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Tupac Shakur’s 40th Birthday

The hip-hop legend known as Tupac Shakur would have been 40 years old today.

Although Pac was heralded as an iconic rap artist and one of the greatest of all time, his impact exceeded the music he made. Fans salute Shakur as a revolutionary, a poet, a rebel and voice for the community.

The son of the former Black Panther Afeni Shakur, Tupac was born in New York City but moved to Baltimore, Maryland as a teenager where he studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet.

Tupac’s rap career began with a memorable verse on  Digital Underground’s “Same Song.”

Shakur spoke on social injustice, poverty and police brutality on songs “Brenda’s Got a Baby”, “Trapped” and “Part Time Mutha” on his debut album, 2Pacalypse now. His acting career took off as he played the Harlem thug Bishop in his breakout role in the movie Juice. He also starred alongside Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice and Marlon Wayans in Above The Rim.

Some say Pac took on the characteristics of “Bishop” as his real life became riddled with arrests, media confrontation, a publicized shooting and robbery attempt and a jail sentence due to an alleged rape case.

His socially conscious lyrics became mixed with violence aimed at other rappers, bravado and an allegiance to the West Coast he called home for his adult life.

Pac may have had an obsession with death because he knew that his time on earth would be cut short. His videos foreshadowed it, his words alerted us and his interviews eerily contained a posthumous vibe that keeps him living through his work.

Before his death, Shakur released five studio albums including the stellar double disc, All Eyez on Me. The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was released posthumously.

Shakur died from internal bleeding at age 25 on Sept. 13th, 1996, days after being shot multiple times during a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.

Tonight, The Tupac 40th Birthday Concert is being held at Symphony Hall – Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta with Mike Epps hosting and Erykah Badu, Bun B., Too Short and Roy Ayers listed as some of the featured performers.

Happy Birthday Tupac.