Members: Tupac Shakur
About Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur was born Lesane Parish Crooks in Brooklyn, NY in 1971. While still a small child, his mother changed his name to Tupac Amaru after an Inca Indian revolutionary, "Tupac Amaru", meaning "Shining Serpent". "Shakur" means "Thankful To God" in Arabic.
From childhood, everyone called him the "Black Prince." Formisbehaving, he had to read an entire edition of The New York Times. When he was two, his sister, Sekyiwa, was born. This child's father, Mutulu, was a BlackPanther who, a few months before her birth, had been sentenced to sixty years for a fatal armored car robbery.
With Mutulu away, the family experienced hard times. No matter where they moved-the Bronx, Harlem, homeless shelters- Tupac was distressed. "I remember crying all the time. My major thing growing up was I couldn't fit in. Because I was from everywhere. I didn't have no buddies that I grew up with."
By the age of twelve, Tupac had discovered his loves for acting, writing love songs and poetry. As a young teen, his family moved to Baltimore , MD, where he attended The Baltimore School for the Performing Arts studying acting and ballet. At this school, Tupac left a lasting impression on his teachers and was showing tremendous potential. Unfortunately, Tupac was unable to continue his training. He moved to Oakland, California with the rest of his family. That's when Tupac began to, as he called it, "Hang with the wrong crowd."
At age fifteen, he fell into rap; he started writing lyrics, walking with a swagger, and milking his background in New York for all it was worth. People in small towns feared the Big Apple's reputation; he called himself MC New York and made people think he was a tough guy.
By the time he was twenty, Tupac had been arrested eight times, even serving eight months in prison after being convicted of sexual abuse. In addition, he was the subject of two wrongful-death lawsuits, one involving a six-year-old boy who was killed after getting caught in gang-war crossfire between Shakur's gang and a rival group.
Not held back by his lack of formal education, Tupac joined the Rap group Digital Underground as a dancer. Not long before the group achieved award winning success, Tupac released his own album "2Pacalypse Now", which was also a success. The hit single "Brenda's Got A Baby" launched Tupac's career like a rocket. His stunning talent also got him a role in the motion picture, "Juice". Tupac eventually released a second album "Strictly for my N.I.G.G.A.Z.," which was an even bigger success and introduced Tupac's music onto the pop charts.
In November of 1994, he was shot five times during a robbery in which thieves made off with $40,000 worth of his jewelry. Shakur miraculously recovered from his injuries to produce his most impressive artistic accomplishments, including 1995's Me Against the World
The highlight of Tupac's acting career came when he appeared in "Poetic Justice" besides Janet Jackson. The role made Tupac a household name and showed the world that music may not be Tupac's #1 attribute. In the midst of a role in the movie "Above the Rim" and a Platinum album "Me against the world," Tupac's rising career was snagged. He was brought up on sexual assault charges by a woman he met at a nightclub. Hours before Tupac would be found guilty, Tupac was robbed at gun point by men whose intent and purpose is still uncertain. Tupac was eventually released at over $1 Million in bail. After his release, Tupac answered his critics by releasing his best album, "All Eyes On Me." "All Eyes On Me" has currently sold over 6 million copies, which is revolutionary for a double CD, especially in Hip Hop music. Tupac also had costarring roles in three other films, "Gridlock'd", "Bullet", and "Gang Related."
On September 7th, Tupac Shakur was shot by unknown gunmen and died on September 13, 1996. Much of what happened on this night remains a mystery to this very day. This picture was taken minutes before the fatal shooting.
Following his passing, Shakur's label released an album, The Don Killuminati, under the pseudonym "Makaveli." The cover depicted Shakur nailed to a cross under a crown of thorns, with a map of the country's major gang areas superimposed on it. In January of 1997, Gramercy pictures released Gridlock'd, a film in which Shakur played the role of a drug addict to mostly good reviews. His final film, Gang Related, was released in 1997.
Shakur has in fact released more songs posthumously than while he was alive. Conspiracies notwithstanding, Shakur was extremely dedicated to his work during his short career. Shock G remembered fondly that Pac would spend entire days in the studio, drinking Hennessy, smoking marijuana, and experimenting with new raps. Much of his work was only dug up and edited after his death, many songs being cuts that he did not feel were worthy of release. His music is still being actively released and remixed.
September 13, 2006 will mark the tenth anniversary of Tupac's passing.