Tupac Shakur would be celebrating his birthday today, June 16th, had he not been the victim of a drive by shooting in September 1996.
Shakur, also known by his stage name 2Pac, was gunned down by an unknown assailant on the night of September 7th. Had he survived, he would be celebrating 41 years. Instead, his birthday is remembered with a huge celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the rapper used to live in a low-income housing project called “The Jungle,” along with his mother, a former Black Panther Member.
Forbes reports that, as a teenager, Tupac moved with his mother to Marin City in 1988. While there, he formed the rap group Strictly Dope.
According to Gather, Tupac is now thought of as “a pioneer rapper and hiphop musician.” He once said that, “In my death, people will understand what I was talking about.” The website notes that, “It seems these days, they most certainly do.”
Tupac Shakur debuted in 1991 with the song “Brenda’s Got A Baby,” which launched him into a lifetime (and after) of incredible fame. The Hindustan Times reports that he was named the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time by Rolling Stone. He often sang about growing up, racism, violence, and hardship in the ghettos.
He released a total of six albums between 1991 and his death in 1996. As of 2010, Tupac had sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists in the world.
The Hindustan Times notes that:
“His rhyming is considered as legendary in the world of rap and hiphop. He lived his songs with several brawls and violent arrests in the 1990s. He was finally faced with a violent death when he was shot while riding in his car in Las Vegas. After a lengthy murder investigation, his killer still remains unknown.”
Check out Tupac Shakur’s debut song, “Brenda’s Got A Baby” here: