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OFFBEAT

Tupac Shakur can teach us a lot: Oslo professor

By studying gangsta rap we can learn a lot about society, according to a professor planning to lecture about Tupac Shakur at the University of Oslo.

Tupac Shakur can teach us a lot: Oslo professor
Photo: John W. Schulze

Starting this autumn, Professor Knut Hermundstad Aukrust will begin offering a module on “Tupac, hip-hop and cultural understanding.” The course description refers to the deceased artist as “an icon with a saintly status far beyond his fan base”, national broadcaster NRK reports.  

A big fan of Shakur, who was shot and killed in 1996 at the age of 25, the professor said he believed gangsta rap was often misunderstood.

“Being a gangsta rapper is not the same as being a gangster,” said Aukrust.

“It’s a way of saying that all the others in society are gangsters. The powers that be, the White House, capitalism: those are the gangsters.

“By raising a ‘middle finger’ and saying ‘fuck you, all you motherfuckers’, it sends a message to the society it’s fighting against. But it also says something about the cohesion in a group.”

One of Norway’s best-known gangster rappers, Jesse Jones, said it was “very positive” that Oslo students could now brush up on the history of the music style at university.   

Jones, who has previously spent time in jail on narcotics charges and for assaulting a police officer, told NRK:

“For me, Tupac was maybe the greatest hip-hop legend ever.”

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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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