Tupac Shakur Biography
Tupac Amaru Shakur (aka 2Pac, Makaveli, Pac) was an American rapper, poet, actor, and record producer. An emblematic figure on the American rap scene, 2Pac has become one of the best-selling and greatest artists of all time.
Early Life & Career
Tupac was born in 1971, in East Harlem, New York City, as Lesane Parish Crooks. In 1972 he was renamed after Tupac Amaru, 18th-century Peruvian revolutionary. At the age of 12, he began experimenting with theatre. Furthermore, he studied acting, poetry, jazz and ballet at the Baltimore School for the Arts. He became popular due to his rapping skills as well as his charm and humour. In the early 90s, the rapper released his first notable recording, titled “Same Song”. Shortly, he made his Billboard Hit 100 breakthrough, with the track “I Get Around”.
In 1991, Tupac’s debut album, “2Pacalypse Now” came out. It wasn’t really commercially successful but it became an inspiration to the next generations of rappers. The album was extremely blunt and spoke about taboo subjects. In 1993, Tupac released his second album, “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…”. It peaked at number 24 on the Billboard 200. It sold better due to improved production, but the artist continued to deliver his political and social views without holding back. It spawned 2 platinum singles, “Keep Ya Head Up” and “I Get Around”.
Success & Death Row Records
In 1993, Tupac Shakur formed the group Thug Life. Tupac’s third album, “Me Against The World”, came out in 1995. It is considered one of the best hip-hop albums of all time and won a Soul Train Music Award. It generated the rapper’s iconic hit “Dear Mama”, which topped the US Albums chart. Another number 1 came one year later, through Death Row Records. “All Eyez on Me” Tupac’s most beloved album. It gained a Diamond Certification and won several awards. During that time, Tupac was on top of the world and a huge figure in the West side of NY’s controversial rap scene. Notably, he recorded “Hit ‘Em Up“, a diss song toward Biggie Smalls, one of the key players of the East side. It featured 2 more rappers and the trio called itself Outlawz.
Eventually, due to the increasing tension and issue between the gangs, in 1996, Tupac was shot and died because of internal bleeding. After his tragic demise, five posthumous albums signed Tupac came out to immense acclaim.
Photo credit: WhenRapWasReal