TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR was an inspiration to millions.
While he was most famous for his rap career, but was also a gifted actor, poet and a thoughtful outspoken advocate for the poor and the overlooked in America. During his life, he produced an immense amount of artistic work, which included albums, major Hollywood feature films, and published works. He was most prolific in the music industry, selling over 75 million albums. Tupac’s unapologetic lyrics were relevant, important, and reflective of the hard lives led by many. His music earned attention and respect through a poetic style that embraced street vocabulary while being innovative and he is still considered by many to be one of the biggest influences on modern hip-hop.
Tupac’s career earned him 6 Grammy nominations and three MTV Video Music Award nominations. Shakur was honored by the American Music Awards as the Favorite Hip-Hop Artist in 1997.
At an early age, Tupac’s love for performance and the arts began to show, as he began acting at age 13 and later enrolled in the Baltimore School of the Arts before dropping out at 17. Shakur broke into the music business with rap group Digital Underground as a back-up dancer and roadie. Eventually, Shakur released his first solo album in ’91, 2pacalypse Now. Shakur’s music career began to grow as his second album, Strickly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z included 2 top 20 pop chart tracks: “I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up.”
Tupac’s next album, Me Against the World, was number one in the pop charts and would later go double platinum. Now signed to Death Row records, Shakur went on to create All Eyez on Me, which featured hits “How Do You Want It” and “California Love.”
Tupac’s life was cut short in September of 1996 when Shakur became the victim of a drive-by shooting while his car waited at a red light. In spite surviving the surgery that followed, Shakur was pronounced dead almost a week after the attack.
Tupac leaves a legacy of honesty and passion in his songs. Respected by many, Tupac has become an inspiration for artists and a standard in rap music.