Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by
his stage names 2Pac, Makaveli, or simply Pac, was an
American rapper. In addition to his status as a top-selling recording artist,
Shakur was a successful film actor and a prominent social activist. He is
recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-selling
rap artist, with over 75,000,000 albums sold worldwide, including over
50,000,000 in the United States alone.
The Rose That Grew from Concrete By Tupac
in his own hand at the age of nineteen, these poems aim to embrace and express
his spirit, passion, energy, intelligence, and his ultimate message of hope"
The Killing of Tupac Shakur By Cathy Scott
one symbolised the violence of gangsta rap more, and he ultimately fell victim to that violence, gunned down in a drive-by shooting at age 25. This no-holds-barred account offers new information, including photo evidence, about the unsolved murder of Tupac."
Comment "tupac will never be for gotten my motha waz a close friend to pac and our family we will neva forget him!!!!!"
Most of Shakur's songs are about growing up around violence and hardship in
ghettos, racism, problems in society, and sometimes conflicts with other
rappers. Shakur's work is known for advocating political, economic, social, and
racial equality as well as his raw descriptions of violence, drug and alcohol
abuse, and conflicts with the law. Many fans, critics, and industry insiders
rank him as the greatest rapper ever.
Shakur was initially a roadie and backup dancer for the alternative hip hop
group Digital Underground. Shakur's debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, gained
critical recognition and backlash for its controversial lyrics. Shakur became
the target of lawsuits and experienced other legal problems. Later, he was shot
five times and robbed in a recording studio lobby in Manhattan, New York City,
New York. Following the occurrence, Shakur grew suspicious that other figures in
the rap industry had prior knowledge of the incident and did not warn him; the
controversy helped spark the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry. After
serving eleven months of his sentence for sexual abuse, Shakur was released from
prison on an appeal financed by Marion "Suge" Knight, the CEO of Death Row
Records. In exchange for Knight's assistance, Shakur agreed to release three
records under the Death Row label. Shakur's fifth record, the first double-disc
release in hip hop history All Eyez on Me, counted as two albums.
On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in
Las Vegas, Nevada, and died six days later of respiratory failure and cardiac
arrest at the University Medical Centre.
Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New
York City, New York. He was named
after Túpac Amaru II, an Incan revolutionary who led an indigenous uprising
against Spain and subsequently received capital punishment. His mother, Afeni
Shakur, was an active member of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late
1960s and early 1970s; Shakur was born just one month after her acquittal on
more than 100 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and
New York landmarks" in the New York Panther 21 court case.
Although officially unconfirmed by the Shakur family,
several sources list his birth name as either "Parish Lesane Crooks"
or "Lesane Parish Crooks". Afeni
feared her enemies would attack her son, and disguised their relation using a
different last name, only to change it three months
or a year later, following her marriage to Mutulu Shakur.
Struggle and incarceration surrounded Shakur from an early age. His
godfather, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a high ranking Black Panther, was convicted
of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery, although his sentence was
later overturned. His stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, spent four years at large on
the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list beginning in 1982, when Shakur was a
pre-teen. Mutulu was wanted in part for having helped his sister Assata Shakur
(also known as Joanne Chesimard), Tupac's godmother, to escape from a
penitentiary in New Jersey, where she had been incarcerated for allegedly
shooting a state trooper to death in 1973. Mutulu was caught in 1986 and
imprisoned for an attempted robbery of a Brinks armored car in which two police
officers and a guard were killed.
Tupac had a half-sister, Sekyiwa, two years his junior, and an older
stepbrother, Mopreme "Komani" Shakur, who appeared on many of his recordings.
At the age of twelve, Shakur enrolled in Harlem's famous "127th Street
Ensemble." His first major role with this acting troupe was as Travis in A
Raisin in the Sun. In 1984, his family relocated to Baltimore, Maryland,
After completing his second year at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School he
transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied acting,
poetry, jazz, and ballet. He performed in Shakespeare plays, and in the role of
the Mouse King in The Nutcracker.
Shakur, accompanied by one of his friends, Dana "Mouse" Smith, as his beatbox,
won most of the many rap competitions that he participated in and was considered
to be the best rapper in his school.
Although he lacked trendy clothing, he was one of the most popular kids in his
school because of his sense of humour, superior rapping skills, and ability to
mix in with all crowds. He
developed a close friendship with a young Jada Pinkett (later Jada Pinkett
Smith) that lasted until Shakur's death. In the documentary Tupac:
Resurrection, Shakur says, "Jada is my heart. She will be my friend for my
whole life," and Smith calls Shakur "one of my best friends. He was like a
brother. It was beyond friendship for us. The type of relationship we had, you
only get that once in a lifetime." A poem written by Shakur titled "Jada"
appears in his book, The Rose That Grew From Concrete, which also
includes a poem dedicated to Smith called "The Tears in Cupid's Eyes".
