Tupac Shakur – Turning Struggles into Success
Violent lyrics, a bad-boy image, and a long criminal record are what attracted and connected millions of young adults to the now legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Tupac was a man of contradictions; for example, his music degraded and also praised strong women. Tupac Shakur rapped about problems that inner-city black Americans could relate to, along with his legal and personal drama; you could not get away from Tupac in the 1990’s. From the womb to the day Tupac Shakur died he went through the struggles many self-proclaimed “gangsters” these days do as well; but using these problems he took the rap and hip-hop game to another level. Tupac Amaru Shakur, originally named Lesane Parish Crooks was born June 16th, 1971 in Brooklyn, New York to Billy Garland and Afeni Shakur (Kreps). Afeni Shakur was a part of the extremely radical Black Panther Party and this had a great influence on Tupac’s beliefs. Afeni Shakur spent most of her pregnancy awaiting trial for the famed New York 21 in which members of the party were thought to try and blow up the New York Botanical Gardens (Chambers and Solotaroff). In order to keep a healthy baby while in jail, she had to get a court issued order for an egg and a glass of milk every day. Before she had Tupac she won the case and was released. Moving from homeless shelters to homeless shelter in New York, the Shakurs picked up and moved to Baltimore. This is where Tupac would attend the High School for Performing Arts (The Economist US). He would also act in a play titled ‘Raisin in the Sun’ whenever he was thirteen (Kreps) at the Apollo Theatre in New York to raise money for Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign. He dropped out of the Baltimore School of Arts at 17 and moved to Martin County, California at 17. After moving to California, Tupac continued to pursue his artistic career. He successfully auditioned to be a back-up dancer for the up and coming hip-hop group Digital...
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