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2pac

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Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 Ð'- September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac, Makaveli, or simply as 'Pac, was an American artist renowned for his rap music, movie roles, poetry, and his social activism. He is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best selling hip-hop artist, with over 75 million of his albums sold worldwide [2] including over 44.5 million sales in the United States alone. Most of Shakur's songs are about growing up around violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, problems in society, and sometimes his feuds with fellow rappers. Shakur's work is known for advocating political, economic, social, and racial equality as well as his raw descriptions of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and conflicts with the law. Many fans, critics, and industry insiders rank him as the greatest rapper ever.[3][4]

Shakur was hired in 1990 as a roadie and backup dancer for the alternative rap group Digital Underground. Shakur's debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, gained critical recognition and backlash for its controversial lyrics. Shakur became the target of lawsuits and had other legal troubles. Most notably, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 1993 (although he vigorously denied the claims). The day before the guilty verdict was issued, Shakur was shot five times in a recording studio lobby in Manhattan. Following the incident, Shakur grew suspicious that other figures in the rap industry had prior knowledge of the shooting and did not warn him; the controversy would help spark the East Coast-West Coast feud. After serving 11 months of his sentence, Shakur was released from prison on an appeal financed by Marion "Suge" Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records. In exchange for Suge's assistance, Shakur agreed to release three records under the Death Row label. Shakur's fifth album, the first double-disc release in hip hop history All Eyez on Me, counted as two albums. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, and died six days later on September 13, 1996, of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest at University Medical Center, Las Vegas.

Biography

Early life

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City.[5] He was named after TÐ"Ñ"pac Amaru II, an Incan revolutionary who led a Peruvian uprising against Spain and was subsequently sentenced to death. "Shakur" comes from the Arabic word thankful (to God). His mother, Afeni Shakur, was an active member of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s; Shakur was born just one month after her acquittal on more than 100 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks" in the New York Panther 21 court case.[6] Fearing someone might hurt her son, Afeni put the name Parish Lesane Crooks on his birth certificate but changed it a year later.[7]

Violence and criminality surrounded Tupac from an early age. Shakur's godfather, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, was convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery. His stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, spent four years at large on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list beginning in 1982, when Tupac was a pre-teen. Mutulu was wanted in part for having helped his sister Assata Shakur, Tupac's godmother, to escape from prison in New Jersey, where she had been incarcerated for shooting two state troopers to death in 1973. Mutulu was caught in 1986 and imprisoned for an attempted robbery of a Brinks armored car in which two police officers and a guard were killed.[8] Tupac had a half-sister, Sekyiwa, two years his junior, and an older step-brother, Mopreme "Komani" Shakur, who appeared on many of his recordings.

At age 12, Shakur enrolled in Harlem's famous "127th Street Ensemble." His first major role with this acting troupe was as Travis in A Raisin in the Sun. In 1984, his family relocated to Baltimore, [9] After completing his sophomore year at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School he transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied acting, poetry, and jazz. He performed in Shakespeare plays and in the role of the Mouse King in The Nutcracker.[10] Tupac, accompanied by one of his friends, Dana "Mouse" Smith, as his beatbox, won most of the many rap competitions that he participated in and was considered to be the best rapper in his school.[11] Although he lacked trendy clothing, he was one of the most popular kids in his school because of his sense of humor, superior rapping skills, and ability to mix in with all crowds.[12] He developed a close friendship with a young Jada Pinkett (later Jada Pinkett Smith) that lasted until Shakur's death. In the documentary Tupac: Resurrection,

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