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In June 1988, Shakur and his family moved once again, this time to Marin
City, California, where he attended Tamalpais High School. He joined the
Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) to pursue his career in entertainment. His
mother's crack addiction led him to move into Leila Steinberg's home with his
friend Ray Luv at the age of seventeen and he eventually dropped out of high
school. Leila Steinberg acted as a literary mentor to Shakur, an avid reader.
Steinberg has kept copies of the books that he read, which include J.D.
Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Jamaica Kincaid's At the Bottom of the
River, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Eileen Southern's Music of
Black Americans, and the feminist writings of Alice Walker and Robin Morgan.
Most of these books were read before the age of twenty.
It has been said that Shakur was, in fact, more well-read and intellectually
well-rounded at that age than the average student in the first year class of
most Ivy League institutions. In
1989, Leila Steinberg organized a concert with Shakur's group, Strictly Dope.
The concert lead to him being signed with Atron Gregory who set him up with
Digital Underground. In 1990, he was hired as a back-up dancer and roadie for
up-and-coming rap group Digital Underground.
Shakur's professional entertainment career began in the early 1990s, when he
debuted his rapping skills on "Same Song" from the Digital Underground album
This is an EP Release. He first appeared in the music video for "Same Song".
After his rap debut, Shakur performed with Digital Underground again on the
album Sons Of The P. Later, he released his first solo album,
2Pacalypse Now. Initially he had trouble marketing his solo debut, but
Interscope Records' executives Ted Field and Tom Whalley eventually agreed to
distribute the record.
Shakur claimed his first album was aimed at the problems facing young black
males, but it was publicly criticized for its graphic language and images of
violence by and against law enforcement.
In one instance, a young man claimed his killing of a Texas-based trooper was
influenced by the album. Former Vice President Dan Quayle publicly denounced the
album as having "no place in our society".
2Pacalypse Now did not do as well on the charts as future albums,
spawning no top ten hits. His second record, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.,
was released in 1993. The album, produced mostly in part by Randy "Stretch"
Walker (Shakur's closest friend and associate at the time) and the Live Squad,
generated two hits, "Keep Ya Head Up" and "I Get Around", the latter featuring
guest appearances by Shock G and Money-B of the Digital Underground.
Is The Greatest Rapper Dead Or Alive (I Love You Pac) One day I am going
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In late 1993, Shakur formed the group Thug Life with a number of his friends,
including Big Syke, Macadoshis, his stepbrother Mopreme Shakur, and Rated R. The
group released their first and only record album Thug Life Vol. 1 on
September 26, 1994. The group usually performed their concerts without Shakur.
The concept of "Thug Life" was viewed by Shakur as a philosophy for life. He
developed the word into a backronym standing for "The Hate U Give Little Infants
F***ks Everybody". He declared that the dictionary definition of a "thug" as
being a rogue or criminal was not how he used the term, but rather he meant
someone who came from oppressive or squalid background and little opportunity
but still made a life for himself and was proud.
Even as he garnered attention as a rapper and actor, Shakur gained notoriety
for his conflicts with the law. In October 1991, he filed a $10 million civil
suit against the law enforcement of the Oakland Police Department, alleging they
brutally beat him for jaywalking. The suit was later settled for $42,000.
In October 1993, in Atlanta, Georgia, Shakur shot two off-duty police
officers (one in the leg, one in the buttocks) who were harassing a black
motorist. Charges against Shakur were dismissed when it was discovered that both
officers were intoxicated and were in possession of stolen weapons from an
evidence locker during the occasion.
In December 1993, Shakur and others were charged with sexually abusing a
woman in a hotel room. According to the complaint, Shakur sodomized the woman
and then encouraged his friends to sexually abuse her. Shakur vehemently denied
the charges. He had prior relations days earlier with the woman who was pressing
the charges against him. She performed oral sex on him on a club dance floor and
the two later had consensual sex in his hotel room. The allegations were made
after she revisited his hotel room for the second time where she engaged in
sexual activity with his friends and alleged that Shakur and his entourage had
gang-raped her, saying to him while leaving, "How could you do this to me?"
