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Tupac Amuru Shakur
(June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996)

Stage names: 2Pac, Pac, and Makaveli
Nationality: American
Music Groups and Affiliations: One Nation Emcees, Two From The Crew, Strictly Dope, Digital Underground, Thug Life, Outlaw Immortalz/Outlawz
Height: 5’8 Weight: 160
Achievements: Over 75 million albums sold. 6 Grammy nominations, 3 MTV Music Award Nominations. Considered by many to be one of the biggest influences on modern hip-hop

Tupac Shakur was born in Harmlem, New York in June 16, 1971. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was an active Black Panther member and was charged with “conspiracy” against the United States Government while still pregnant with Tupac. She was held in prison during that time, but was latter acquitted. Tupac’s first time in jail was spent as an unborn child, and was a prequel to the troubles with the law he would encounter later in life.

Tupac was named after an Inca Indian revolutionary, “Tupac Amaru”, meaning “Shining Serpent”. “Shakur” means “Thankful To God” in Arabic.

Tupac’s father, Billy Garland, was not present in his life growing up, and was raised by his mother and step-father Mutulu Shakur. Shakur also had two siblings, a half-sister, Sekyiwa, two years his junior, and an older stepbrother, Mopreme “Komani” Shakur. These two would later appear in many of his recordings.

Tupac lived a hard life and witnessed first hand police brutality and people getting imprisoned. He was greatly influenced by the Black Panther Movement in which both his parent participated in. Growing up, a lot of his reading involved famous activists such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. He even read shakspear in his spare time!

2Pac broke out into the the rap scene with his entrance to the Digital Underground group as a back-up dancer and roadie. Eventually Shakur released his first solo album in 1991, 2pacalypse Now. Although it was not an instant hit, it was hailed by many critics and fans for its “underground” feel. The album featured songs including “Brenda’s Got a Baby”, “Trapped”, and “If My Homie Calls”.
tupac gold rings
2Pac was not without legal troubles including an arrest and beating by the Oakland police over a jaywalking incident. In Oct 1991, Tupac filed a $10 million lawsuit against Oakland Police and later won a smaller settlement.

2Pac’s music career began to grow with his second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. “I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up” shot up to the top 20 pop charts with its release.

2Pac’s controversial lyrics did not win friends with the United States Government, police, or the media. His lyrics routinely included scenes of police brutality (pigs), and using phrases such as “bitches” and “hoes”.

2Pac was also involved in more legal troubles in 1995, and was accused of sexually violating a woman at a hotel. The judge gave him 120 days in jail for violating his parole during that event, and was facing one-and-a-half to four years in prison. A day before his verdict, in November 20, 1994, 2Pac Shakur again caught media attention as he was shot five times and robbed from two armed men in army fatigues. He would later accuse Sean Combs, Andre Harrell, and Biggie Smalls for setting him up.

Against the doctor’s orders 2Pac left the hospital 3 hours after surgery, and entered the courthouse in a wheelchair. He was later found guilty, and on on February 6, 1995, he was sentenced to one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years in prison on a sexual assault charge.

As 2Pac Shakur began serving his time in jail, he released his album Me Against the World. Shakur became the first artist to top the Billboard 200 while still serving a prison sentence. Notable songs would include “Dear Mama”, “So Many Tears”, and “Temptations”.

After serving eleven months of his sentence, 2Pac Shakur was released from prison with the help and influence of Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records. He would post a $1.4 million bail, in exchange for a record deal with Death Row. 2Pac would be expected to release 3 albums released under the Death Row Name.

In 1996, 2Pac release his fourth album All Eyez on Me. That album would be recognized as one of the most influential among rap music of the 1990s.

September 1996 shooting and 2Pac’s Death

In September 7, 1996, after 2Pac Shakur attended the Mike Tyson–Bruce Seldon boxing match in Las Vegas. He was shot while riding in the car with Suge Knight.

After police and paramedics arrived to the scene, they took Tupac to the hospital. 2Pac fell in a coma and was later pronounced dead. To this day no one knows who killed 2Pac, or if he is really dead. If you want to know more about this shooting, and possible suspects, visit 1996 Las Vegas Shooting.