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Is Carlos Santana the new Tupac?

Reports of Carlos Santana's death have been greatly exaggerated.


Eve Peyser

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 30, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 9:28 pm CDT

Editor’s note: This post is a work of satire.

Carlos Santana, 68, was found alive early Tuesday morning in his Las Vegas home, despite reports from CBC journalist Chris Walker. “Thank you all for your concern,” his team wrote on his Facebook page. “But the reports of his passing are false.”

Walker has since issued an apology: “I unreservedly apologize for previous tweets regarding Carlos Santana. Wrong to rely on single source, and against CBC policy besides.”

This raises the question: Who wanted the world to think Santana had passed, if not Chris Walker? And more importantly, why?

Santana, who was born in Autlán de Navarro, Mexico, rose to fame in 1969 with his eponymous first album. Throughout his rich career he has collaborated with the likes Herbie Hancock, Rob Thomas, Michelle Branch, Steve Tyler, and Shakira. Notice anyone missing from the list?

The Latin rock legend is no stranger to controversy, once boldly asserting:

Peace has never come from dropping bombs. Real peace comes from enlightenment and educating people to behave more in a divine manner.

He has also said: “Most people are prisoners, thinking only about the future or living in the past. They are not in the present, and the present is where everything begins.”

What did Santana mean by these messages? And moreover, who wanted to shut him up? In this day and age where there are seemingly unending dialogues about drone strikes, the prison industrial complex, Mexican-American diplomacy, and the death of rock music, Santana neatly connects all these topics. A former Rob Thomas-collaborator, Mexican-American peace advocate, revered public figure is silenced by the mainstream media? Sound familiar?

His story bares parallels to the tale of a rapper named Tupac Shakur. Although the hip-hop icon was reported dead, he is most certainly alive and living in Cuba. Was Santana attempting to similarly escape from public life and decided to renege at the last minute? Or was the false report of his death a warning from his critics: disappear from public life or we’ll make you.

In fact, we’ve seen many tweets comparing the two music icons:

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Like Tupac, we’ll probably never know the real truth about Santana. But we do know the National Security Agency is watching our every move. We know the U.S. government has given unknowing citizens pills with radioactive elements, that our government brought Nazi scientists to live in the U.S. after World War II, and worst of all that the government allowed Two and a Half Men to stay on the air for 12 seasons. What else is our government hiding? And who will we finally take a stand for? If not Tupac, if not Santana… 


Photo via Martin Cohen/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Sep 30, 2015, 5:02 pm CDT