Shakur stated he had fallen asleep shortly after she arrived and later awoke to
her accusations and legal threats. He later said he felt guilty for leaving her
alone and did not want anyone else to go to jail, but at the same time he did
not want to go to jail for a crime he didn't commit. Shakur was convicted of
sexual abuse. In sentencing Shakur to one-and-a-half years in a correctional
facility, the judge described the crime as "an act of brutal violence against a
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In 1994, he was convicted of attacking a former employer while on a music
video set. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail with additional days on a highway
work crew, community service, and a $2000 fine. In 1995, a wrongful death was
brought against Shakur for a 1992 shooting that killed Qa'id Walker-Teal, a
six-year old of Marin City, California. The child had been the victim of a stray
bullet in a shootout between Shakur's entourage and a rival group, though the
ballistics tests proved the bullet was not from Shakur or any members of his
entourage's guns. Criminal charges were not sought, and Shakur settled with the
family for an amount estimated between $300,000 and $500,000.
After serving part of his sentence upon a conviction, he was released on bail
pending his appeal. On April 5, 1996, a judge sentenced him to serve 120 days in
jail for violating terms of probation.
November 1994 shooting
On the night of November 30, 1994, the day before the verdict in his sexual
abuse trial was to be announced, Shakur was shot five times and robbed after
entering the lobby of the Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan, New York City,
New York, by two armed men in army fatigues. He would later accuse Sean Combs,
Andre Harrell, and Biggie Smalls — whom he saw after the shooting — of setting
him up. Shakur also suspected his close friend and associate, Randy "Stretch"
Walker, of being involved in the attempt. According to the doctors at Bellevue
Hospital, where he was admitted immediately following the incident, Shakur had
received five bullet wounds; twice in the head, twice in the groin and once
through the arm and thigh. He checked out of the hospital, against doctor's
orders, three hours after surgery. In the day that followed, Shakur entered the
courthouse in a wheelchair and was found guilty of three counts of molestation,
but innocent of six others, including sodomy.
On November 30, 1995, exactly one year to the day of the shooting, Stretch
was killed in an execution-style murder in Queens.
Comment "i love you tupac your a legend greatist rapper ever"
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Shakur began serving his prison sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility on
February 14, 1995. Shortly afterwards, he released his multi-platinum album
Me Against the World. Shakur is the only artist ever to have an album at
number one on the Billboard 200 while serving a prison sentence. The album made
its debut on the Billboard 200 and stayed at the top of the charts for five
weeks. The record album sold 240,000 copies in its first week, setting a record
for highest first week sales for a solo male rap artist at the time.
He married his long-time girlfriend, Keisha Morris, while serving his sentence.
This marriage was later annulled. While imprisoned, Shakur read many books by
Niccolò Machiavelli, Sun Tzu's The Art of War and other works of
political philosophy and strategy.
He also wrote a screenplay titled Live 2 Tell while incarcerated, a story
about an adolescent who becomes a drug baron.
In October 1995, Shakur's case was on appeal but due to all of his legal fees
he could not raise the $1.4 million bail. After serving eleven months of his
one-and-a-half year to four-and-a-half year sentence,
Shakur was released from the penitentiary, due in large part to the help and
influence of Marion "Suge" Knight, CEO of Death Row Records. Knight posted $1.4
million bail pending appeal of the conviction, in exchange for which Shakur was
obligated to release three albums for the Death Row label.
Life on Death Row Records
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4eva mwahxXx R.I.P baby boy"
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Upon his release from Clinton Correctional Facility, Shakur immediately went
back to song recording. He began a new group, Outlawz, and with them released
the diss track "Hit 'Em Up", a scathing lyrical assault on Biggie Smalls and
others associated with him. In the track, Shakur claimed to have had intercourse
with Faith Evans, Biggie's wife at the time, and attacks Bad Boy's street
credibility. Though no hard evidence suggests so, Shakur was convinced that some
members associated with Bad Boy had known about the shooting beforehand due to
their behaviour that night and what his sources told him. Shakur aligned himself
with Death Row's CEO Suge Knight, who was already bitter toward Sean Combs and
his successful Bad Boy label; this added fuel to building an East Coast-West
Coast conflict. Both sides remained bitter enemies until Shakur's death.
In February 1996, Shakur released his fourth solo album, All Eyez on Me.
This double album was the first and second of his three-album commitment to
Death Row Records. It sold over nine million copies.
The record was a general departure from the introspective subject matter of
Me Against the World, being more oriented toward a thug and gangsta
mentality. Shakur continued his recordings despite increasing problems at the
Death Row label. Dr. Dre left his post as house producer to form his own label,
Aftermath. Shakur continued to produce hundreds of tracks during his time at
Death Row, most of which would be released on posthumous albums such as
Better Dayz and Until the End of Time. He also began the process of
recording an album with the Boot Camp Clik and their label Duck Down Records,
both New York-based, entitled One Nation.
