Tupac Amaru Shakur (born: Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 - September 13, 1996 [aged 25]), better known professionally as 2Pac, was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter.
Lesane Parish Crooks was born in the East Harlem section of Manhattan, New York City, New York on June 16, 1971. At one year of age, he was renamed after José Gabriel Túpac Amaru, a Peru-born rebellion leader who was executed on May 18, 1781.
Only a month before Crooks was born, his mother Afeni, whose real name is Alice Faye Williams, was tried in New York City as part of the Panther 21 criminal trial. She was acquitted of over 150 charges.
Tupac's stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, whose real name is Jeral Wayne Williams, was a member of the Black Panthers' Black Liberation Army until being sentenced to 60 years in prison for his role in the 1981 Brink's robbery and murder of two police officers.
Tupac's grandfather, Geronimo Pratt, a high-ranking Black Panther, was convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery, although his sentence was overturned. Pratt was also a Sergeant in the Army during the Vietnam War. Pratt died of a heart attack in Tanzania, on June 3, 2011.
In 1984, Tupac and his family relocated in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Roland Park Middle School to finish his middle school run and later went to Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. He then transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet. While at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Tupac met Jada Pinkett, who became influenced by some of his poems.
After connecting with the Young Communist League USA, Tupac dated the daughter of the director of the local chapter of the Communist Party USA. In 1988, Tupac and his family moved to the small and impoverished Marin City, California. In nearby Mill Valley, he attended Tamalpais High School, where he performed in several theater productions.
In January 1991, Tupac used the alias 2Pac for short due to his experience with rapping. He helped collaborate with Digital Underground for the single "Same Song", which would later be put in the film Nothing but Trouble.
Tupac released his first studio album, 2Pacalypse Now, on November 12, 1991. Tupac had signed with Interscope Records in order to help finance the recording timeframe and release of the album. Recording for the album took place at Starlight Sound Studios in Richmond, California. The album included thirteen tracks.
Despite the release, the tracks did not garner any airplay due to explicit and tricky lyrics. The album received mixed to below average reviews, and went on to be gold 19 years after its release.
Strictly for my N.I.G.G.A.Z...
Tupac released his second studio album, Strictly for my N.I.G.G.A.Z..., on February 16, 1993. The album included sixteen tracks. "Holler If Ya Hear Me" featured Live Squad and was released as a single. The next single was "I Get Around" featuring Digital Underground, although it had nothing to do with the song The Beach Boys had of the same title. "Keep Ya Head Up" featured Dave Hollister and was the third single out of the album.
The fourth single, "Papa'z Song", featured Wycked and Poppi. Notably, one track that did not release as a single was "Last Wordz", the fifth track of the album, which featured fellow superstars Ice Cube and Ice-T. The album was certified platinum.
Thug Life: Volume 1
Around the same time his second studio album was released, Tupac formed a side project hip-hop group known as Thug Life. The group featured fellow hip-hoppers and rappers Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme, and The Rated R. Thug Life: Volume 1, released on September 26, 1994, was the only album the side project group released. The album included ten tracks. Most of the material that was originally intended for the album was scrapped, because Interscope Records felt that many of the other recorded songs were too controversial to release to the public market. It was later revealed that Tupac created two other versions of the album, which have since went unreleased. The album was certified gold.
Me Against the World
With Thug Life disbanding after only two years, Tupac released his third studio album, Me Against the World, on March 14, 1995. The album included fifteen tracks. "Dear Mama", "So Many Tears", and "Temptations" became singles. The album received average reviews and went double platinum.
All Eyez on Me
Tupac released his fourth studio album, All Eyez on Me, on February 13, 1996. It was recorded at Can-Am Studios in Los Angeles, California. The album contained 27 total tracks. Due to sizing limitations, tracks had to be in separate discs, as Disc 1 contained 14 tracks while Disc 2 contained the remaining 13 tracks. Around the same time of recording, Tupac signed with Death Row Records after expressing sympathy and gratitude with its founder, Suge Knight. "California Love" became the first single from the album, which featured Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman. "2 of Americaz Most Wanted" featured Snoop Dogg and was the next single in line. "How Do U Want It" featured featuring K-Ci and JoJo and was the third single in line. The fourth single, "I Ain't Mad at Cha", featured Danny Boy. The album was certified diamond, which was the highest ranking by the RIAA.
On August 22, 1992, Tupac was performing outdoors at a festival. About one hour after the performance, he signed autographs and posed for photos. Turmoil engulfed the scene as Tupac eventually brandished a Colt Mustang gun, but dropped it on the ground. Tupac later claimed that someone with him then picked the gun up when it accidentally discharged. About a hundred yards away from a schoolyard, a six-year old boy named Qa'id Walker-Teal was shot in the forehead to death.
