Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on June 16, 1971, in the East Harlem section of Manhattan, New York. Named after a Peruvian revolutionary, he was also known professionally as 2Pac (or Pac) and Makaveli. He made his entertainment debut in a production of the play A Raisin in the Sun at the Apollo Theater in 1984. His family had a history of resistance through his mother's involvement with the Black Panther Party, and with violence and authority, as Shakur's sister, stepfather and godfather were all in prison for various reasons. Due to these influences and being black in America, Shakur's view of the world, along with his talents, were formed.
After moving from Harlem to Baltimore, and attending the School for the Arts, Shakur's family moved to Marin City, California. Shakur worked as a back-up dancer and roadie for the group Digital Underground and earned himself a spot as a rapper in the show. In 1991 he signed with In-terescope Records and released his debut album 2Pacalypse Now, which contains profanity and descriptions of violence.
Shakur followed his first album with Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z (1993), Me against the World (1995), and All Eyez On Me (1996). He had a hard-hitting, lyrical, free-flowing style in which he related the life experiences of a young black man in America who sometimes expressed his anger with a world of injustices. His music, like his life, reflected turmoil and violence as Shakur became immersed in numerous lawsuits, sexual and assault charges, as well as becoming the center of feuds and disagreements. His professional life was on a high note and he earned accolades for his rap music and his acting performances in Juice (1992), Poetic Justice (1993), Above the Rim (1994), and Gang Related (1997). He also wrote a book of poetry titled The Rose that Grew from Concrete that was published after his death.
Shakur had survived acts of violence, including an incident that involved being shot five times, but on September 7, 1996, he was shot in Las Vegas, Nevada, and died six days later due to complications. The persons responsible for his death were not found. The album The Don Killu-minati: The 7 Day Theory (1996) was released posthumously and was followed by Better Days (2002), Tupac Resurrection (2003), Loyal to the Game (2004), and Pac's Life (2006), which were all collections of his unpublished works.
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