If only Tupac could be with us today to see the changes in society. His politically charged raps spoke to the public, while his views of society caused many to take a step back to look at their own lives. His prediction of never seeing a black president may unfortunately have held true for his own life, but if he could see how far society has come, we’re sure he would see the country in a different light than before.

Tupac still lives on as a legend, and in some instances, his death has been considered a hoax. In fact, various forums and websites host a slew of explanations as to why he is still alive. Our guess is that when you’re as highly renowned as Tupac, it is no wonder that everyone wants to believe that you’re still alive.

The I Get Around artist was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 16th, 1971. Tupac, also referred to as 2Pac, was truly an icon for the hip hop nation, but his roots were far from rap. His father was a Black Panther activist, while his mother struggled with drug addiction. As a child, he moved around a lot with his family, but did manage to attend school for the performing arts, which is where his creativity was first established. In fact, Tupac’s first taste of performing actually was in acting, when he enrolled as a member of the Harlem-based theater company – 127th Street Ensemble. Throughout his teen years, Tupac Shakur attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he participated in classes like acting and dance. The “thug life” that he portrayed as an adult was far from the truth during this time. In fact, his “gangster lean” was actually ballet. This was one of the many dances courses he participated in as a youth.

His time spent in Baltimore was where he honed his skills that he would use to become an industry legend. In fact, this was the location where he discovered rap. Once he stumbled upon rap, he began performing as an MC in New York. It was not until the late 1980s that 2Pac and his family ventured to the west coast. Throughout his time spent in California, he joined a hip-hop group based in Oakland, California known as Digital Underground. His solo debut occurred not long after, when he release the album 2Pacalypse Now. The track that received the most attention was “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” which was ranked as high as number three on the Billboard charts on the Hot Rap Singles chart. However, his second album is when his fame really started to flourish. In fact, this album was not only considered hot in the genre of rap, but it was also doing well on the pop charts. His second compilation of music, Strictly for My N.I.G.G.A.Z., featured eminent hits like “I Get Around.” The track “Keep Ya Head Up” was also featured on the album. In 1995, Tupac released his third solo album, Me Against the World. For those wanting to feel true emotion from the artist, they definitely got their fair share of it this time around. One of the more well-known songs on the CD was “Dear Mama.” “Dear Mama” evoked emotion and revolved around the true story of Tupac’s life. This ode to his mother thanked her for everything she did for him throughout the years, and how much she meant to him despite her troubled life. The album reached number one on the charts, but was filled grim predictions of an early end to his life. While his career was growing and, quite quickly may we add, he utilized his skills from acting classes in movies like Poetic Justice, along side Janet Jackson (1993).

Despite his budding career, 2Pac’s real life was loaded with drugs, sex and violence. At this stage in his life, he was truly known for living the thug life and taking on the role he depicted is his gangster raps. Throughout the 90s, 2Pac went through an endless battle with the legal system. In the year 1994, Tupac assaulted director Allen Hughes. This was right around the time when Tupac was charged with sexual assault. In 1995, he was convicted in the sexual assault case and faced four and a half years in prison. This occurred right after he was shot five times in a mugging in a lobby in a recording studio.

Finally, in 1996, his third album All Eyez on Me was released. During this time, he also continued with his acting career. His beef with east coast rappers continued as he tore them up on tracks. Unfortunately, for Tupac, all future songs would be released after his death because on September 7, 1996 Tupac Amaru Shakur fans worried this may be the end for the hip-hop superstar. On this evening, Tupac was shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, while Death Row Record’s CEO Suge Knight was driving.  Six days later, on September 13th, fans said their goodbyes to one of the most influential rappers in the history of the genre. His killer was not caught. Tupac lived on in the hearts of fans and through his never-released albums and songs that were finally revealed after his death. When Tupac stated, “In my death, people will understand what I was talking about,” really holds true.

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