few things, mainly the “Tupac soldier” pic vs. the “Tupac limo pic.”  My curiosity was piqued by the contention that there’s no key in the ignition of the limo in that pic (widely regarded as Tupac’s last, purportedly taken by a paparazzi at a traffic not long before the shooting). Strange… Spooky even. I searched for several versions of the limo picture and none appeared to have a key in the ignition. And more alarming, the striking similarity between Tupac’s solider picture and the limo picture. Could the limo pic have been doctored, explaining both the similarity to the soldier pic as well as the missing key?

The article goes on to discuss some inconsistencies between multiple pictures of the SUV that Suge was driving when the shooting occurred (which also piqued my curiosity – are those really different cars?), some discrepancies in the height, weight, and social security number referenced in the coroner’s report (can this stuff be verified???), and then of course many of the theories and clues for which I’ve provided links above. Another interesting claim in the article that I had never previously considered is that Las Vegas is the only state in the U.S. where it’s not illegal to fake one’s own death. For real!?!?!? Damn it Jim, I’m a blogger, not a lawyer! Can this possibly be true? I did some on-line research and wasn’t able to confirm or deny this, but Nevada appears to be the only state where the answer wasn’t a flat-out, undeniable “yes, it’s illegal to fake a death in this state.” If anyone out there can offer more insight into the legalities of faking one’s death in Nevada, please tweet (@Scholar_JPL) or email (JPLime@gmail.com) me. I’d love to know if there’s any credence to this claim. Thanks in advance.

At this point, fully entrenched in re-researching and re-reading all those old theories, one point in particular, attributed to Chuck D on this site stood out. “Suge Knight and 2Pac are the only two music industry people on that high a profile with enough balls to pull off a stunt like faking death. . .” I’d never thought about it like that before, but yeah, I can buy that. Let’s face it, with no disrespect intended to either man, both those dudes certainly come across as crazy and ballsy enough to go there.

That said, for a long time I figured Suge’s inconsistencies in his accounts of the night of the shooting, as well as his unwillingness to share any information he might have with authorities were a) to cover up his own involvement in the murder and/or b) a dogged application of the “no snitching” edict to which he’s alluded many times. In as much money as Suge stood to make with a dead Tupac, truth be told, in 1996 there was no bigger and brighter star in Hip Hop than ‘Pac’s… Wouldn’t he have been worth more to Suge alive? Even if Tupac did eventually move on from Death Row Records to start his own company, as many believed was his plan, wouldn’t his time spent at Death Row have resulted in tons of cash had he lived? Perhaps…

Having said that, as recently as May of this year, Suge suggested that ‘Pac may in fact be alive.

And this gem from a few years back…

Is Suge just keeping the “Tupac is alive” rumors going to keep people in a frenzy, thus generating renewed interest in ‘Pac’s catalog, resulting in more record sales? This isn’t far-fetched at all. Say what you will about Suge, but he understands that in business the bottom line is what matters most, and he’s certainly got a stake in all those old Death Row recordings. So why wouldn’t he keep stirring the pot, right? Or does he know something we don’t?

One thing we do know is that Tupac’s adaptation of the “Makaveli” moniker was in large part due to his studying Renaissance era Italian philosopher, Niccolò Machiavelli’s work. There’s a theory out there (logged in many of those links above) that not unlike Machiavelli’s writings, Tupac faked his own death at age 25 and will come out of hiding 18 years later at age 43. The 18 year anniversary of Tupac’s death is in about 2 weeks (September 13th, 2014 to be exact). That should make for a fun couple of weeks amongst ‘Pac enthusiasts, no? In any event, I haven’t read Machiavelli’s “The Art of War”, so I’m not sure exactly where and in what context the 18 years, 25-43 stuff lies. Admittedly, I just spent about 45 minutes running web-searches to pinpoint that text, all to no avail. So I’ll ask again, if anyone can bridge that literature gap for me, please tweet (Scholar_JPL) or email (JPLime@gmail.com). Thanks in advance, again…

With all that out of the way, let me reiterate that I do not believe that Tupac Shakur is alive. Having read the article my buddy sent and re-examining all the conjecture that’s out there has been damn interesting however, and just the notion that after so many years there’s some new twist to this story that I hadn’t previously come across is fascinating unto itself. It’s one of the many reasons that Tupac’s legend continues to grow over time.

