Tupac Shakur

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"Murda, Murda, Murda, and Kill, Kill, Kill…", these are the lyrics to one of the songs written by Tupac Shakur. Amidst all the controversy surrounding his personal life, this artist has managed to overcome all obstacles and spread his hope/hate message to a surprisingly receptive audience. Tupac's music borrowed from the styles of early rap and hip-hop yet its appeal rested in Tupac himself. His persona of "Thug Poet" opened up a portal into the new genre of "Gangsta Rap." This new style of music revolutionized the music industry and allowed several new artists to break through in Tupac's creation, Gangsta Rap.

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on June 16, 1971 in New York. Afeni Shakur, a Black Panther member since 1968, gave birth to him in the Women's House of Detentions in Grenwich Village. She was charged with conspiracy to bomb several New York public locations and had just had her bail revoked. In Incan dialect, his name Tupac Amaru means "shining serpent" and Shakur is Arabic for "thankful to God." For most of his childhood his crack-addicted mother shuffled Tupac between the ghettos of Harlem and the Bronx. Young Tupac began his performance career with the 127th Street Ensemble and then enrolled Baltimore School for the Arts where he was educated in ballet and acting. Tupac was forced to drop out of the school and move to California where his criminal career began. Tupac began selling drugs and had several altercations with the law including several shooting and the unexplained death of two off-duty officers. Tupac's music continued to excel until his untimely death on September 7, 1996.

The artistic ability and musical talent weren't enough to get by with; it took a shtick that was "true". There was no candy coating or a softer side to this "straight from the projects" thug. Tupac rapped about what he knew, and he knew the street life. In and out of...
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