While incarcerated in Clinton Correctional Facility, Shakur read and studied
Niccolò Machiavelli and other published works, which inspired his pseudonym "Makaveli"
under which he released the record album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day
Theory. The album presents a stark contrast to previous works. Throughout
the album, Shakur continues to focus on the themes of pain and aggression,
making this album one of the emotionally darker works of his career. Shakur
wrote and recorded all the lyrics in only three days and the production took
another four days, combining for a total of seven days to complete the album
(hence the name). The album was completely finished before Shakur died and
Shakur had complete creative input on the album from the name of the album to
the cover, which Shakur chose to symbolize how the media had crucified him. The
record debuted at number one and sold 663,000 copies in the first week.
Shakur had plans of starting Makaveli Records which would have included Outlawz,
Wu-Tang Clan, Big Daddy Kane, Big Syke, and Gang Starr.
September 1996 shooting
On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur attended the Mike Tyson - Bruce
Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. After leaving the
match, one of Suge Knight's associates spotted 21 year-old Orlando "Baby Lane"
Anderson, a member of the Southside Crips, in the MGM Grand lobby and had Shakur
aware. Shakur immediately rushed Anderson and knocked him to the ground.
Shakur's entourage, as well as Knight and his followers assisted in beating down
Anderson. The fight was captured on the hotel's video surveillance. A few weeks
earlier, Anderson and a group of Crips robbed a member of Death Row's entourage
in a Foot Locker store, precipitating Shakur's onset. After the brawl, Shakur
went to rendezvous with Knight to go to Death Row-owned Club 662 (now known as
restaurant/club Seven). He rode in Knight's 1996 black BMW 750i sedan as part of
a larger convoy with some of Shakur's friends, Outlawz, and bodyguards.
At 10:55 p.m., while paused at a red light, Shakur rolled down his window and
a photographer took their photo.
At around 11:00-11:05 p.m., they were halted on Las Vegas Blvd. by Metro bicycle
cops for playing the car stereo too loud and not having license plates. The
plates were then found in the trunk of Knight's vehicle; they were released
without being fined a few minutes later.
At about 11:10 p.m., while stopped at a red light at Flamingo Road near the
intersection of Koval Lane in front of the Maxim Hotel, a vehicle occupied by
two women pulled up on their right side. Shakur, who was standing up through the
sunroof, exchanged words with the two women, and invited them to go to Club 662.
At approximately 11:15 p.m., a white, four-door, late-model, Cadillac driven by
unknown person(s) pulled up to the sedan's right side, rolled down one of the
windows, and rapidly fired around twelve to thirteen shots at Shakur. He was
struck by four rounds; one hit him in the chest, the pelvis, and his right hand
One of the rounds apparently ricocheted into Shakur's right lung.
Knight was hit in the head by shrapnel, though it is thought that a bullet
grazed him. According to Knight, a
bullet from the gunfire had been lodged in his skull, however, medical reports
later contradicted this statement.
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At the time of the drive-by, Shakur was riding alongside Knight, with his
bodyguard following behind in a vehicle belonging to Kidada Jones, Shakur's
then-fiancée. The bodyguard, Frank Alexander, stated that when he was about to
ride along with the rapper in Knight's car, Shakur asked him to drive Kidada
Jones' car instead just in case they were too drunk and needed additional
vehicles from Club 662 back to the hotel. Shortly after the assault, the
bodyguard reported in his documentary, Before I Wake, that one of the
convoy's cars drove off after the assailant but he never heard back from the
After arriving on the scene, police and paramedics took Knight and a fatally
wounded Shakur to the University Medical Center. According to an interview with
one of Shakur's closest friends and music video director Gobi, while at the
hospital, he received news from a Death Row marketing employee that the shooters
had called the record label and were sending death threats aimed at Shakur,
claiming that they were going there to "finish him off".
Upon hearing this, Gobi immediately alerted the Las Vegas police, but the police
claimed they were understaffed and no one could be sent.
Nonetheless, the shooters never arrived.
At the hospital, Shakur was in and out of consciousness; heavily sedated,
breathed through a ventilator and respirator, was placed on life support
machines, and was ultimately put under a barbiturate-induced coma after
repeatedly trying to get out of the bed.
Despite having been resuscitated in a trauma center and surviving a multitude
of surgeries (as well the removal of a failed right lung), Shakur had gotten
through the critical phase of the medical therapy and had a 50% chance of
pulling through. Gobi left the
medical center after being informed that Shakur made a 13% recovery on the sixth
night. While in Critical Care
Unit on the afternoon of September 13, 1996, Shakur died of internal bleeding;
doctors attempted to revive him but could not stop his haemorrhaging.
