In late 19932,2PAC Shakur formed the group Thug Life with a number of his friends, including Big Syke, Macadoshis, his stepbrother Mopreme Shakur, and Rated R. The group released their first and only record album Thug Life: Volume 1 on September 26, 1994, which went gold. The album featured the single "Pour Out a Little Liquor" produced by Johnny "J" Jackson, who went on to produce a large part of Shakur's album All Eyez on Me. The group usually performed their concerts without Shakur.
The concept of "Thug Life" was viewed by Shakur as a philosophy for life. He developed the word into a backronym standing for "The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody".citation.He declared that the dictionary definition of a "thug" as being a rogue or criminal was not how he used the term, but rather he meant someone who came from oppressive or squalid background and little opportunity but still made a life for himself and was proud.
September 1996 shooting
The famous photograph of Shakur's last moment alive, taken just minutes before the drive-by shooting, from the cover of the book The Killing of Tupac Shakur by Cathy ScottOn the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur attended the Mike Tyson - Bruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After leaving the match, one of Suge's associates spotted 21 year-old Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, a member of the Southside Crips, in the MGM Grand lobby and informed Shakur. Shakur immediately rushed Anderson and knocked him to the ground. Shakur's entourage, as well as Suge and his followers assisted in assaulting Anderson. The fight was captured on the hotel's video surveillance. A few weeks earlier, Anderson and a group of Crips had robbed a member of Death Row's entourage in a Foot Locker store, precipitating Shakur's attack. After the brawl, Shakur went to rendezvous with Suge to go to Death Row-owned Club 662 (now known as restaurant/club Seven). He rode in Suge's 1996 black BMW 750iL sedan as part of a larger convoy with some of Shakur's friends, Outlawz, and bodyguards.
At 10:55 p.m., while paused at a red light, Shakur rolled down his window and a photographer took his photograph.At around 11:00-11:05 p.m., they were halted on Las Vegas Blvd. by Metro bicycle cops for playing the car stereo too loud and not having license plates. The plates were then found in the trunk of Suge's car; they were released without being fined a few minutes later.At about 11:10 p.m., while stopped at a red light at Flamingo Road near the intersection of Koval Lane in front of the Maxim Hotel, a vehicle occupied by two women pulled up on their right side. Shakur, who was standing up through the sunroof, exchanged words with the two women, and invited them to go to Club 662.43
At approximately 11:15 p.m., a white, four-door, late-model, Cadillac driven by unknown person(s) pulled up to the sedan's right side, rolled down one of the windows, and rapidly fired around twelve to thirteen shots at Shakur. He was struck by four rounds; one hit him in the chest, the pelvis, and his right hand and thigh.One of the rounds apparently ricocheted into Shakur's right lung.Suge was hit in the head by shrapnel, though it is thought that a bullet grazed him.According to Suge, a bullet from the gunfire had been lodged in his skull, but medical reports later contradicted this statement.
At the time of the drive-by Shakur's bodyguard was following behind in a vehicle belonging to Kidada Jones, Shakur's then-fiancée. The bodyguard, Frank Alexander, stated that when he was about to ride along with the rapper in Knight's car, Shakur asked him to drive Kidada Jones' car instead just in case they were too drunk and needed additional vehicles from Club 662 back to the hotel. Shortly after the assault, the bodyguard reported in his documentary, Before I Wake, that one of the convoy's cars drove off after the assailant but he never heard back from the occupants.
After arriving on the scene, police and paramedics took Suge and a fatally wounded Shakur to the University Medical Center. According to an interview with one of Shakur's closest friends the music video director Gobi, while at the hospital, he received news from a Death Row marketing employee that the shooters had called the record label and were sending death threats aimed at Shakur, claiming that they were going there to "finish him off".Upon hearing this, Gobi immediately alerted the Las Vegas police, but the police claimed they were understaffed and no one could be sent.Nonetheless, the shooters never arrived.At the hospital, Shakur was in and out of consciousness, was heavily sedated, was breathing through a ventilator and respirator, was placed on life support machines, and was ultimately put under a barbiturate-induced coma after repeatedly trying to get out of the bed.
