A Lancing park was home to a tribute towards an unlikely global superstar this week.
Until Tuesday (July 16), a bench in the north west corner of Monks Recreation Ground was adorned with a plaque reading ‘In loving memory of 2Pac Shakur’, followed by a four-letter expletive directed at Newhaven.
It follows a memorial bench for the late rapper Eazy-E being installed in Newhaven after a fundraising campaign, prompting a satirical news website to ask why should Lancing not then have a tribute to American rapper Tupac Shakur.
Neither Eazy-E, who was a member of the group NWA, nor Tupac, have tangible links to either area.
Sussex-based website Hey News set up a fundraising page to have a plaque installed, but took it down after Lancing Parish Council denied them permission. Unbeknownst to them, an anonymous fan took it upon themselves to install a plaque anyway.
Ruari Barratt, one of Hey News’s members, said it was a shame the parish council removed the plaque as it was not hurting anyone.
“Anyone that’s not complaining about the local area is a positive thing, and people often need a focus to that,” he said. “I think the fact that everyone cares about the same thing is positive.”
He said Tupac meant a lot to people worldwide and, particularly to people of a certain age in Lancing, a tribute to the rap legend would be fitting.
He also argued that as Tupac has as much connection to Lancing as Eazy-E to Newhaven, why should the village not have its own memorial?
A spokesman for Lancing Parish Council said: "No permission was sought for a memorial plaque so the one put on a bench over the weekend has been removed."
Ruari is joined at Hey News by Peter Walsh and William Stone, creating fictional, humorous local news stories that celebrate the wonderful world of local news and the issues that give towns and villages their identities.
Their Tupac ‘campaign’ created a perfect storm of fictional news colliding with reality – a concept they could take a step further by suggesting Worthing’s pier be renamed Wu-Tang Pier after the hip-hop group.