Tupac Shakur (born 6.16.1971; died 09.13.1996)
Tupac Shakur was an American rapper and actor who was famously shot dead during a drive-by shooting at the age of 25.
Tupac Shakur: Childhood
Tupac Shakur was born in East Harlem, Manhattan, New York. His parents were Black Panther Party activists Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland.
He grew up around violent criminals such as his godfather, who was arrested for murder following a robbery.
When he was 12-years-old, he joined Harlem's 127th Street Repertory Ensemble where he got involved in a play called 'A Raisin in the Sun'.
He later moved to Baltimore, Maryland and attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, before transferring to the Baltimore School for the Arts where he landed various roles in Shakespeare plays and in the ballet 'The Nutcracker'.
He was extremely popular at school and was well-known for his rap skills. He was also close friends with actress Jada Pinkett and joined the Baltimore Young Communist League USA.
He then moved to Marin City, California and went to Tamalpais High School. During that time he got involved with a concert and was later signed by Atron Gregory as a roadie and dancer for Digital Underground.
Tupac Shakur: Career
Tupac Shakur made his first musical ventures with Digital Underground and caused controversy with his violence-themed debut album '2Pacalypse Now'.
He became more commercially successful with his second album 'Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.' in 1993. That year he set up the group Thug Life which saw the release of only album 'Thug Life: Volume 1' through his own label Out Da Gutta Records.
'Me Against the World' was his third solo album which won Best Rap Album at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1996.
In the year of his death, he unveiled fourth record 'All Eyez on Me' through Death Row Records. The record became platinum certified nine times by 1998. He then released posthumous fifth album 'Makaveli The Don - Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory' under the name Makaveli.
Tupac has appeared in several films including 'Juice' with Samuel L. Jackson, Cindy Herron and Queen Latifah; 'Poetic Justice' alongside Janet Jackson and 'Above the Rim' opposite Duane Martin.
Tupac Shakur: Personal life
Tupac Shakur was generally considered very educated, being an avid reader with strong political interest and affiliations.
In 1993, he was briefly imprisoned for assault after attempting to hit M.A.D. rapper Chauncey Wynn with a baseball bat. That year, he was also arrested after shooting two police officers who accused him of nearly running them over.
The following year he was jailed for two weeks on another assault charge.
In 1992, a 6-year-old boy was shot dead after Tupac's gun allegedly went off while being picked up by a member of his entourage. Though Tupac was not charged for the incident, he paid out a 6-figure sum to the boys' parents and later wrote two heartfelt songs about the incident.
He was shot five times and robbed in 1994 though survived the attack and was taken to hospital conscious. He later accused Sean Combs and Biggie for the incident.
In 1993, he was charged with sexual assault by a woman he had previously has consensual sexual relations with. He maintained his innocence even after being sentenced.
Tupac was shot dead in a drive-by shooting after attending the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The incident took place after he and his entourage assaulted a member of the Crips gang Orlando 'Baby Lane' Anderson. Despite being his label boss, several people, including Snoop Dogg, later accused Death Row Records manager Suge Knight of arranging the murder