His mother, Afeni Shakur, made the decision to tell the doctors to stop.
He was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m. (PDT)
The official cause of death was respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest
in connection with multiple gunshot wounds.
Afterwards, Shakur's body was cremated.
Due largely to the perceived lack of progress on the case by law enforcement,
many independent investigations and theories of the murder have emerged. Because
of the acrimony between him and rapper Biggie Smalls, there was speculation from
the outset about the possibility of Biggie's collaboration in the murder. He, as
well his family, relatives, and associates, have vehemently denied the
accusation. In a notable 2002
investigation by the Los Angeles Times, writer Chuck Phillips claimed to
have uncovered evidence implicating Biggie, in addition to Orlando Anderson and
the Southside Crips, in the attack.
In the article, Phillips quoted unnamed gang-member sources who claimed Biggie
had ties to the Crips, often hiring them for security during West Coast
appearances. Phillips' informants also state that Biggie gave the gang members
one of his own guns for use in the slaying of Shakur, and that he set out a
$1,000,000 contract on Shakur's life. By the time Phillips' specific allegations
were published, Biggie himself had been murdered.
In support of their claims, Biggie's family submitted documentation to MTV
insinuating that he was working in a New York-based recording studio the night
of the drive-by shooting. His manager Wayne Barrow and fellow rapper James "Lil'
Cease" Lloyd made public announcements denying Biggie's partaking in the crime
and claimed further that they were both with him in the recording studio during
the night of the event.
The high profile nature of the killing and ensuing gang violence caught the
attention of British filmmaker Nick Broomfield, who made the documentary film
Biggie & Tupac which examines the lack of progress in the case by speaking
to those close to the two slain rappers and the investigation. Shakur's close
childhood friend and member of Outlawz, Yafeu "Yaki Kadafi" Fula, was in the
convoy when the drive-by occurred and indicated to police that he might be able
to identify the assailants, however, he was shot and killed shortly thereafter
in a housing project in Irvington, New Jersey.
In the first few seconds of the song "Intro/Bomb First (My Second Reply)" on
the record album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Shakur can be
heard saying "Shoulda shot me".
While some believed that Suge Knight may have orchestrated Shakur's murder,
theorists mistook the statement in the song as "Suge shot me" or "Suge shot 'em"
until confirmation by multiple audio tests and confirmation from members of
Outlawz. This, along with reports of Knight's strong-arm tactics with artists
and other illegal business tactics including involvement with the Mob Piru
Bloods street gang gave rise to a theory that Knight was complicit in the
homicide, as it was supposedly reported that Knight owed Shakur up to
$17,000,000 in back royalties, but no evidence has been provided to support this
Other theories have been put forth, including a conspiracy theory that Shakur
is alive and well, but in hiding. Supporters of these theories point to the
symbolism in Shakur's The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory album and in
the music video for "I Ain't Mad at Cha". Efforts exposing these conspiracy
theories include 2Pac Lives The Death of Makaveli / The Resurrection of Tupac
Amaru (Volume 1) released in 2005.
A DVD titled Tupac Revelation was released on October 23, 2007, more
than eleven years after Shakur's murder. It explores aspects circulating the
event and provides new insight about the cold case with details by Shakur's
bodyguard, Frank Alexander.
Shakur's music and philosophy is rooted in many American, African-American,
and World entities, including the Black Panther Party, Black nationalism,
egalitarianism, and liberty. His debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, revealed
the socially conscious side of Shakur. On this album, Shakur attacked social
injustice, poverty and police brutality on songs "Brenda's Got a Baby",
"Trapped" and "Part Time Mutha". His style on this album was highly influenced
by the social consciousness and Afrocentrism pervading hip hop in the late 1980s
and early 1990s. On this initial release, Shakur helped extend the success of
such rap groups as Boogie Down Productions, Public Enemy, X-Clan, and
Grandmaster Flash, as he became one of the first major socially conscious
rappers from the West Coast.
On his second record, Shakur continued to rap about the social ills facing
African-Americans, with songs like "The Streetz R Deathrow" and "Last Wordz." He
also showed his compassionate side with the inspirational anthem "Keep Ya Head
Up", while simultaneously putting his legendary aggressiveness on display with
the title track from the album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. he added a
salute to his former group Digital Underground by including them on the playful
track "I Get Around". Throughout his career, an increasingly aggressive attitude
can be seen pervading Shakur's subsequent albums.
The contradictory themes of social inequality and injustice, unbridled
aggression, compassion, playfulness, and hope all continued to shape Shakur's
work, as witnessed with the release of his incendiary 1995 album Me Against
the World. In 1996, Shakur released All Eyez on Me. Many of these
tracks are considered by many critics to be classics, including "Ambitionz Az a
Ridah", "I Ain't Mad at Cha", "California Love", "Life Goes On" and "Picture Me
Rollin'".; All Eyez on Me was a change of style from his earlier works.
While still containing conscious songs and themes, Shakur's album was heavily
influenced by party tracks and tended to have a more "feel good" vibe than his
first albums. Shakur described it as a celebration of life. Nonetheless, the
record was critically and commercially successful.
Shakur was a voracious reader. He was inspired by a wide variety of writers,
including Niccolò Machiavelli, Donald Goines, Sun Tzu, Kurt Vonnegut, Mikhail
Bakunin, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Khalil Gibran. In his book, Dyson
describes the experience of visiting the home of Shakur's friend and promoter
Leila Sternberg to find "the sea of books" once owned by Shakur.
Shakur has one of the largest personal legacies of any music artist in the
history of music. The music and messages in his work pervaded the styles of the
following generations and his music had great impact all over the nation and
world. At a Mobb Deep concert following the death of the famed icon and release
of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Cormega recalled in an
interview that the fans were all shouting "Makaveli",
and emphasized the influence of the The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
and of Shakur himself even in New York at the height of the media-dubbed 'intercoastal
rivalry'. About.com named Shakur the most influential rapper ever.
To preserve Shakur's legacy, his mother founded the Shakur Family Foundation
(later re-named the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation or TASF) in 1997. The TASF's
stated mission is to "provide training and support for students who aspire to
enhance their creative talents." The TASF sponsors essay contests, charity
events, a performing arts day camp for teenagers and undergraduate scholarships.
The Foundation officially opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts (TASCA)
in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on June 11, 2005. On November 14, 2003, a
documentary about Shakur entitled Tupac: Resurrection was released under
the supervision of his mother and narrated entirely in his voice. It was
nominated for Best Documentary in the 2005 Academy Awards. Proceeds will go to a
charity set up by his mother, Afeni Shakur. On April 17, 2003, Harvard
University co-sponsored an academic symposium entitled "All Eyez on Me: Tupac
Shakur and the Search for the Modern Folk Hero." The speakers discussed a wide
range of topics dealing with Shakur's impact on everything from entertainment to
Many of the speakers discussed Shakur's status and public persona, including
State University of New York English professor Mark Anthony Neal who gave the
talk "Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian" in which he argued
that Shakur was an example of the "organic intellectual" expressing the concerns
of a larger group. Professor Neal
has also indicated in his writings that the death of Shakur has left a
"leadership void amongst hip-hop artists."
Neal further describes Tupac as a "walking contradiction", a status that allowed
him to "make being an intellectual accessible to ordinary people".
Professor of Communications Murray Forman, of Northeastern University, spoke
of the mythical status surrounding Shakur's life and death. He addressed the
symbolism and mythology surrounding Shakur's death in his talk entitled "Tupac
Shakur: O.G. (Ostensibly Gone)". Among his findings were that Shakur's fans have
"succeeded in resurrecting Tupac as an ethereal life force".
In "From Thug Life to Legend: Realization of a Black Folk Hero", Professor of
Music at Northeastern University, Emmett Price, compared Shakur's public image
to that of the trickster-figures of African-American folklore which gave rise to
the urban "bad-man" persona of the post-slavery period. He ultimately described
Shakur as a "prolific artist" who was "driven by a terrible sense of urgency" in
a quest to "unify mind, body, and spirit".
Michael Dyson, University of Pennsylvania Avalon Professor of Humanities and
African American Studies and author of the book Holler If You Hear Me:
Searching for Tupac Shakur
indicated that Shakur "spoke with brilliance and insight as someone who bears
witness to the pain of those who would never have his platform. He told the
truth, even as he struggled with the fragments of his identity."
At one Harvard Conference the theme was Shakur's impact on entertainment, race
relations, politics and the "hero/martyr".
In late 1997, the University of California, Berkeley offered a student-led
course entitled "History 98: Poetry and History of Tupac Shakur."
In late 2003, the Makaveli Branded Clothing line was launched by Afeni Shakur.
