BlackFacts Details

Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur (also known by his stage name of 2Pac) was legendary rap and hip-hop musician. He was born in New York City in 1971 to Billy Garland and Afeni Shakur, both activists of a revolutionary black nationalist organization named “Black Panthers”. His name, Tupac Amaru Shakur, means “shining serpent”. His mother was in jail when she was expecting Tupac, but she was later acquitted of all charges. His father was largely absent from his life. He grew up in the Bronx and Harlem, where he faced the grim realities of gang life, violence, drugs and sexual abuse at an early age. He joined a theater company by the name of 127th Street Ensemble, where he learned to act.

He also attended the Baltimore School for the Arts where he learned ballet and other forms of dance. As a teenager, he moved with his family to the West Coast where he joined the hip-hop and rap group Digital Underground. He recorded two albums with them, that is, “This is an E.P.” and “Sons of the P” before leaving the group to go solo. In 1991, he was signed by the label “Interscope Records” and shortly released his debut album “Tupacalypse Now”. Although, it did not make it to the Top 10 charts, it definitely helped him to make his presence felt. In fact, this album has been quoted by many famous rappers to be their inspiration, including Eminem and Nas. The album had a very real, underground feel to it and included the hit single “Brenda’s Got a Baby”.

His second studio album was released in February 1993 and titled “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”. The album debuted at number 24 on the Billboard 200 and the deep, meaningful and sometimes excessively profane lyrics were both the subject of praise, as well as controversy. Tupac spoke of his political and social views in his songs, and described the thug life he used to live. The album was commercially successful, and achieved Platinum status. Tupac also formed the group “Thug Life” with some of his friends. The group released one album called “Thug Life: Volume 1” which achieved Gold status. Tupac’s