Τupac Shakur, best known by his stage names 2pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Let’ see some interesting facts and trivia about him!
1.Tupac Shakur was born on June 16, 1971, in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City.
2. His birth name was Lesane Parish Crooks, but in 1972, he was renamed after the last Incan emperor.
3. He was named after Túpac Amaru II, the 18th-century Peruvian revolutionary who was executed after leading an indigenous uprising against Spanish rule.
4. Tupac Shakur was of African-American, European and Tuareg (Berber) descent.
5. His mother, Afeni Shakur (born Alice Faye Williams), and his father, Billy Garland, were active members of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
6. The infant was born a month after his mother was acquitted of more than 150 charges of “Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks” in the New York Panther 21 court case.
7. Tupac Shakur lived from an early age with people who were involved with the Black Liberation Army and convicted of serious criminal offenses and who were imprisoned.
8. His godfather, Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, a high-ranking Black Panther, was convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery, although his sentence was later overturned.
9. His stepfather, Mutulu, spent four years at large on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list beginning in 1982. Mutulu was wanted for having helped his sister Assata Shakur (also known as Joanne Chesimard) to escape from a penitentiary in New Jersey. She had been imprisoned for killing a state trooper in 1973. Mutulu was caught in 1986 and imprisoned for the robbery of a Brinks armored truck in which two police officers and a guard were killed.
10. Tupac Shakur had a half-sister, Sekyiwa, two years his junior, and an older stepbrother, Mopreme “Komani” Shakur, who appeared in many of his recordings.
11. At the age of twelve, Shakur enrolled in Harlem’s 127th Street Repertory Ensemble and was cast as the Travis Younger character in the play A Raisin in the Sun, which was performed at the Apollo Theater.
12. He performed in Shakespeare plays, and in the role of the Mouse King in the ballet The Nutcracker.
13. Shakur, accompanied by one of his friends, Dana “Mouse” Smith, as his beatbox, won many rap competitions and was considered to be the best rapper in his school.
13. Hewas remembered as one of the most popular kids in his school because of his sense of humor, superior rapping skills, and ability to mix with all crowds.
14. He developed a close friendship with a young Jada Pinkett (later Jada Pinkett Smith) that lasted until his death.
15. In the documentary Tupac: Resurrection, Shakur says, “Jada is my heart. She will be my friend for my whole life.” Pinkett Smith calls him “one of my best friends. He was like a brother. It was beyond friendship for us. The type of relationship we had, you only get that once in a lifetime.”
16. A poem written by Shakur titled “Jada” appears in his book, The Rose That Grew from Concrete, which also includes a poem dedicated to Pinkett Smith called “The Tears in Cupid’s Eyes”.
17. During his time in art school, Shakur became affiliated with the Baltimore Young Communist League USA, and began dating the daughter of the director of the local chapter of the Communist Party USA.
18. He began attending the poetry classes of Leila Steinberg in 1989.
19. That same year, Steinberg organized a concert with a former group of Shakur’s, “Strictly Dope”; the concert led to him being signed with Atron Gregory. He set him up as a roadie and backup dancer with the hip hop group Digital Underground in 1990.
20. Although Shakur began recording in 1987, his professional entertainment career did not take off until the early 1990s when he debuted in Digital Underground’s “Same Song” from the soundtrack to the 1991 film Nothing but Trouble, also appearing with the group in the film of the same name.
21. The song was later released as the lead song of the Digital Underground extended play (EP) This Is an EP Release, the follow-up to their debut hit album Sex Packets. Shakur appeared in the accompanying music video.
22. After his rap debut, he performed with Digital Underground again on the album Sons of the P. Later, he released his first solo album, 2Pacalypse Now. Though the album did not generate any “Top Ten” hits, 2Pacalypse Now is hailed by many critics and fans for its underground feel, with many rappers such as Nas, Eminem, Game, and Talib Kweli having pointed to it as inspiration.
23. Although the album was originally released on Interscope Records, rights of it are now owned by Amaru Entertainment.
24. The album’s name is a reference to the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
25. The album generated significant controversy for numerous reasons. The songs “Trapped,” “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” and “Keep Your Head Up,” were widely noted for their poetic qualities, but also can also be interpreted as critiques of unjust social policies.
26. In late 1993, 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 only 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.
27. His third album, Me Against The World, was very well received, with many calling it the magnum opus of his career. It is considered one of the greatest and most influential hip hop albums of all time. It is his fourth biggest selling album with 3,524,567 copies in the United States as of 2011. Me Against the World won best rap album at the 1996 Soul Train Music Awards.
28. “Dear Mama” was released as the album’s first single in February 1995, along with the track “Old School” as the B-side. “Dear Mama” would be the album’s most successful single, topping the Hot Rap Singles chart, and peaking at the ninth spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was certified platinum in July 1995, and later placed at #51 on the year-end charts.
29. All Eyez on Me was the fourth studio album by 2Pac, recorded in October 1995 and released on February 13, 1996 by Death Row Records and Interscope Records. The album is frequently recognized as one of the crowning achievements of 1990s rap music.
30. Makaveli – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, commonly shortened to The 7 Day Theory, is his fifth and final studio album and was released under the new stage name Makaveli.
31. When Shakur recorded “Hit ‘Em Up”, a diss song toward Biggie, he recruited three members from the former group, Dramacydal, with whom he had worked previously and was eager to do so again.
32. Shakur, with the three New Jersey rappers and other associates, formed the original lineup of the Outlawz. When 2Pac signed to Death Row upon his release from prison, he recruited step brother Mopreme Shakur and Big Syke from Thug Life. Hussein Fatal, Napoleon, E.D.I. Mean, Kastro, Yaki Kadafi, and Storm (the only female Outlaw) were also added, and together they formed the original lineup of the Outlaw Immortalz that debuted on 2Pac’s multi-platinum smash All Eyez on Me.