Police found evidence that a bullet matched to a .38 pistol was registered to Tupac. His stepbrother, Maurice Harding, was arrested, although no charges were filed. In 1995, the mother of Qa'id filed a wrongful death suit, which went for between $300,000 to $500,000.
In October 1993, in Atlanta Georgia, brothers Mark and Scott Whitwell, who were both off-duty police officers, were on an outing celebrating with their wives after one of them had passed the state's bar examination. Seemingly drunk, both brothers were crossing the street when a passing car with Tupac on board allegedly almost struck them. Both brothers, later found to have stolen guns, argued with the car's occupants. When a second car arrived, the Whitwell brothers fled as Tupac shot one of them in the buttocks and the other in the leg, back, or abdomen.
Tupac was charged for his role in the shooting. Mark Whitwell was charged with firing at Tupac's car and later with making false statements to investigators. Prosecutors dropped all charges against both sides. Both brothers filed civil suits against Tupac; Mark Whitwell's was settled out of court, while Scott Whitwell's $2 million lawsuit resulted in a default judgment entered against the Tupac's estate.
On April 5, 1993, during a concert at Michigan State University, Tupac allegedly flung a microphone and swung a baseball bat at Chauncey Wynn. On September 14, 1994, Shakur pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail with 20 days suspended. After his jail term expired, Tupac was ordered to undergo 35 hours worth community service.
In November 1993, Tupac along with three other unspecified men were charged for sexual harassment against a woman at a hotel room in New York City. The woman was identified to be Ayanna Jackson, who alleged that after consensual oral sex in his hotel room, she returned a later day, but then was raped by him and other men in a similar area. On December 1, 1994, Tupac was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse, although he claimed that he denied rapping Jackson. Other charges were associated sodomy and gun charges, but were later acquitted.
In February 1995, Tupac was sentenced to 18 months in prison. On October 12, 1995, pending an appeal, Tupac was released from the Clinton Correctional Facility. Suge Knight, founder and CEO of Death Row Records, arranged for the posting of his $1.4 million bond. On April 5, 1996, Shakur was sentenced to 120 days in jail for violating his release terms by failing to appear for a road cleanup job as part of his community service accumulation time. On June 8, 1996, the sentence was deferred pending appeals in other cases.
On September 7, 1996, Tupac was in Las Vegas, Nevada to celebrate his business partner, Tracy Danielle Robinson's birthday. In addition, Tupac attending a boxing match with Suge Knight at the MGM Grand, where Mike Tyson faced off against Bruce Seldon. After seeing the match, a person named Orlando Anderson, an alleged Southside Compton Crip, was spotted in the Grand's lobby, whom the individual accused of having recently in a shopping mall tried to snatch Tupac's neck chain with a Death Row Records medallion attached to it. Surveillance footage captured in the hotel showed an ensuing assault on Anderson. Tupac went into his hotel room then went with Knight to Club 662 in a 1996 BMW 750iL sedan.
At around 11:00 P.M., police in motorcycles stopped the vehicle due to stereo blasting and not having license plates attached in the front or rear. The unattached plates were found in the trunk of the car and was released without a penalty ticket. Fifteen minutes later, at 11:15 P.M., a Cadillac sedan creeped closer to the passenger side of Knight's vehicle, and an unidentified occupant opened fire with a .40 S&W Glock 22. Tupac was struck once in the arm, once in the thigh, and twice in the chest, while one shot entered the right lung, bringing the total to four times shot. Fragments of broken glass and debris struck Knight in the head, although he did not suffer any serious injuries.
Tupac was admitted to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he was heavily sedated and put on a life support system. He was then transferred to a medically-induced coma after repeatedly failing to get out of bed. Six days later, on September 13, 1996, while still on life support, Tupac was pronounced dead at 4:03 P.M. due to internal hemorrhage. He was 25 years of age. Further investigations revealed that Tupac had also suffered respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest associated with multiple gunshot wounds. His body was cremated the very next day.
YouTube channel profile
The 2PacVEVO channel is the associated YouTube channel that is run by the record company and his family since 2Pac died before the creation of YouTube. 2Pac is known for being the leader of the west coast hip hop music during the period where there was a conflict between the west and east coast. The videos on the channel seem to be music videos, and there is even an animated video that has 2Pac on stage rapping with other artists, which would be impractical during 2pac's lifetime.