Tupac Amaru Shakur(also known as "2Pac" and "Makaveli") is one of the most inspirational rappers to ever to pick up a mic. During his life and after his untimely death, Tupac has sold over 75 million albums worldwide and has been listed in the Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In addition to his prolific music career, Tupac has appeared in over a half-dozen movies during his brief life to include critically acclaimed roles in Juice and Poetic Justice, both of which cemented his legacy as a true cross over movie star. Using his voice to speak on hardship in the inner cities, racism, police brutality and other social ills, Tupac was a voice for a generation that still resonates today. As a testament to the interest in his life, Tupac is the subject of 14 documentaries to include the Academy Award–nominated Tupac: Resurrection, released in 2003.
Certainly Tupac Shakur was a great rapper and the many accolades he received during his life and afterwards are a testament to his great lyrical skills. Measuring Tupac's impact solely based on his rap game, however does him a serious injustice. Tupac was a poet, an author, an activist and a leader who inspired millions not just by the art he produced, but by who he was. 15 years after his passing he still represents the hopes and aspirations of millions of young men and women who see the injustices of the world and still have to find a way to survive through them. Tupac may have always known that he would meet his fate at an early age, but that never stopped him from living life to the fullest, speaking out against injustice, and sharing his talents with the world.
Tupac was imperfect and that made him real. In an age where everyone is trying to look perfect, act perfect, and be perfect, Tupac Shakur always kept it real. He knew that he had imperfections and he was proud of them as they made him what he the unique and special person that he was. He was, like many other young black men in the hood, "The Rose that Grew From Concrete".
Tupac gave millions of young black men a voice through his music. Many rappers of Tupac's time waste the majority of their lyrics talking about how great they are. Tupac certainly had ego and swag, but he still managed to spend time rapping about so many other things besides himself. His songs like "Dear Mama", "The Streetz R Deathrow" and "Last Wordz". and many others talked about everything from respect for elders to love, life in the hood, poverty, and inspiration. His songs are still loved by so many because he gave African Americans a voice through his songs instead of just using rap as a means to glorify himself.
Tupac showed that a "real" young black man can cross over without selling out. Tupak Shakur was one of the first young black rappers that crossed over from rapper to actor. Like Ice Cube before him, Tupac became a great actor and starred in several films to include "Poetic Justice". Most importantly, Tupac didn't sell out in his films. He played characters that young black men could identify with, relate to, and support.
Tupac was fearless in the face of imminent death or incarceration. Tupac was no saint, and for better or worse he found that he had a lot of enemies including the government. Throughout his hard life in the streets, battles in the rap game, and threats of jail time, Tupac always "kept his head up" and faced his problems head on. He rapped and spoke often about overcoming fear and never giving up and for that he is a true inspiration to us all.
“I want to grow. I want to be better. You grow. We all grow. We're made to grow. you eithe elvolve or disappear.” - Tupac Shakur
10 Things You May Not Know About Tupac Shakur
Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City.
Tupac was named after Túpac Amaru II, a Peruvian revolutionary who led an indigenous uprising against Spain and was subsequently executed.
Both Tupac’s mother (Afeni Shakur) and father (Billy Garland) were active members of the Black Panther Party.
Tupac went to high school with Jada Pinkett (the wife of Will Smith) and had a lifetime friendship with her. In his poerty book "The Rose that grew From Concrete" he dedicates a poem to her entitled "Jada".
Tupac started his rap career with Digital Underground in 1990.
In 1991 Tupac filed a $10 million lawsuit agauinst the Oakland Police Department for allegedly brutally beating him for jaywalking.
In June 2011, the shooter of Tupac in the 1994 failed robbery attempt at his recording studio in New York confessed.
Tupac is one of only three rappers to ever get a song ("Dear Mama") added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. The other 2 rap artists are Public Enemy and Grandmaster Flash
A Vibe magazine poll in 2004 rated Tupac Shakur "the greatest rapper of all time" as voted by fans, and MTV ranked him at No.2 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time.
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