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Tupac Amaru Shakur was a profoundly talented and inspirational human being who, to this day, remains one of the most influential MCs in Hip-Hop. Like many in his position of influence, Shakur died young but thankfully left us with a plethora of content and wisdom to remember him by.

Shakur was born Lesane Parish Crooks on June 16, 1971 in East Harlem. By the time he was a teenager, Shakur and his family moved to Baltimore where he attended the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and later the Baltimore School for the Arts. There, Pac got to express his talent for the arts. He studied jazz, ballet (yes, a young Tupac was in the Nutcracker), and of course rap. Back the music was still getting its sea legs, and Shakur already showed an early sign of rap skills by winning school competitions.

In 1988, Shakur and his family moved to Northern California, where he attended Tamalpais High School, and started taking poetry classes. A couple of years later in the early 90s, he hooked up with Digital Undergound, and by 1991 his first album 2Pacalypse Now. Over the next four years he would change the state of rap releasing four more albums until his untimely death on Sept. 13, 1996.

Shakur is undoubtedly one of music’s most legendary figures, one who continues to be missed by friends and fans but perhaps no one misses him more than his mother, Afeni Shakur. “I miss his being, he was my son and I miss him as my baby,” his mother, Afeni, said in an old interview. “My boy, who I loved, respected, appreciated. He was my friend. I miss interacting with that perfect being, that excitable lovable magnificent spirit…I miss him, I can’t think of [just] one thing I miss. But I thank God everyday for every second that he was here…I thank God for every day of those 25 years.”

Since we can’t have him here with us, today we will celebrate Tupac Shakur with 10 quotes to inspire you.

Hit the gallery to take a look.

Photos: WENN/YouTube/Instagram

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