Musician, Rapper. His career lasted a mere five years. Tupac Shakur managed to record five albums which sold in the millions, appear in five films and on a regular basis make numerous high profile guest appearances. He was the devil, or a hero, or maybe a martyr to many and has become a legend Tupac Shakur was born in Brooklyn, a few months after his mother Afeni Shakur (Alice Faye Williams) was released from incarceration after being found not guilty by trial where she acted as her own attorney. He grew up in Harlem a talented youngster showing promise in singing and dance. He was offered a record contract at the age of 13 but it was never accepted.. He attended 'The Baltimore School for the Performing Arts' studying dance and ballet.. A moved to Oakland, California with his family resulted in an opportunity toward fame and recognition after joining the rap group 'Digital Underground' as a back up dancer then as a rapper. Leaving the group, Tupac released his first solo album '2pacalypes Now' and he was on his way. He lived up to his wild reputation. He rapped of gunfights, rough sex, gang and gang rivalries. He was a quality rapper and a expert lyricist. He parlayed his music career into a successful film career beginning with the controversial film 'Juice' then with Janet Jackson in 'Poetic Justice' and where he displayed his multi-talents in a basketball movie 'Above the Rim.' Tupac was shot five times while in a recording studio in New York. The attack was classed as a robbery but he believed it to have been staged by fellow rapper Christopher Wallace who was before considered a friend. Tupac was constantly in trouble with his violent nature indulging in mindless acts of violence which netted his brilliant career nothing but legal problems with incarceration, a near miss shooting resulting in a painful period of convalescences and then a premature death. While leaving a Las Vegas Hotel after witnessing a prize fight, an automobile pulled up beside his departing auto and was sprayed with gunfire. Tupac was struck four times and his companion escaped with minor injuries. He was taken to the emergency room at University Medical Center. He lingered for 6 days in critical condition finally succumbing to his injuries on Friday the 13th at age 25. His body was cremated the next day. His mother, Afeni Shakur spread part of his ashes over a special place in Los Angeles and the remainder was taken to her residence at Stone Mountain, Georgia spreading them in her garden. Postscript: Many of his accomplishments and achievements were released in posthumous albums. He amassed a monumental amount of material to be released in the future perhaps with a premonition of an early demise. A few: 'R U Still Down, Remember Me, Still I Rise, Rose that Grew From Concrete, Until The End Of Time.' His mother after decades of poverty and now rich and living on royalties has endeavored to keep her famous son's music and memory alive. She has made a documentary about his life, 'Tupac: Resurrection' with a companion book. She has set up a foundation that funds a summer camp for the performing arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia which is located on her farm a former rallying spot for the Ku Klux Klan. A facility has been constructed which is called the 'Tupac Amaru Shakur Performing Arts and Culture Center.' It contains a museum, art gallery, rehearsal classrooms and a Performance Theater with facilities to accommodate budding artists during the summer camp.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield