The Life As Shay Report:
Who is Latasha Harlins?
Latasha Harlins was the 15-year-old girl whose name I’d heard in several Hip-Hop songs coming up…In particular, I remember hearing Tupac make reference to her as “Little Latasha” in his song Thugz Mansion. Surprising as it may be to some, my moms was a HUGE Tupac fan so I had the advantage of hearing his work beyond rides in the car.
The line: “Little Latasha, sho’ grown/Tell the lady in the liquor store that she’s forgiven/ So come home.” After hearing the song, time after time, I thought Latasha was a family member or friend. I had settled into the fact that I would never understand that reference; however, my curiosity did not subside. I wanted to know what happened in the store. So all these years later, to find that Latasha has a story is so striking to me!
In March of 1991, Latasha Harlins was shot in the back of her head and killed by Soon Ja Du, a then 51-year-old Korean woman. Du and her husband owned a convenience store in LA. One day while Du was working the counter, Latasha came in to purchase a drink. A scuffle broke out when Du assumed that Harlins was stealing a drink from the store. Du sntached Harlins, Harlins retaliated with hits and turned to leave the store. On her exit, Du shot Harlins in the back of her head; she died on the spot…with the money for her drink still in her hand.
And this is what great Hip-Hop does, it encapsulates a period of time and reflects the culture of that era. I am so glad to have discovered the true meaning of that line and it makes the song that much more special to me.
Special S/O to Daily Black History Facts for featuring the article that inspired this post.
Check out Tupac’s Thugz Mansion.