Despite having been resuscitated in a trauma center and surviving a multitude of surgeries (as well the removal of a failed right lung), Shakur had gotten through the critical phase of the medical therapy and had a 50% chance of pulling through.Gobi left the medical center after being informed that Shakur made a 13% recovery on the sixth night.While in Critical Care Unit on the afternoon of September 13, 1996, Shakur died of internal bleeding; doctors attempted to revive him but could not impede his hemorrhaging.His mother, Afeni, made the decision to tell the doctors to stop.He was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m. (PDT)The official cause of death was respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds.Shakur's body was cremated.Some of his ashes were later mixed with marijuana and smoked by members of Outlawz.
Due largely to the perceived lack of progress on the case by law enforcement, many independent investigations and theories of the murder have emerged. Because of the acrimony between him and Biggie, there was speculation from the outset about the possibility of Biggie's collaboration in the murder. He, as well as his family, relatives, and associates, have vehemently denied the accusation.In a notable 2002 investigation by the LA Times, writer Chuck Phillips claimed to have uncovered evidence implicating Biggie, in addition to Anderson and the Southside Crips, in the attack.In the article, Phillips quoted unnamed gang-member sources who claimed Biggie had ties to the Crips, often hiring them for security during West Coast appearances. Phillips' informants also state that Biggie gave the gang members one of his own guns for use in the slaying of Shakur, and that he set out a $1,000,000 contract on Shakur's life. By the time Phillips' specific allegations were published, Biggie himself had been murdered.
In support of their claims, Biggie's family submitted documentation to MTV insinuating that he was working in a New York recording studio the night of the drive-by shooting. His manager Wayne Barrow and fellow rapper James "Lil' Cease" Lloyd made public announcements denying Biggie's partaking in the crime and claimed further that they were both with him in the recording studio during the night of the event.
The high profile nature of the killing and ensuing gang violence caught the attention of English filmmaker Nick Broomfield, who made the documentary film Biggie & Tupac which examines the lack of progress in the case by speaking to those close to the two slain rappers and the investigation. Shakur's close childhood friend and member of Outlawz, Yafeu "Yaki Kadafi" Fula, was in the convoy when the drive-by occurred and indicated to police that he might be able to identify the assailants, however, he was shot and killed shortly thereafter in a housing project in Irvington.
In the first few seconds of the song "Intro/Bomb First (My Second Reply)" on the record album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Shakur can be heard saying "Shoulda shot me".While some believed that Suge may have orchestrated Shakur's murder, theorists mistook the statement in the song as "Suge shot me" or "Suge shot 'em" until confirmation by multiple audio tests and confirmation from members of Outlawz. This, along with reports of Suge's strong-arm tactics with artists and other illegal business tactics including involvement with the MOB Piru street gang gave rise to a theory that Suge was complicit in the shooting, as it was supposedly reported that he owed Shakur up to $17,000,000 in back royalties, but no evidence has been provided to support this theory.
A DVD titled Tupac: Assassination was released on October 23, 2007, more than eleven years after Shakur's murder. It explores aspects circulating the event and provides new insight about the cold case with details by Shakur's bodyguard, Frank Alexander.
Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame in 2002.
In 2003, MTV's "22 Greatest MCs" countdown listed Shakur as the "number 1 MC", as voted by the viewers.
In 2004, at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors Shakur was honored along with DJ Hollywood, Kool DJ Herc, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C., Rock Steady Crew, and Sugarhill Gang.
A Vibe magazine poll in 2004 rated Shakur "the greatest rapper of all time" as voted by fans.
At the First Annual Turks & Caicos International Film Festival held on Tuesday, October 17, 2006, Shakur was honored for his undeniable voice and talent and as a performer who crossed racial, ethnic, cultural and medium lines; his mother accepted the award on his behalf.
In 2008, the The National Association Of Recording Merchandisers in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized him as a very influential artist and has added him in their Definitive 200 list.
Shakur's life has been recognized in big and small documentaries each trying capture the many different events during his short lifetime, most notably the Academy Award-nominated Tupac: Resurrection, released in 2003.
