Who Was Tupac Shakur?
Tupac Shakur (June 16, 1971 to September 13, 1996) was an American rapper and actor who came to embody the 1990s gangsta-rap aesthetic and in death became an icon symbolizing noble struggle.
He has sold 75 million albums to date, making him one of the top-selling artists of all time. A sensitive, precociously talented and troubled soul, Tupac was gunned down in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996 and died six days later
His murder has never been solved. Tupac began his music career as a rebel with a cause to articulate the travails and injustices endured by many African-Americans. His skill in doing so made him a spokesperson not just for his own generation but for subsequent ones who continue to face the same struggle for equality.
In life, his biggest battle was sometimes with himself. As fate drove him towards the nihilism of gangsta rap, and into the arms of the controversial Death Row Records impresario Suge Knight, the boundaries between Shakur's art and his life became increasingly blurred — with tragic
Tupac died on September 13, 1996 of gunshot wounds inflicted six days prior. On September 7, Tupac was in Las Vegas with Suge Knight to watch a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand hotel. There was a scuffle after the bout between a member of the Crips gang and Tupac. Knight, who was involved with the rival Bloods gang, and members of his entourage piled in. Later, as a car that Tupac was sharing with Knight stopped at a red light, a man emerged from another car and fired 13 shots, hitting Tupac in the hand, pelvis and chest. He later died at the hospital. His girlfriend Kidada and his mother Afeni were both with him in his final days.
Tupac's body was cremated. Members of his old band, Outlawz, made the controversial claim that they had smoked some of his ashes in honor of him. His mother announced she would scatter her son's ashes in Soweto, South Africa, the "birthplace of his ancestors," on the 10th anniversary of his murder. She later changed the date to June 16, 1997 — Tupac's 26th birthday as well as the anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising.
Tupac’s Albums and Songs
Tupac has released a total of 11 platinum albums: four during his career, with seven more released posthumously. To date, Tupac has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. As of September 2017, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) listed Tupac as the 44th top-selling artist of all time by album sales and streaming figures.
'2Pacalypse Now' Tupac's first album as a solo artist was 2Pacalypse Now. Although it did not yield any hits, it sold a respectable 500,000 copies and established Tupac as an uncompromising social commentator on songs such as "Brenda's Got a Baby" — which narrates an underaged mother's fall into destitution — and "Soulja's Story," which controversially spoke of "blasting" a police officer and "droppin' the cop." The song was cited as a motivation for a real-life cop killing by a teenage car thief called Ronald Ray Howard, and was condemned by the then-U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle. "There is absolutely no reason for a record like this to be published," Quayle said. "It has no place in our society." With those words, Shakur's notoriety was guaranteed.