Most ‘Pac fans are a loyal, vocal, hard-headed, sometimes irrational bunch. In our minds, if he’s not the greatest rapper of all-time, he’s certainly the most influential and of course, “the realest.” At times we concede his faults, such as ‘Pac not being the most technically gifted emcee, but we counter with him being vastly underrated in that realm, especially by today’s standards. Listen to his rhyme patterns on “Tha Realist Killaz” or the his masterful use of alliteration on “If I Die 2Nite” and tell me he’s not more skilled that many of today’s emcees. We may acknowledge that he was the biggest culprit in the tragedy that was the East Coast vs. West Coast beef of the mid-1990s, but still firmly believe that we’re less wrong than his pundits are right about his place on Rap’s Pantheon. As Kanye put it, “you can’t tell me nothing.” That pretty much sums up the ‘Pac fan mentality, even in the context of the extremely far-fetched notion that he’s still alive, possibly hiding out in Cuba with his aunt, Assata Shakur who’s deemed a domestic terrorist by the FBI, and using an emcee by the name of Kasinova Tha Don to put out new music, possibly plotting his re-emergence 18 years, after his death. Wait, what?

All the alive theories aside, the main reason I decided to write this piece is because in reading the article my friend sent me, I discovered Kasinova Tha Don’s music and was immediately all in. What I’m about to say I’ll concede is just my opinion, with the caveat of course that I’m a die-hard ‘Pac fan who’s followed his career since well before the Death Row days. I owned the ‘Brenda’s Got A Baby’ cassette tape single, with ‘Tha Lunatic’ and ‘Something Wicked’ as the b-sides. I’ve owned the ‘Thug Life’ cd since 1994. I continued to follow his career and became an even bigger fan as his stardom grew, but my point is that I’m not one of these ‘Pac “Stans”, if you will, who started paying attention once he joined Death Row.

So when I say that this Kasinova Tha Don cat sounds EXACTLY like Tupac, I’m not talking out of my backside. It’s not just his voice, it’s EVERYTHING. The themes and content in his music, the song titles, the delivery (even when he double times it), the rhyme patterns, the couplet-driven composition of many of his hooks, the vocabulary, and his recording style are all ridiculously similar. Even his beat selection is reminiscent of tracks Tupac would rap over. The parallels are staggering. No… They’re downright EERIE. On top of constantly using pretty much all of Tupac’s patented phrases (thug life, money over bitches, pouring out liquor, pray for better days, straight rider, Dear Lord, etc…), he’s covering the same subject matter that ‘Pac covered, particularly before his angry, at war with Bad Boy, Death Row days.

Kasinova Tha Don’s themes run the Tupac gamut if you will, from rapping about broken homes, uplifting the impoverished, and the importance of family to street anthems, liquor and weed, partying a bit, and of course, the ladies – though more so in respectful and fun contexts than the trite ‘bitches and hoes’ references. His rhyme patterns and voice inflections, how he pronounces entire sentences, his cadences, where he emphasizes his rhymes – carbon copy. His song structure is dead on with Tupac’s. Many of both ‘Pac’s and Kasinova’s songs for example end with a spoken outro, rather than a bridge or letting the instrumental fade out. For those who understand the recording process, you’ll hear unquestionable similarities in the placement and mixing of the adlibs and how the main vocal track is layered with the double for emphasis on certain words and rhyme schemes. It’s exactly how Tupac recorded his vocals. It’s simply uncanny.

