- NAME: Tupac Shakur
- OCCUPATION: Actor, Rapper
- BIRTH DATE: June 16, 1971
- DEATH DATE: September 13, 1996
- EDUCATION: Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Baltimore School for the Arts, Tamalpais High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Originally: Lesane Parish Crooks
- AKA: 2Pac
- Full Name: Tupac Shakur
- AKA: Lesane Crooks
- AKA: Tupac
Best Known For
A hip-hop legend, with explicit and controversial lyrics, Tupac Shakur was embroiled in a feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers.
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Tupac Shakur moved to California and established himself as a dancer and rapper. His notable work includes "Me Against the World" and the film "Poetic Justice."He was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996.
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Born in New York City in 1971, Tupac Shakur, known by his stage name 2Pac, was an American rapper. Shakur has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Most of Tupac's songs are about growing up amid violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, other social problems and conflicts with other rappers during the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry. Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1996.
"My mama always used to tell me, 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for.'"
"In my death, people will understand what I was talking about."
"No matter who committed the crime, they yell at me. And the media is greedier than most."
"I'm a reflection of the community."
"The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams."
"Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal."
"I feel close to Marvin Gaye, Vincent van Gogh, because nobody appreciated his work until he was dead. Now it's worth millions."
"I'm doing this for the kid who truly lives a 'thug life' and thinks its hopeless."
"During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams."
"When I die and they come for me, bury me a G."
"Live by the gun. Die by the gun."
Shakur has become a legend in hip-hop and rap circles for his talent, his violent behavior, and his brutal death. The son of Black Panther activists, Shakur was raised by his mother Afeni Shakur. She was actually in jail on bombing charges during his pregnancy with Tupac. She was later acquitted in the case. He had no contact with his biological father, Billy Garland, until he was an adult.
According to The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Shakur was originally named Lesane Parish Crooks, but his moniker was soon changed to Tupac Amaru Shakur. "Tupac Amaru" means "shining serpent." He had a difficult childhood, moving frequently around in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx. Shakur received an education in radical politics from his mother, but he also saw some of life's hardships through her struggles with substance abuse. In his youth, he explored acting by becoming a member of the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem-based theater company.
As a teenager, Shakur attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he took acting and dance classes, including ballet. While living in Baltimore, he discovered rap and began performing as MC New York. In the late 1980s, Shakur and his family moved to the West Coast. He joined the Oakland, California-based hip-hop group Digital Underground, which earlier had scored a hit with the song "The Humpty Dance." Shakur appeared on two of the group's recordings—1990's This Is an EP and Sons of the P before going solo.
In 1991, Shakur emerged as a solo artist—using the name 2Pac—with his debut album 2Pacalypse Now. The track "Brenda's Got a Baby" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. His second album, Strictly 4 My N. I. G. G. A. Z., crossed over to the pop charts, with singles "I Get Around" and "Keep Ya Head Up." The album went platinum, selling more than a million copies.
Around this time, Shakur made his film debut in the 1992 urban crime drama Juice with Omar Epps, Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah. He showed his softer side in Poetic Justice (1993), which was billed as "A Street Romance." Shakur starred opposite Janet Jackson in the film. The following year, he played a drug dealer in the basketball drama Above the Rim.
2Pac became quite a sensation, earning praise for his musical and acting talent as well as condemnation for his explicit, violent lyrics. Many of his songs told of fights, gangs, and sex.
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