About the Author - Tupac Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and songwriter. Considered one of the most influential and successful rappers of all time, Shakur is among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. His lyrical content has been noted for addressing social injustice, violence, and the marginalization of African-Americans. Shakur wa...

Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and songwriter. Considered one of the most influential and successful rappers of all time, Shakur is among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. His lyrical content has been noted for addressing social injustice, violence, and the marginalization of African-Americans. Shakur was born in New York City to parents who were both political activists and Black Panther Party members. Raised by his mother, Afeni Shakur, he relocated to Baltimore in 1984 and to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. With the release of his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991, he became a central figure in West Coast hip hop for his conscious rap lyrics. Shakur achieved further critical and commercial success with his follow-up albums Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z... (1993) and Me Against the World (1995). His Diamond certified album All Eyez on Me (1996), the first double-length album in hip-hop history, abandoned his introspective lyrics for volatile gangsta rap. In addition to his music career, Shakur also found considerable success as an actor, with his starring roles in Juice (1992), Poetic Justice (1993), Above the Rim (1994), Bullet (1996), Gridlock'd (1997), and Gang Related (1997). Shakur’s most notable songs include "California Love," "Changes," "Dear Mama," "Hail Mary," "Keep Ya Head Up," "Hit 'Em Up," "Ambitionz Az a Ridah," "All Eyez on Me," "Ghetto Gospel," "So Many Tears," "How Do U Want It," "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted," and "I Get Around." Alongside his solo career, Tupac was part of the group Thug Life and collaborated with artists like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Outlawz. During the later part of his career, Shakur was shot five times in the lobby of a New York recording studio and experienced legal troubles, including incarceration. Shakur served eight months in prison on sexual abuse charges, but was released pending an appeal of his conviction in 1995. Following his release, he signed to Marion "Suge" Knight's label Death Row Records and became heavily involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times by an unidentified assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas; he died six days later. Following his murder, Shakur's friend-turned-rival, the Notorious B.I.G., was at first considered a suspect due to their public feud; he was also murdered in another drive-by shooting six months later in March 1997, while visiting Los Angeles. Shakur's double-length posthumous album Greatest Hits (1998) is one of his two releases—and one of only nine hip hop albums—to have been certified Diamond in the United States. Five more albums have been released since Shakur's death, including his critically acclaimed posthumous album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (1996) under his stage name Makaveli, all of which have been certified Platinum in the United States. In 2002, Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked Shakur among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2023, he was awarded a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. According to Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame: "Tupac Shakur was a rapper, actor, activist, poet, and revolutionary. This iconic artist has continued to be part of the zeitgeist for decades after his passing and will continue to be an important cultural figure for many years to come. Surely, as one of L.A.’s own, Tupac’s star will be added to the list of most visited stars.”

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