1997: Tupac Shakur: Thug Immortal
1997: Tupac Shakur: Words Never Die (TV)
2001: Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake...
2001: Welcome to Deathrow
2002: Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw
2002: Biggie & Tupac
2002: Tha Westside
2003: 2Pac 4 Ever
2003: Tupac: Resurrection
2004: Tupac vs.
2004: Tupac: The Hip Hop Genius (TV)
2006: So Many Years, So Many Tears
2007: Tupac: Assassination
In addition to rapping and hip hop music, Shakur acted in films. He made his first film appearance in the motion picture Nothing But Trouble, as part of a cameo by the Digital Underground. His first starring role was in the movie Juice. In this story, he played the character Bishop, a trigger happy teen, for which he was hailed by Rolling Stone's Peter Travers as "the film's most magnetic figure."He went on to star with Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice and with Marlon Wayans in Above the Rim. After his death, three of Shakur's completed films, Bullet, Gridlock'd and Gang Related, were posthumously released.
He had also been slated to star in the Hughes brothers' film Menace II Society but was replaced by Larenz Tate after assaulting Allen Hughes as a result of a quarrel. Director John Singleton mentioned that he wrote the script for Baby Boy with Shakur in mind for the leading role.It was eventually filmed with Tyrese Gibson in his place and released in 2001, five years after Shakur's death. The movie features a mural of Shakur in the protagonist's bedroom as well as featuring the song "Hail Mary" in the movie's score.
Near the end of his life, Shakur founded a movie development company called Euphanasia.He wore the company chain (a silver chain with a medallion depicting the Black Angel of Death) on September 4, 1996, during the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. He wore it again on September 7, 1996, during the Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon bout and when he was shot later that night.Shakur was evidently planning to start writing and directing his own films which would be developed by Euphanasia; the company never did anything due to his death.
Shakur's professional entertainment career began in the early 1990s, when he debuted his rapping skills on "Same Song" from the Digital Underground album This is an EP Release. He first appeared in the music video for "Same Song". After his rap debut, Shakur performed with Digital Underground again on the album Sons Of The P. Later, he released his first solo album, 2Pacalypse Now. Initially he had trouble marketing his solo debut, but Interscope Records' executives Ted Field and Tom Whalley eventually agreed to distribute the record.
Shakur claimed his first album was aimed at the problems facing young black males, but it was publicly criticized for its graphic language and images of violence by and against law enforcement.In one instance, a young man claimed his killing of a Texas-based trooper was influenced by the album. Former Vice President Dan Quayle publicly denounced the album as having "no place in our society".2Pacalypse Now did not do as well on the charts as future albums, spawning no top ten hits. His second record, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., was released in 1993. The album, mostly produced by Randy "Stretch" Walker (Shakur's closest friend and associate at the time) and the Live Squad, generated two hits, "Keep Ya Head Up" and "I Get Around", the latter featuring guest appearances by Shock G and Money-B of the Digital Underground.
1991: 2Pacalypse Now
1993: Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
1994: Thug Life
1995: Me Against the World
1996: All Eyez on Me
1996: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
1997: R U Still Down? (Remember Me)
1999: Still I Rise
2001: Until the End of Time
2002: Better Dayz
2004: Loyal to the Game
2006: Pac's Life
2009: The Lost Scriptures
Top 10 Billboard singles
1991: "Brenda's Got a Baby"
1991: "If My Homie Calls"
1993: "I Get Around"
1993: "Keep Ya Head Up"
1995: "Dear Mama"
1995: "Old School"
1995: "Me Against the World"
1995: "So Many Tears"
1996: "California Love"
1996: "Hit 'Em Up"
1996: "How Do You Want It"
1997: "To Live & Die in L.A."
1997: "Made Niggaz"
1997: "Do for Love"
2002: "Thugz Mansion"
2003: "Runnin' (Dying to Live)"
2005: "Ghetto Gospel"
2006: "Pac's Life"
THA BEST RAPPER EVER...
2 PAC RIP.