Tupac Shakur has become a true hip-hop legend, known for his very controversial lyrics. He was also involved in the heavy feuds between East and West Coast rappers. Born in New York City in 1971, Tupac Shakur is also known by stage name, 2Pac.
Tupac sold over 75 million albums worldwide, and was one of the best-selling music artists in the world. More than just a rapper, Tupac Shakur was a poet who raised awareness about violence, and the hardships in ghettos, racism and other social problems. In 1996, the rap legend was shot and killed in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But who was Tupac Shakur? Although his public life showed a man who was fearless and poetic, this list will tell you the top the things that you didn’t know about Tupac Shakur.
Fascinating Facts about Tupac Shakur
1 He had a Different Birth Name
Although we all know Tupac Shakur as 2Pac, you might be surprised to hear that Tupac’s birth name was actually Lesane Parish Crooks. You might think that he changed his own name to sound more intimidating, since Lesane doesn’t sound all that daunting.
However, this wasn’t the case. It was actually his parents who decided to change his name one year after his brith, in 1972. Tupac was renamed after the last Incan emperor, Tupac Amaru II. Tupac Amaru II was an 18th century Peruvian revolutionary figure who lead an indigenous uprising against the Spanish kingdom. He was executed for his acts of defiance.
2 His Parents were Black Panthers
Tupac Shakur’s parents were both active members of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was acquitted for more than 150 charges of conspiracy against the U.S. government in the New York Panther 21 court case.
The Black Panther Party was a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization. When it started in 1966, the Black Panther Party’s goal was to monitor police activity with armed citizens. By 1969, the Black Panther Party also organized community outreach programs in multiple cities, including the Free Breakfast for Children Programs.
3 2Pac is Classically Trained
Although you might think of him as just a rapper, you might be surprised to find out that Tupac was actually classically trained. He took part in multiple high-school plays, and, in 1988, Tupac attended the Baltimore School for the Arts. There, he studied acting, poetry, jazz and ballet. He also performed in many Shakespearian plays.
Tupac Shakur would also gain a very good reputation at his school, known for his superior rapping skills, and his ability to get along with all crowds at the school. At the Baltimore School for the Arts, he would also become friends with Jada Pinkett, who would later become Will Smith’s wife.
Bastfield, Darrin Keith (2002). Back In The Day: My Life And Times With Tupac Shakur. Da Capo Press
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4 Dance Before Rap
Tupac Shakur actually started out his career as a dancer, not a rapper. When his family moved to California in 1988, Shakur attended the poetry classes of Leila Steinberg, a manager and activist who promoted creativity in at-risk youth.
It was in 1989 that Steinberg organized a concert with a former group of Shakur’s, “Strictly Dope”. The concert got him signed with Atron Gregory, and he became a backup dancer for the hip hop group Digital Underground in 1990.
5 Tupac was Pro Gun Control
It might come as a surprise to you to hear that Tupac Shakur, the notorious rapper, was actually pro-gun control. According to an article written by Jon Pareles, Tupac wrote his first rap about gun control. He had seen the ravages of gun use when he was growing up in New York City.
Although Tupac would later write songs about violence that would be banned from radio stations due to how explicit they were, Tupac originally wrote raps about the importance of gun safety.
6 Tupac was also an actor
Although you probably know him best for his rap and hip hop music, Shakur was also an actor. Tupac’s first film appearance was in the motion picture, Nothing But Trouble.
He then had a starring role in the film Juice. He played a violent member of the Wrecking Crew, in which he was praised for his acting skills. He then went on to play in other films, including Poetic Justice and Above the Rim. After his death, the films Bullet, Gridlock’d and Gang Related, in which he starred, were released.
7 Tupac Loved Shakespeare
Tupac was a huge fan of theater and Shakespeare, having said that he had a huge influence on his work. During an interview in 1995, Tupac Shakur stated: “I love Shakespeare”. He went to say: “He wrote some of the rawest stories, man. I mean look at Romeo and Juliet. That’s some serious ghetto s!*
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Tupac Shakur: Rapper, Poet, Actor & King of Hip-Hop
Biography always has the best fun and short biographies! This one is excellent and is a short biography of Tupac Shakur, the actor and rap artist who was killed in a drive by shooting in 1996.
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