Tupac Shakur Biography- Tupac Shakur, better known by his stage name 2Pac, was a hugely successful rapper and actor, known for his violent and shocking lyrics, which earned him many fans as well as critics. Born into a family notorious for his brush with the law, he had no contact with his biological father until he was an adult. (Tupac Shakur Bio)
Violence was nothing new for a child whose mother was in prison while she was pregnant. It is no surprise that his music was replete with references to the ghetto, street violence, sex, gangs and other social problems he faced while growing up. Early in his career he worked as a roadie and backup dancer for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground. (Tupac Shakur Biography)
Eventually the talented young man released his solo debut ‘2Pacalypse Now’, which generated much controversy and became very popular mainly because of the violent nature of its lyrics. Although he was successful professionally, his life was engulfed in violence and he had frequent conflicts with the police. Apart from his music career, he had also acted in a few films. He was an avid reader and a great admirer of Shakespeare. His blossoming career was cut short by his brutal death in a drive-by shooting. (Tupac Shakur Bio)
Childhood and Early Life
- Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on June 16, 1971, in New York City to Black Panther activist parents. His mother, Afni Shakur, was imprisoned when she was pregnant with him. Tupac became acquainted with his biological father, Billy Garland, only after he became an adult.
- He had a difficult childhood, as he grew up in the company of criminals. He was a victim of violence from an early age. (Tupac Shakur Biography)
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- His first acting stint was with Harlem’s 127th Street Repertory Ensemble in 1983, when he performed in the play ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ at the Apollo Theater.
- He attended Tamalpais High School, and attended poetry classes with Leila Steinberg.
- He began his career as a roadie and backup dancer with the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground in 1990. He performed with the band for the soundtrack of the film ‘Nothing But Trouble’ and also appeared in the film in 1991. (Tupac Shakur Bio)
- He released his first solo album ‘2Pacalypse Now’ by the end of 1991. It featured material on racism, poverty, violence and teen pregnancy. This created a lot of controversy and made the rapper very popular.
- Their second album, ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.Z.Z’ was released in 1993. It was more successful than its predecessor and included the hits ‘Keep or Head Up’ and ‘I Get Around’. (Tupac Shakur Biography)
- He formed a group Thug Life with musicians Big Psyche, Moprim Shakur, Rated R and others. He released an album ‘Thug Life: Volume 1’ in 1994. The album was released in the U.S. Was certified gold.
- He had several brushes with the law around this time and was shot in a case of armed robbery. After recovering from the shooting, he was jailed for sexual assault. He read a lot of books during his imprisonment and also continued to work on his music.
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- He released the album ‘Me Against the World’ in 1995 while serving a prison sentence. The album was an immediate hit and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. It is considered one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time. (Tupac Shakur Bio)
- The album ‘All Eyez on Me’, released in 1996, was the last album released in his lifetime. It had five singles and went multi-platinum just a few months after its release. This included the hits ‘How Do You Want It’ and ‘California Love’.
- Tupac was killed in a drive-by shooting in September 1996. Several albums containing pre-recorded material were released posthumously. All his posthumous albums were also superhits. (Tupac Shakur Biography)
- His album, ‘Me Against the World’ was released while in prison, which was one of his most successful albums. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and is considered one of the greatest works of his career. This is the U.S. became double platinum. (Tupac Shakur Biography)
- ‘All Eyez on Me’ was his bestselling album, the last album released before his untimely death. It reached number one on the Billboard 200 and received multi-platinum recognition within a few months of its release.
Family and Personal Life
- His personal life was rife with violence. He was involved in criminal cases and also went to jail. He tragically died in a drive-by shooting in September 1996 when he was only 25 years old.
- Shakur was in a live-in relationship with his girlfriend Kidada Jones, Quincy Jones’ daughter, until his death. Jones was waiting for her in her Las Vegas hotel room when she learned that Sakur had been shot. She stayed with him in the hospital until his death on September 13, 1996. (Tupac Shakur Biography)
- He was friends with Mike Tyson, Marlon Wayans, Jim Carrey, Chuck D and Rosie Perez. He collaborated with fellow rappers Snoop Dogg and Freddie Foxx.
- Jada Pinkett was a former classmate and a very close friend of hers.
- He was serving a prison sentence when his album ‘Me Against the World’ reached number one on the Billboard 200. (Tupac Shakur Bio)
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- Several members of his family, including his stepfather, his step-aunt, his biological father, and his mother, were members of the Black Panthers. (Tupac Shakur Biography)
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