Running head: Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur demonstrates the power of words weather it was through the rap game that made him a musical icon or the poems that he wrote in his private moments. Born in Brooklyn, NY later moved to California where he grew a huge fan base because of his career in rapping and also worked as an actor. During his career he became entangled in a dispute against East Coast and West Coast rappers, he was known to insult enemies. He was killed in a drive-by shooting while in a vehicle with Death Row president Suge Knight.
Life as Tupac
To begin, Tupac Shakur, born Lesane Paris Crooks, was born June 16th, 1971 in Brooklyn, NY. Being the son of a Black Panther activist, Shakur moved around a lot as a child. His parents had separated before he was born, and his mother moved him and his sister around the country for much of their childhood. Mutulu Shakur, Tupac's stepfather, is sentenced to 60 years in prison for his connection with a 1981 armored-car robbery. Frequently, the family was at the poverty level. In his song “Changes” he states “I'm tired of bein' poor and even worse I'm black. My stomach hurts, so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch” and in “Dear Mama” where he says “I shed tears with my baby sister over the years we was poorer than the other little kids” Shakur managed to get accepted to the prestigious Baltimore School of the Arts as a teenager where he studied acting and ballet. While living in Baltimore, he discovered rap and began performing. Before he could graduate, his family moved to the West Coast to Marin City, CA, in the late 1980’s when he was 17 years old. Over the next few years, he lived life on the streets and initiated his hustling. Shakur drifted into the gang life, gathering a criminal record with eight arrests by the beginning of his twenties. He demonstrates his early troubles in “Dear Mama” where he says “Suspended from school; scared to go home, I was a fool with the big boys, breakin all the rules” He then met Shock-G, the leader of Oakland, California-based hip-hop group Digital Underground. He was hired as a back ground dancer. As he toured with the group, he worked on his own material. 2pac
In 1991, Shakur arose as a solo artist using the name “2pac” with his debut album 2Pacalypse Now. The track "Brenda's Got a Baby" reached as high as number three on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. With his singles “ I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up”, his second album Strictly 4 My N. I. G. G. A. Z platinum, selling more than a million copies. His songs were about growing up, life’s struggles, living in the ghetto and gangs. The single "Dear Mama" demonstrated that he was capable of sensitivity as well as violence. He recorded twelve landmark albums; nine of them went either platinum or gold. Fans, critics, and insiders ranked him as one of the greatest rappers of all time. In spite of Shakur’s career artist he was also an actor. He stared in six motion pictures. Shakur makes his movie debut in the Earnest Dickerson film "Juice" In 1992. In 1993 appeared in John Singleton's release "Poetic Justice" with Janet Jackson. This stretched his popularity further into the mainstream. Controversy
Although Tupac was a major superstar he still had the drama of everyday life. Tupac became the target of law suits and had many run ins with the law. He seemed to be living up to his aggressive gangster rap persona with a number of arrests for violent offenses in the 1990s. He also fell victim to violence as he was mugged and shot five times in a recording studio in Manhattan. He grew suspicious that the “Notorious B.I.G”., “Puffy” Combs, Andre Harrell, and his own close friend Randy "Stretch" Walker coordinating the shooting because during the time he spent recovering he didn’t receive one phone call or visit explaining why he was ambushed. Neither of them took the time to visit or write him during his...
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