Tupac Shakur passed away 16 years ago today, after being shot six days prior. There’s no one in Hip-Hop that hasn’t been and continues to be influenced by the music and legacy Shakur left behind.
He represented “thug life” through song, but was also an urban poet able to deliver messages that served more of a purpose than mere entertainment. After his death he joined the ranks of Hendrix, Joplin, Cobain and many other musicians who gave the world a reason to fall in love with not only music, but a state of mind. He said it best himself, “In my death, people will understand what I was talking about.” It’s safe to say, he was right on that one.
To celebrate the life that was Tupac Shakur, here are some things you may not have known.
-Although he had “Thug Life” tatted across his torso, he was a softy and a member of the 127th Street Ensemble, a theater group in Harlem, NY when he was younger.
-Who loves orange soda? Tupac loved orange soda. Is it true? Mhmm, he do, he do, he do-oo.
-There are probably a lot of people out there who either have Tupac’s face or lyrics on their body, but two notables are former girlfriend, Quincy Jones’ daughter, Kidada Jones, who has his face on her arm, and porn star Spontaneous XXXStacy, who has “Tupac Shakur Keep Ya Head Up.”
-Tupac acted in his day, but did you know he auditioned for the Oscar winning, Forrest Gump? Yup, he went out for the role of shrimp loving Bubba.
-He was educational…MC Hammer claims that Tupac wanted to play free concerts for schools. The catch? Students could only attend if they had a C or better GPA.
-When incarcerated, you have to spend your time doing something to keep your mind occupied. Tupac took his prison time and wrote “Dear Mama.
-10 albums have been released since his 1996 death. Every single one has gone platinum.
-He was the first artist to ever have a number one album while incarcerated.
-Unfortunately, Tupac passed away with less than $100,000 in his bank account.
“If you walked by a street and you was walking on the concrete and you saw a rose growing from the concrete, even if it had messed up petals and it was a little to the side you would marvel at just seeing a rose grow through concrete. So why is it that when you see some ghetto kid grow out of the dirtiest circumstance and he can talk and he can sit across the room and make you cry, make you laugh, all you can talk about is my dirty rose, my dirty stems and how I am leaning crooked to the side, you can’t even see that I’ve come up from out of that”-Tupac Shakur
May he rest in peace…