NorthernNotes

Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur was a rap artist who seemed to model his life around his violent lyrics and at the young age of 25 his fantasy met reality.

Tupac was born in 1971 were his name at birth was Lesane Crooks. It was later changed to Tupac Amaru Shakur once his mother became involved in The Black Panther Party. In Incan Tupac Amaru means, "Shining Serpant,"while Shakur means, "Thankful towards God,"

Tupac grew up on the streets of New York and Califonia were he got involved in street gangs and selling drugs. These experiences provided Tupac with the knowledge that he needed to develope his skills of rapping about the trials and tribulations of the ghetto. He had to face many of the ghetto's evil. However, the greatest evil that he had to face was prehaps his mothers addiction to crack cocain. This hurt Tupac tramendously and prehaps drove him deeper into the streets. Another thing that bothered Tupac was that he never had a male role model. He wrote about this aspect of his life in many of his rymes.

He recieved his first break by becoming the roadie for a rap group called Digital Underground. Being a roadie wasnt a big deal to him as he stated, "I did what I had to do." Eventually his hard work payed of and he worked his way into doing a song with them. The rest was history.

His first album "2Pacalypse Now,"contained three successful singles "Trapped", "Brenda's Got A Baby." and "If My Homies Call". His dark images and emotionally laced lyrics distinguished him from the rest of the pack. However he showed that he was just like everyone else when in November 1994 he was shot five time. Tupac survived and was caught in a picture giving the middle finger while being loaded into a ambulance. After this day Tupac's ledgend was born in every ghetto across the United States.

His second release was more shocking than his first. It was more militant and violent. It was called, "Strictly 4 My N.IG.G.A.Z..." and it had two hit singles "I Get Around", and "Keep ya Head Up". By this time his violent lyrics were coming uder attack. One of his greatest opponents was Vice President Dan Quayle who stated, "There is no room for this type of thing in our society". Tupacs response was, "I was raised in this society, you cant expect me to be the perfect person cause I'mo do what I want to do".

Tupac's next release once again furthered him from the rest of the rappers. "Me Against The World," was Tupacs largest selling albulm to date. It went 2x platinum. He once again proved his versitility by showing his soft side in songs like, "Dear Mama,"and "Can You Get Away." Then he turned around and proved his hard side with songs such as, "If I Die Tonight". He also may have achieved his greatest work to date. "So Many Tears," is prehapes one of the greatest songs of all time.

His next album was, "All Eyez on Me," which has been estimated to have sold more than 7 million copies to date. It was writen after Tupac was released on bond from prison. His death on September 13, 1996, sent this albulms record sells through the roof. Tupac was shot down in a ambush in Las Vegas after a Mike Tyson fight on September 11, 1996. He managed to hold on for two more days dying at the age of 25. Many were surprised that he died. Tupac was seen as such a strong person, after all he had survived five bullets before. However, many forgot that bullets are not prejudice they do the same to all.

NorthernNotes from Northern Illinois University

To NewsPlace for News and Sources