33. They later dropped the Immortal part of their name after the untimely deaths of 2Pac and Yaki Kadafi and moved on as Outlawz without the members of Thug Life. Young Noble was later added and appeared on 2Pac’s second Death Row release The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.
34. It was on 2Pac’s Makaveli album that Outlawz first came to the greater rap community’s notice, appearing on a few songs. The idea behind the group was for each member to have a rap name coinciding with the names of various tyrants or enemies of America, past and present.
35. Outlawz chose in later years to make a backronym out of the letters of their group name Operating Under Thug Laws as Warriorz although it does not stand for the group’s name and is used infrequently.
36. For himself, Shakur created the alias “Makaveli” from Renaissance Italian philosopher and strategist Niccolò Machiavelli, whose writings inspired Shakur in prison, but who also preached that a leader could eliminate his enemies by all means necessary. He mentioned Makaveli Records a few times before his death. This was supposed to be a music label for up and coming artists that Shakur had an interest in developing or potentially signing, and his own future projects would have also been published through it as well.
37. 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 film Juice. In this film, he played Roland Bishop, a violent member of the Wrecking Crew, for which he was hailed by Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers as “the film’s most magnetic figure.
38. He then went on to star in Poetic Justice and Above the Rim. After his death, three of his completed films were released: Bullet, Gridlock’d, and Gang Related.
39. Shakur’s music and philosophy is rooted in many American, African-American, and world entities, including the Black Panther Party, Black nationalism, egalitarianism, and liberty.
40. Shakur’s love of theater and Shakespeare also influenced his work. A student of the Baltimore School for the Arts where he studied theater, Shakur understood the Shakespearian psychology of inter-gang wars and inter-cultural conflict.
41. He had enjoyed and had been influenced by the work of contemporary English and Irish pop musicians as a teenager such as Kate Bush, Culture Club, Sinéad O’Connor, and U2.
42. His style on 2Pacalypse Now was highly influenced by the social consciousness and Afrocentrism pervading hip hop in the late 1980s and early 1990s. All Eyez on Me was a change of style from his earlier works; while still containing socially conscious songs and themes, Shakur’s album was heavily influenced by party tracks and tended to have a more “feel good” vibe than his first albums.
43. He believed in Karma, but rejected a literal afterlife and organized religion.
44. After the release of Ready to Die, Shakur became friends with The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Cease saying Wallace was a frequent visitor of Shakur and speculating that the pair most likely celebrated their birthdays together.
45. He befriended fellow rappers Snoop Dogg and Freddie Foxxx, collaborating on songs with the pair and writing to Foxxx while in prison.
46. Shakur became known for the anger on his records and in his personal life. Billy Garland said Shakur’s anger was derived from his frustrations in being misunderstood, pointing specifically to whenever his commitment to the black community and the West Coast were questioned.
47. In November 1993, Shakur and others were charged with sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room. Shakur denied the charges. According to Shakur, he had prior relations days earlier with the woman that were consensual (the woman admitted she performed oral sex on Shakur).
48. Shakur began serving his prison sentence on sexual-assault charges at Clinton Correctional Facility on February 14, 1995. Shortly afterward, he released his multi-platinum album Me Against the World. Shakur became the first artist to have an album at number one on the Billboard 200 while serving a prison sentence.
49. On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur attended the Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson boxing match with Suge Knight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. After leaving the match, one of Knight’s associates spotted Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, an alleged Crips gang member from Compton, California, in the MGM Grand lobby. Earlier that year, Anderson and a group of Crips had robbed a member of Death Row’s entourage in a Foot Locker store. Knight’s associate told Shakur, who attacked Anderson. Shakur’s entourage, as well as Knight and his followers, assisted in assaulting Anderson. The fight was captured on the hotel’s video surveillance. After the brawl, Shakur went with Knight to Death Row-owned Club 662 (now known as restaurant/club Seven). Shakur rode in Knight’s 1996 black BMW 750iL sedan as part of a larger convoy, which included many in Shakur’s entourage.
50. The official causes of death were noted as respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds.
51. Shakur’s body was cremated the next day. Some of his ashes were later mixed with marijuana and smoked by members of the Outlawz.
52. However, E.D.I. Mean claimed in an interview in 2014 that, despite his belief at the time that the ashes were those of Shakur, he later found that the ashes did not belong to Shakur.
53. At a Mobb Deep concert following the death of Shakur and the release of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Cormega recalled in an interview that the fans were all shouting “Makaveli”, and emphasized the influence of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and of Shakur himself even in New York at the height of the media-dubbed “intercoastal rivalry”.
54. Many of the speakers discussed Shakur’s status and public persona, including State University of New York at Buffalo English professor Mark Anthony Neal who gave the talk “Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian” in which he argued that Shakur was an example of the “organic intellectual” expressing the concerns of a larger group.
55. According to Forbes, in 2008 Shakur’s estate made $15 million.In 2002, they recognized him as a “Top-Earning Dead Celebrity”, coming in at number ten on their list.
56. BET named 2Pac ‘The Most Influential Rappers of All Time’. They then went on to say “his confounding mixture of ladies’ man, thug, revolutionary and poet has forever altered our perception of what a rapper should look like, sound like and act like.
57. As of 2007, Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide. His double disc albums All Eyez on Me and his Greatest Hits are among the best selling albums in the United States. He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone which ranked him 86th on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, as well as one of the most influential rappers of all time.