And while I considered the possibility that MAYBE these are archived, previously unheard ‘Pac vocals mixed in with some current beats, it’s just not possible. There are too many modern-day references, such as allusions to Daddy Yankee and Big Pun (at roughly the 1:54 mark) and Lil’ Wayne (at roughly the 2:36 mark) on ‘Mamacita‘ and Rick Ross on ‘2Pac Back‘ (all over the hook). Again, it’s almost scary how much this guy sounds like Tupac Shakur.

After getting over the initial shock however, I realized that I was glued to my speakers not only because of the similarities in voice and style, but more importantly because I was enjoying the music. I mentioned earlier that given the inordinate amount of Tupac music out there and with his influence felt throughout Hip Hop even till this day, that it was as if he never left. That’s not to say that I didn’t yearn for new ‘Pac music though – or at least something reminiscent. Why wouldn’t I want to hear something that sounds like new music from one of my favorite rappers?

Listening to Kasinova feels like listening to new Tupac music, at least to me. This isn’t Ja Rule or DMX being reminiscent of ‘Pac, or Kasinovaeven Kendrick Lamar’s music reminding me of Illmatic era Nas (which was a great feeling by the way). The striking similarities made the experience of exploring Kasinova’s music much more powerful than anything I could’ve expected. It was mind-blowing to some extent, and all in all a great feeling. And no, I don’t have any issues with imitation in this context because it’s so damn good.

If Rick Ross can build an entire career at least partially drawing on Biggie’s influence, why can’t Kasinova be like ‘Pac? And if the The Outlawz themselves, who pride themselves on being “Makaveli trained” endorse him and are featured on his tracks, why should I have a problem with it?  If the music and/or lyrics were wack, I’d just keep it moving, but in my opinion it’s not wack at all. So far most of what I’ve heard is pretty good, with some of it being  phenomenal, particularly the ‘2Faces Mixtape‘, to which I strongly recommend you give a listen, especially if you’re a Tupac fan. It’s a great blend of deep, conscious content mixed in with some head-bangers. A solid (at worst) listen from start to finish.

At 34 years old, I don’t often get too excited about artists I previously hadn’t heard. Kasinova That Don bucked that trend. I don’t at all mind that in large part it’s because his music is feeding my desire for that vintage Tupac sound. I do however find it strange that none of the videos on his official YouTube channel show him discernibly rapping. Instead, they feature either collages of still shots or him rapping from a distance, where you can’t really tell if it’s actually him rapping. I also find his Facebook post from August 30th a bit curious: “To my die hard fans I love yall..stay true. .its gonna be some punk motherfuckers that’s gonna try to dirty up my name. .but we dont fold..I say fuckem all. let make history Again.” Also curious, his twitter profile reads, “Do you believe in ghost or reincarnation? u decide.”  He is not at all hiding the Tupac angle, either in his social media posts or his music. The way I internalize that as a long time ‘Pac fan is that what matters most is the music, which I’ve listened to ad nauseam over the past few days and for the most part enjoyed thoroughly. So why not just embrace it?

As such, I implore you all to give this young fellow a listen, particularly all you stubborn, vocal, sometimes irrational ‘Pac fans out there, and welcome you to sound off with your thoughts. Do the similarities bother you? Or do you agree that it’s the closest thing we’ve had to an authentic ‘Pac sound since his passing, and as such are okay with the musical and stylistic parallels? In any event, I hope I’ve introduced you to an artist that you’ll enjoy going forward. In closing, I’ll restate one last time that no, I do not believe Tupac Shakur is alive. If I did, this entire blog piece would largely be discredited and any spotlight shined on Kasinova Tha Don’s music (movement?) would be dimmed exponentially. Unless September 13th, 2014 turns out to be more than just a typical late summer Saturday. “Tell me, am I wrong?”

