Happy Birthday, Tupac: 13 Stories About The Legend You Should Read
Tupac Amaru Shakur would’ve only been 46 today had he not succumbed to violence against his life in Las Vegas at the age of 25.
A rebel with a cause, ‘Pac was born Lesane Parish Crooks in New York City to Black Panther activists Afeni Shakur and Bill Garland. Brash, fiery, armed with street knowledge and book smarts, this thug angel was dedicated to improving the lives of black people and all other oppressed people around the world.
He redefined the architecture of how a rapper spoke and carried themselves with style (a look that has stayed active even two decades after his passing). Unabashed in telling the truth at all costs, Shakur broke through the grit and grind of early ’90s hip-hop to become a cultural icon who impacted the game in numerous ways. From Ja Rule to T.I. to Kendrick Lamar — ‘Pac’s music became a blueprint that many would use to become famous and infamous.
Not only a rapper, the man was also an actor (Juice, Gang Related, Poetic Justice), poet (The Rose That Grew from Concrete) and activist (One Nation). He was also a prolific workhorse who would have multiple studio sessions going at one time, which led to an immense and extensive catalog of music. Not without controversy, the man also known as Makaveli had his fair share of run-ins with the law, other rappers (The Notorious B.I.G.), movie directors (The Hughes Brothers) and the government system (C. Delores Tucker, Dan Quayle).
We here @Okayplayer, as well as you out there, will forever be down with Tupac as an artist, an activist and as a motherfunking crew. With that said, we’ve combed through our past stories to bring you some of the best original content about one of the greatest MCs to walk this earth. Check out these 13 stories about the don below.