The Legend of 2Pac

Staff Writer: Hannah Johnson

Tupac Shakur, otherwise known by his stage name 2Pac, was one of the most famous American rappers, record producers, and poets of his time. Born on July 16, 1971 in the east Harlem area of Manhattan, New York. Shakur was originally born by the name of Lesane Parish Crooks, until 1972 when he was then renamed by his parents after the last Incan emperor Tupac Amaru II. The artist is best known by his bandana tied into bunny ears on his head, this became the most iconic hip-hop style choices ever! I know his parents must’ve been proud as little did his parents know that they were raising one of the most well-known rap icons in the world! “He was one of my absolute favorites back in the day, he rapped about the real stuff!”- Leonard Johnson, Official 2Pac aficionado.

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2Pac in one of his most famous shots posing for the camera.

 

Now, 2Pac started recording his music back in 1987, but his actual music career didn’t take off until the early 1990s when he debuted in the group Digital Underground’s song “Same Song” from the 1991 film Nothing but Trouble. Soon after once again performing with the group on the album Sons of P, 2Pac went on to feature Shock G and Money-B from Digital Underground in the track “I Get Around”, which ranked at number eleven on the Billboard’s top 100. Not long after, the rapper released his very first solo album 2Pacolypse Now, which at the time didn’t get any top ten hits but is now noted to be the source of inspiration for many rappers and artists such as Eminem, Game, Nas, and Talib Kwali. In 1993, Shakur formed the rap group Thug Life, which consisted of a few of his friends like Big Syke, Macadoshis, along with his step brother Mopreme, and Rated R. The group released their only album Thug Life: Volume 1, which went gold! “I always remember jamming out to his songs when I was younger, he always will have a place in my heart.”-Heather Johnson, long time listener and lover of the hip-hop genre.

In his life, Shakur befriended many rappers such Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Cease, Freddie Foxxx, and most notably, The Notorious B.I.G. This gave him some fun times, but also got him into some trouble as well. Back in 1993, 2Pac and a few of his buddies were charged with the sexual assault of a woman they met at a hotel. Although very serious, he denied the charges. Later in 1995, the charge for the crime was on for appeal, but unfortunately, due to his legal fees, he was not able to raise the 1.4 million needed for bail. After serving 9 months in the Clinton Correctional facility, the rapper was released on October 12, 1995. On April 5, 1996, a judge sentenced Shakur to 120 days in jail for violating terms of release on his bail. Shortly after, he released his multi-platinum album Me Against the World and he became the first artist to have an album at number one on Billboard’s Top 100 while serving time.

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2Pac showing off his iconic bandana tied into bunny ears.

 Sadly, all good things came to an end. On the night of September 7, 1996, he and artist Suge Knight attended the Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is when everything went downhill as on that night, 2Pac was shot four times, twice in the chest, once in the arm, and once in the thigh. The aftermath left the artist heavily sedated at the hospital, placed on life-support machines, and ultimately put under a barbiturate- induced coma after repeatedly trying to get out of the bed. On the afternoon of September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur was pronounced dead from internal bleeding from ballistic trauma. The beloved artist 2Pac took his very last breath at the young age of 25. “I was super sad to hear of his passing, I  was only 30 at the time and listened to him religiously!”-Bonnie Cuzuski, rap music fan and longtime listener.

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A beloved memory captured in this photo of the artist, posing with a lit cigarette .

 

**All photos are from creative commons**

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