Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011

Tupac Shakur

An offspring of the Black Panther movement, the New York City–born, California-based Tupac Shakur (birth name: Lesane Parish Crooks) developed his vocal skills in inner-city America, watching and learning from the urban life he experienced firsthand as a child in Harlem and Baltimore. With his 1991 debut 2Pacalypse Now, Shakur showed he could be both explicit and charismatic. He espoused camaraderie with songs like "Keep Ya Head Up" and "If My Homie Calls" and abrasiveness with songs such as "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" and "Hit 'Em Up." But his fame and frustration soon led to a near fatal robbery at a Manhattan recording studio in 1994. The incident spiraled into a feud between himself and ex-friend Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, which escalated to a large-scale battle between East Coast and West Coast rap factions that eventually led to Shakur's untimely death at age 25. There are many theories as to who actually fired the fatal bullet at Shakur's chest as he left a boxing match in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996 (he died a week later), but after 15 years, the murder remains unsolved.