In 2005, Death Row released Tupac: Live at the House of Blues. The DVD
was the final recorded performance of Shakur's career, which took place in July
4, 1996, and features a plethora of Death Row artists. In August 2006, Tupac
Shakur Legacy was released. The interactive biography was written by Jamal
Joseph. It features unseen family photographs, intimate stories, and over 20
removable reproductions of his handwritten song lyrics, contracts, scripts,
poetry, and other personal papers. Shakur's sixth posthumous studio album,
Pac's Life, was released on November 21, 2006. It commemorates the 10th
anniversary of Shakur's death. He is still considered one of the most popular
artists in the music industry as of 2006.
- Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame in 2002.
- In 2003, MTV's "22 Greatest MCs" countdown listed Shakur as the "number
1 MC", as voted by the viewers.
- In 2004, at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors Shakur was honored along with DJ
Hollywood, Kool DJ Herc, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C., Rock Steady
Crew, and Sugarhill Gang.
- A Vibe magazine poll in 2004 rated Shakur "the greatest rapper of
all time" as voted by fans.
- At the First Annual Turks & Caicos International Film Festival held on
Tuesday, October 17, 2006, Shakur was honored for his undeniable voice and
talent and as a performer who crossed racial, ethnic, cultural and medium
lines; his mother, Afeni Shakur, accepted the award on his behalf.
- 1991: 2Pacalypse Now
- 1993: Strictly 4 My
- 1995: Me Against the
- 1996: All Eyez on Me
- 1996: The Don
Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
- 1997: R U Still
Down? (Remember Me)
- 1999: Still I Rise
- 2001: Until the End
- 2002: Better Dayz
- 2004: Loyal to the
- 2006: Pac's Life
- 1993: Poetic Justice
- 1994: Above the Rim
- 1994: Thug Life:
- 1997: Gridlock'd
- 1997: Gang Related
- 1998: Greatest Hits
- 2000: The Rose that
Grew from Concrete
- 2003: The Prophet:
The Best Of The Works
- 2003: Nu-Mixx
- 2003: Tupac:
- 2004: 2Pac Live
- 2005: The Rose, Vol.
- 2005: Tupac: Live at
the House of Blues
- 2007: Beginnings:
The Lost Tapes 1988-1991
- 2007: Nu-Mixx
Klazzics Vol. 2
- 2007: Best of 2Pac
Part 1: Thug
- 2007: Best of 2Pac
Part 2: Life
Top 10 Billboard
- 1991: "Brenda's Got a Baby"
- 1991: "If My Homie Calls"
- 1993: "I Get Around"
- 1993: "Keep Ya Head Up"
- 1995: "Dear Mama"
- 1995: "Old School"
- 1995: "So Many Tears"
- 1996: "California Love"
- 1996: "How Do You Want It"
- 1997: "To Live & Die in L.A."
- 1997: "Made Niggaz"
- 1997: "Do for Love"
- 1998: "Changes"
- 2002: "Thugz Mansion"
- 2003: "Runnin' (Dying to Live)"
- 2005: "Ghetto Gospel"
- 2006: "Pac's Life"
In addition to rapping and hip hop music, Shakur acted in films. He made his
first film appearance in the motion picture Nothing But Trouble, as part
of a cameo by the Digital Underground. His first starring role was in the movie
Juice. In this story, he played the character Bishop, a trigger happy
teen, for which he was hailed by Rolling Stone's Peter Travers as "the
film's most magnetic figure." He
went on to star with Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice and with Marlon
Wayans in Above the Rim. After his death, three of Shakur's completed
films, Bullet, Gridlock'd and Gang Related, were
He had also been slated to star in the Hughes brothers' film Menace II
Society but was replaced by Larenz Tate after assaulting Allen Hughes as a
result of a quarrel. Director John Singleton mentioned that he wrote the script
for Baby Boy with Shakur in mind for the leading role.
It was eventually filmed with Tyrese Gibson in his place and released in 2001,
five years after Shakur's death. The movie features a mural of Shakur in the
protagonist's bedroom as well as featuring the song "Hail Mary" in the movie's
Near the end of his life, Shakur founded a movie development company called
Euphanasia. He wore the
company chain (a silver chain with a medallion depicting the Black Angel of
Death) on September 4, 1996, during the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. He wore it
again on September 7, 1996, during the Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon bout and when
he was shot later that night.
Shakur was evidently planning to start writing and directing his own films which
would be developed by Euphanasia; the company never did anything due to his
||Nothing But Trouble
||First starring role
||Co-starred with Janet Jackson
||Above the Rim
||Co-starred with Marlon Wayans
||Released one month after Shakur's death
||Ezekiel 'Spoon' Whitmore
||Released several months after Shakur's death
||Shakur's last performance in a film
||Live 2 Tell
||Expected in 2008
||Untitled Tupac Shakur Biopic
Shakur's life has been recognized in big and small documentaries each trying
capture the many different events during his short lifetime, most notably the
Academy Award-nominated Tupac: Resurrection, released in 2003.
- 1997: Tupac Shakur: Thug Immortal
- 1997: Tupac Shakur: Words Never Die (TV)
- 2001: Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake...
- 2001: Welcome to Deathrow
- 2002: Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw
- 2002: Biggie & Tupac
- 2002: Tha Westside
- 2003: 2Pac 4 Ever
- 2003: Tupac: Resurrection
- 2004: Tupac vs.
- 2004: Tupac: The Hip Hop Genius (TV)
- 2006: So Many Years, So Many Tears
- 2007: Tupac: Assassination
- Tupac: Resurrection (2003) ISBN 0-7434-7435-X
- Tupac Shakur Legacy (2006) ISBN 0-7432-9260-X
- Tupac Remembered (2007) ISBN 1-9328-5576-9
- Thru My Eyes: Thoughts on Tupac Shakur in Pictures and Words
- Rebel for the Hell of It: The Life of Tupac Shakur
- Death Rap Tupac Shakur
- Tupac Shakur (They Died Too Young)
- Got Your Back: The Life of a Bodyguard in the Hardcore World of
- Back in the Day: My Life and Times With Tupac Shakur
- The Killing of Tupac Shakur
- Jesus and the Hip-Hop Prophets: Spiritual Insights from Lauryn Hill
and Tupac Shakur
- How Long Will They Mourn Me?: The Life and Legacy of Tupac Shakur
- Holler If You Hear Me
- Dear 2Pac
- All Eyez on Me: The Life and Times of Tupac Shakur
- Tupac (Hip Hop)
- Tupac: A Thug Life
- Tough Love: Cultural Criticism & Familial Observations on the life
and death of Tupac Shakur (Black Words Series)
- Tupac Shakur (Just the Facts Biographies)
- Tupac Shakur (People in the News)
- Tupac Shakur (Rock Music Library)
- Tupac and Elvis (Inevitably Restless)
- Tupac Shakur (Hip-Hop Stars)
- Static: My Tupac Shakur Story
- Tupac Shakur: 2Pac in the Studio (The Studio Years (1989 - 1996))
- The Rose That Grew From Concrete (1999) ISBN 0-671-02844-8
- Inside a Thug's Heart (2004) ISBN 0-7582-0789-1
Have Your Say
tupac will never be for gotten my motha waz a close friend
to pac and our family we will neva forget him!!!!!
Tupac your amazing man , R.I.P
Thug in peace, Tupac Shakur ! much love from Norway
oh 2pac miss u & i saw ur mama at my school!!!!!
TUPAC IZ THA BEST OF ALL TIME, LISTEN 2 PAC 24/7, F*** THA
ILLUMINATI 4 KILLIN TUPAC
Tupac is the true factor of rap and no one can ever replace
him. F*** the music on the radio cuz it's humiliating to
back in the old days during the 80s. HIP HOP WAS BORN!!!
Thug Life, westside till i die
Tupac was the best rapper ever!! He
actually rapped about what was true nobody can be like him
not even LiL Wayne , Kanye West , or Jay Z BiTCHES!!!!!! -
P.S I will see you in heaven someday baby ily so much you
will never be forgotten and I know more about Tupac then
anybody else does ha ha ha bitch I do my research
YOU ARE THE BEST, YOU HELPED, ME OPEN MY
EYES TOWARD THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO MY FUTURE. THANK YOU!!
2pac,was the best rapper that ever lived
and his music and legacy will carry him on 4 ever, r.i.p
2pac,peace out,westside4 life
2pac is a very educated person who
expresses his thought through music and poetry. even though
he is dead and gone his life still lives on....
2PAC will never die .He will be a part of
history forever. He was the greatest lyricist of all time.
I'm a white boy who never liked rap till I heard 2 Pac. He
was a force no one could ignore
TUPAC IS A BEAST (: GET ATT MEEE!
1 luv tupac happy new year still missin u
you the best alive or dead screw eastside
i love you tupac your a legend greatist rapper ever
Tupac Is The Greatest Rapper Dead Or
Alive (I Love You Pac) One day I am goner be Famous
i luv u 2pac ur ma role model luv u
4eva mwahxXx R.I.P baby boy
I luv 2pac is woz big on the road
tupac is kewl lol baha hii jesska
BIG><BIG>BABY THIS IS YA BIGGEST FAN WHITNEY...I LUV U
'2PAC' WAS 1 OF DA GR8EST PEEPS IN DA
WORLD LV YA LDZ SHAN XXX