Posted by: Curtis Abrams | June 17, 2010

Tupac Shakur: 39 and still alive and well

 

Tupac Amaru Shakur!! What more can I say about the controversial, now legendary innovator music artist of gansta rap that everybody already know!! He forever changed the face of what hip-hop music stood for and made a cultural impact on society somewhere around the world as well as the US!! Afeni, you should be proud of your son here! He is a remembered icon of the black consciousness movement, an icon of all that wants to become poets, artists and rappers and of course whether many people black or white like this man’s demeanor or not, he has been and will always cement himself as a  national treasure for his extraordinary talent. 

 

Today marks the 39 year of Tupac Shakur’s birth. Fans around the world today will bump his music loud and remember the man who was so much more than just a rapper. Tupac was without a doubt one of the greatest artists ever yet his talent stretched into many other areas including acting.  

“Tupac was never the best rapper in terms of flow or lyrics,” says Mark Anthony Neal, an author and associate professor of black popular culture in Duke University’s African and African-American studies program. “But what enabled him to transcend everybody else in the room was that he had a sense of performance. When Tupac was onstage, in the broad sense, he always knew how to live up to the hype of the crowd — even if it was being wheeled out of the hospital the first time he was shot. He had that flair for the dramatic, which speaks to his real talent: as an actor.” 

Tupac stands as the highest selling rap/hip-hop artist of all-time as listed in the Guinness Book of Records having sold 67 million albums worldwide (mostly posthumously), with 37 million copies in the US alone. He is consistently ranked by peers, fans, music critics and executives in the music industry as the greatest rapper of all time, a hip-hop legend. Representing the ‘Thug Life’ image, Tupac presented a strong sense of hatred and prejudice to his surroundings, growing up with violence and standing for the justice of not only racism in America but the economic struggle of urban politics as presented throughout his musical career. As well as painting this vivid picture, he carried a very real sense of living his every word and persona of the misdirected passion of the ghetto. Shaped by a history of proud Black Panther role models in his upbringing, Tupac’s legacy is immortalized eternally through his extensive catalogue of classic albums still releasing 14 years after his death. 

 

Controversial birth as it gets: Born into Black Panther Power 

Tupac was born to mother Alice Faye Williams on June 16, 1971. She named him after the last Inca Chief to be murdered by the Spanish conquistadors. The Islamic meaning of Tupac Amaru is ‘Shining Serpent’ and Shakur ‘Thankful to God’. During her 1971 pregnancy to her only son, his mother who changed her name to Afeni Shakur was standing trial as a member of the Panther 21, the group held responsible for the conspiracy to blow up two New York department stores. For this she served jail-time facing a three-year sentence whilst pregnant with him. Acting as her own attorney, she won the verdict and was released one month before Tupac’s birth. Tupac was brought up in very diverse circumstances, not unlike a lot of black youth in the ghettos he never knew his biological father leaving him confused as Afeni was married to Panther activist Lumumba Shakur at the time of her pregnancy. Afeni told ‘Pac his father was either Harlem drug dealer ‘Legs’ or another activist Billy Garland who claimed paternity but rarely undertook fatherly responsibilities. Far better choice than Legs who entered Tupac’s life at the age of 12 and stayed long enough to turn his mother into a crack addict. During this unsettled period he was raised by his stepfather, Dr. Mutulu Shakur who held very strong ties to the civil movement and Black Panther Party. A convicted felon and political prisoner he is the brother of Joanne ‘Assata Shakur’ Chesimard, a civil rights activist who in 1977 was found guilty of murdering a New Jersey state trooper. After escaping from prison two years later with the help of Mutulu who himself was listed on the FBI’s Top Ten list for aiding in the escape of his sister and the attempted robbery of a Brinks armoured van in which two police officers and a security guard were killed. His godfather was the infamous Elmer ‘Geronimo’ Pratt, a high-ranking Black Panther member who was sentenced to life in prison for the convicted murder of a school teacher during an armed robbery in Santa Monica, LA. Tupac naturally had very politically motivated role models however with almost every adult member of his family behind bars this would profoundly affect Tupac’s life. He was given the title of ‘Black Prince’ and forecast to becoming the next leader of the ‘revolution’. Being raised in the black power movement and Black Panther philosophy gave him a very confident and distrusting outlook on society. Tupac lived an impoverished childhood with his mother and half-sister Sekyiwa by Dr. Mutulu Shakur. With Afeni’s boyfriend and Pac’s early father-figure Legs on the scene Afeni found herself addicted to crack-cocaine and with her two children was living unsettled between homeless shelters and moderately priced accommodations around Brooklyn and South Bronx of New York City, Tupac found it hard to retain any standing friendships and lived through writing poetry and diary entries as encouraged by his mother to stay out of trouble as well as being educated by Panther elders. By the age of 12 Tupac was enrolled in a Harlem theatre group and subsequently cast in Lorraine Hansberry’s ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ as Travis. He was also exposed to professor Cornel West’s work as well by his mother. This interest had never left ‘Pac as he continued studying theatrical acting later as a teenager in Baltimore. Before their move in ’84 Legs was arrested on credit card fraud and died a short time after of a strong drug overdose. This eternally put young Tupac in an emotional spin. It took him three months to let out a tear and when he did he cried out, “I miss my daddy.” Afeni moved her family away from everything, out to Baltimore, Maryland. Thus the Legend of Tupac is born. 

Young Michael Jackson and Tupac 'Heavenly Angels'

 

A real natural talent from New York and remembered as a very gifted student by his teachers, Tupac carried an outspoken racial equality belief. He was an enthusiastic reader, reading books on eastern religions and philosophy. He had a love of literature and a strong will to learn. Tupac showed a very different side with his peers acting with bravado. It was this influence that fed Tupac with a new passion for rapping. 

