Tupac Shakur was more than just a rapper, he was a movement. Born Tupac Amaru Shakur, in East Harlem, he would go on to become a staple on the West Coast rap scene. As a child, Pac was pre-disposed to a sociopolitical mindset as the son of active members in the Black Panther Party.
Throughout his career, he straddled the line in content, likely because of his upbringing. With a fondness for “thug life” he offered up a balanced meal of rhymes influenced by two different life experiences. As quickly as he could rap about taking down Biggie's wife (arguably one of the best diss records in Hip-Hop history), he told females to “keep ya head up.”
For the Hip-Hop community, Pac was more than just a rapper; he was a reporter, a scholar, and of course a lyrical genius. Yet like many before and after him, his life was cut short. On Sept. 13, 1996 he died from injuries sustained from several gun shot wounds after leaving a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas. Pac was only 25 at the time, and 16 years after his untimely demise, his influence vibrates through the music sector. From Rick Ross, to Drake, to Nas, any rapper worth weight in the game has named him as one of the MCs that they looked up to.
Even though he was resurrected in hologram-form earlier this year, and was rumored to be living in New Zealand, there will never be another Tupac.
In commemoration of his death, check out a gallery of memorable flicks below.
MORE ON HIP-HOP WIRED!