Show ’em my talent as the violence starts to come alive!
Recruit my military team, start to multiply…
Analyze, witness a living legend…
And Armageddon is here, so muthafuckaz need to count their blessings…
‘Pac is gone, but the torch burning alright… <YES!>
I’m dropping some shit to make you muthafuckaz’ jaws tight…
Tell me am I wrong?
And if I smoke a sack of marijuana till it’s gone…
And then it’s on…
Lord forgive me for the terror I represent!
Praying for a better day…
But it’s Heaven Sent…

 

 

5 Comments on Kasinova Tha Don – Thug Life Lives

  1. Bro I enjoyed your post…. Thanks… However I think PAC is rapping with the name kasinova tha don or PAC and kasinova is rapping together cause pretty much what kasinova raps is about PACs life…. That is odd…. Also in heaven sent from kasinova I can swear I heard PAC voice in the beginning of the song…. He said “just gimme another sack or something mehn”…..that is PAC voice

    Also I found this two statement odd from the same song

    “Hoping my death become I lesson that they all learn”…..kasinova Neva died

    “Swallow my pride and let the truth be known”

    Also I read this interesting theory off the internet and I think it’s true

    U know how Makaveli means am alive without the K…
    Well the K means Kasinova…..

    And I believe PAC is alive

    Please I ll like us to be Chating more often…this is my email… ‘Godsp3t@gmail.com”.….please send ya facebook id thanks a lot…

  2. I’m 38 been following pac since the begining and I would agree with everything u say embrace it don’t hate it pac or not it’s tight crazy how much they sound a like . They said if you owned every pac cd from his first to the makaveli 1 thru 13 and memorized them word for word then you learned the game and how to be a hustler .I Rember a time I was with g,money from thug life R.I.P. from me against the world album I was taking him to go get a 5th of drank and I was playing a song on one of the makaveli cds big syke was on and he was like we’re you get this shit from nigga I was like some underground shit and he was like I haven’t this shit in years just a memory and here’s one more the outlaws were at my boys house and he calls me and says hey my boy just fucked up his rental and it’s in this bitchs name and could I fix cuz I worked at a body shop then so when I got there it ended up being the outlaws kinda funny just normal cats like me or you good shit. R.I.P. to those who are not here any more .

  3. I Think Kasinova is Very Much 2 PAC A Face Lift laser surgery to remove those tatts And if This don’t Tell it All The Mystery Track Kasinova Couldn’t have known what happened to tupac his murder he tells it Word For Word…I believe Hes reincarnated into Kasinova Tha Son

  4. The Coroners Report done for Tupac is inaccurate. Pac’s Social Security Number is not found in the death registry. If you compare Tupac s report with his driver’s license; the basic things like eye & hair colour, height don’t match up. But if you include his mugshot to compare, you can easily see how inaccurate his weight was recorded.

    His mother requested that Troy Farrell assist in ‘removing the body’. Troy Farrell is the Anatomy Lab Director of the Medical Education & Research Institue of Nevada; where he is in charge of unclaimed bodies.

    So this information plus; the hidden messages in his songs, along with those other artists, numerous claims of PAC sightings, and now Kasinova Tha Don. I agree, it’s so creepily, eerie ..to the point that it seems fake. I’ve watched an interview with Kasinova & his casual talking voice is absolutely nothing like how Tupac sounded when he talked casually. So, I’m curious if this guy is changing his voice to imitate Tupac, if it’s digitally edited to sound like him. But I’d like to believe PAC is alive, and that Kasinova is lip syncing for him. Tupac was made to make music. He just doesn’t want to be fame & everything else that goes with it.*

    Regardless of the truth. It’s actually a really interesting story to think someone got away with faking their death. Escaping the price of fame with the illuminati in order to continue to expose the truth. Sounds like a damn good fiction novel plot anyhow.

  5. The label he dropped his albums under was called P-Funk. In the Hennessy song with Obie Trice, Trice says ‘P-Funk yeah he got the connects, threw the sack to his lil niggas working the set’. Funny how Kass drops these in the immediate years after loyal to the game came out. Working the set refers to the ‘actor’ he has acting as Kasinova that don. He never raps in any videos like you mentionned. Back to previous comments I think the Sack he mentioned st start of heaven sent relates to that.

    He’s alive!!

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