 

 

You should know the rest of this unique man’s life as we know it. 

  • Best selling records and albums
  • beginning with Digital Underground
  • Jada Pinkett’s close relation in an arts school
  • movies like “Juice and Poetic Justice 
  • run ins with the law.
  • Got shot five time being robbed.
  • convicted of Rape
  • making albums in prison
  • signing with Death Row Records
  • having a feud with another rapper, “Notorious B.I.G.” and making a video towards him called “Hit em Up”
  • East coast, West Coast rap war
  • Shot in Las Vegas along with Suge Knight
  • and of course his death, being followed with posthumous albums.

Statue of Tupac in Baltimore, Maryland 

Discography:

  

  • 1991 2Pacalypse Now (Gold)
  • 1993 Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (Platinum)
  • 1994 Thug Life: Thug Life Vol. 1 (with Thug Life) (Gold)
  • 1995 Me Against the World (2x Platinum)
  • 1996 All Eyez on Me (9x Platinum)
  • 1996 The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (5x Platinum)
  • 1997 R U Still Down? (Remember Me) (4x Platinum)
  • 1998 2Pac’s Greatest Hits (9x Platinum)
  • 1999 Still I Rise (with Tha Outlawz) (2x Platinum)
  • 2000 The Rose that Grew from Concrete
  • 2000 The Lost Tapes: Circa 1989 on Lightyear Records
  • 2001 Until the End of Time (4x Platinum)
  • 2002 Better Dayz (3x Platinum U.S.)
  • 2003 Tupac: Resurrection (OST) (Platinum)
  • 2003 Nu-Mixx Klazzics
  • 2004 2pac Live
  • 2004 Loyal to the Game (Platinum U.S.)
  • 2005 The Rose, Vol. 2
  • 2005 Live at the House Of Blues (With the Dogg Pound)
  • Filmography:

  • 1991 Nothing But Trouble (brief appearance as self)
  • 1992 Juice (as Bishop)
  • 1993 Poetic Justice (as Lucky the postman)
  • 1994 Above the Rim (as Birdie)
  • 1996 Bullet (as Tank)
  • 1997 Gridlock’d (as Ezekiel ‘Spoon’ Whitmore)
  • 1997 Gang Related (as Detective Rodriguez)
  • 2002 Biggie & Tupac (archive footage)
  • 2003 Tupac: Resurrection (archive footage)
  • 2006 Live 2 Tell – as screenwriter (currently in pre-production)
  • Finally who can’t forget his quotes and his dynamic unforgettable poetry. Here are some of my favorites: 

    The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams. 

    Life’s a wheel of fortune and it’s my chance to spin it. 

    My Mama used to tell me if u can’t find somethin to live for, you best find somethin to die for. 

    (More of his quotes, saying and all things Tupac can be found here.) 

    Happy Birthday, Tupac and party like you always do. Enjoy it and make us proud with your words whether good or bad happy or sad!!  

    “HOW LONG WILL THEY MOURN ME?”

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    Responses

    1. You know what they say ‘only the good die young’. So sad he had to leave us so soon. But God had His own plans….but his music lives on. Wow, I can listen to his music for days!!! Happy birthday, PAC!!

    2. Thanks for this great article. Tupac was a once in a life time phenomenon that will we never see again.

      R.I.P Tupac

    3. Hello Mr. Abrams.
      I enjoyed your blog greatly, but I notice a great missing detail. Tupac was not Born and right away named after the last Inca Chief to be murdered by the Spanish conquistadors, but was born as Lesane Parish Crooks.

    4. wait is his birthday the 16th or 17th? cause it says both in this??

    5. Me and tupac go way back. For anyone to try and convince me that he isnt still alive infuriates me. When you look at the facts and consider that one the death certificate is riddled with mistakes(very uncommon for a famous person) he was stuck in a hospital where no one saw him other than doctors for his last 48 hours, and due to the issues him and the notorious BIG had at the time it would only make sense for him to follow in the footsteps of prince Machiavelli as he has his entire life( hence the name makavelli, a more modern version of the famous prince). So in yea 2021, when tupac returns on his comeback tours and makes millions from it you will all see that my boy (Tupac Amaru Shakur) was doing what was best for the country at the time.

    6. […] about this subject you can read my thoughts under the username “Speed Racer” at this link. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers […]

    7. mis respetos al rey del rap 2pac amaro shakur vive por siempre atte artezano rap para la vida para todos

    8. Where is the location of the statue in that last picture

    9. why didn’t they show biggie sliced up on da operating table? or any other celeb? they went @ too many extremes ther. im not bout 2 break down numbers over the death date and all dat shit cuz im not obsessed with the notion dat he aint dead< but i aint stupid!

    10. Can someone please tell me where i can get the full documentary of killuminati tupac exposes the illuminati freemasons and the music industry.I had it downloaded from you tube and onto ny computer at one point but i accidently erased it. the full version is now deleted from you tube and the parts that you can view on there are all broken up into parts. i know someone has the entire documentary somewhere to download,i just don’t know where to find it.Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Chehalis ChehalisSignature@gmail.com

    11. Tupac is alive

    12. Tupac is alive!!! Thug Life..

    13. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
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      all. However think of if you added some great
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    14. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s
      new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

    15. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the
      pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s
      the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

    16. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back someday. I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice morning!

    17. I am curious to find out what blog system you happen to be using?
      I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest site and I’d like to find something more safe.
      Do you have any recommendations?

    18. He was never convicted of rape … it was sexual assauly or sexual battery touching of the buttocks PAC is not a rapist

    19. Will like to know more about the details of tupacs death and if he was involved with illuminati

    20. i wish life could be reversed.. I miss pac


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