Despite a musical career that lasted only six short years, Tupac Shakur was performed among the greatest and most influential musicians of all time.
The multi-award-winning rapper, who was also an actor and activist, is best known for songs such as “California Love”, “Dear Mama” and “Hit Em Up”, which emphasized the ongoing hip-hop controversy between the East Coast and West Coast in which he was involved at the time.
Tupac Shakur was born on June 16, 1971, in East Harlem, New York, as Lesane Parish Crooks, son of Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland. A year after his birth, he was renamed Tupac Amaru by his mother after a revolutionary Peruvian fighter. She also gave him the surname of her new husband Mutulu Shakur.
At the age of about fifteen, the Shakur family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School for a year before transferring to the Baltimore School for the Arts. During his time here he began to explore his skills as a rapper and also became very close friends with Jada Pinkett Smith.
In 1988 the Shakur family was on the road again, this time to Marin City, California, where he enrolled at Tamalpais High School and became heavily involved in the school’s arts and drama department. He also attended poetry courses by Leila Steinberg, who introduced him to the hip-hop group Digital Underground.
With Digital Underground, Tupac’s career as a musician began. He first performed in 1991 on their track “Same Song” before becoming an unofficial member of the group. Later that year he released his debut album “2pacalypse Now”, which was critically acclaimed in the underground hip-hop scene, but songs like “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and “Trapped”, which talked about America’s socio-political problems, made him a poster child for the violence perpetrated by young black men.
In February 1993 Tupac Shakur released his second album “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”. The album debuted at number 24 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 1.3 million copies by 2004. His third album, “Me Against The World”, was released in 1995 and was hailed as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. The album was named best rap album at the 1996 Soul Train Awards and sold over 3.5 million copies in the United States alone by 2011.
In 1996 Tupac Shakur released his fourth studio album “All Eyez on Me”. The album sold over 5 million copies two months after its release and won the 1997 Soul Train R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year Award. His fifth and final album, “The 7 Day Theory”, which was recorded and produced in August 1996 in less than a week, reached the number one spot on the Billboard 200 charts. By June 1999, it had been awarded platinum four times.
Is Tupac Shakur Dead or Alive?
Tupac Shakur is dead. The Death Row Records rapper died before the release of his fifth album from injuries sustained during a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 7, 1996, after attending a boxing match between Bruce Seldon and Mike Tyson.
Tupac was hit by four bullets; two in the chest, one in the arm, and one in the thigh before being taken to the hospital. Although he spent six days in the intensive care unit at the University of Southern Nevada Medical Center, Tupac died of respiratory failure that led to cardiac arrest. His body was subsequently cremated.
There are several conspiracy theories that say that Tupac Shakur is still alive. Believers in this conspiracy refer to texts in his music in which he allegedly gave evidence that he faked his own death.
His Net Worth
Tupac Shakur is said to have had net assets of $3.5 million before his death. He earned this amount through the sale of his various albums, concert tickets, and other film/acting roles. This figure more than quadrupled after his death, as his family fortune is said to be worth over $40 million thanks to posthumous album sales of both released and unreleased material.
After his death, Tupac Shakur survived through his mother Afeni Shakur, née Alice Faye Williams, his estranged biological father Billy Garland, and his half-sister Sekiyiwa Shakur.
He also left behind an ex-wife whom he married while in prison. However, the marriage was annulled after his release on bail from prison.
Who Are His Kids?
Tupac Shakur had no children before his death. There are several reports claiming that he fathered a daughter, but these reports cannot be proven.