Anniversaries are usually meant to be celebrated, but the twentieth anniversary of Tupac Shakur is a bittersweet one. He was know for some of his top hits such as “California Love”, “Dear Mama”, “Hit Em Up”, and many others. According to Rolling Stone, Tupac was often described as a gangster or thug which can be defined as “a violent person, especially a criminal” according to the Oxford Dictionary. Through his upbringing and his career Tupac redefined this term into “a man who triumphs over systematic and societal obstacles.”
According to The Washington Post on Sept. 13, 1996 Tupac was shot four times while arriving at a nightclub in Las Vegas. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors operated on him, but was pronounced dead at 7:03 p.m. due to respiratory and heart failure. To this day the case still remains unsolved, but that was not the first time Tupac had an encounter with a gun. The Washington Post states that in 1994 he was shot five times during a robbery. Fans still mourn the loss of the rapper because he made a big impact in the hip hop community.
The Washington Post states that Tupac was the son of Afeni Shakur who happened to be part of the Black Panthers. One could say his mother was a big influence on him because he did not keep quiet about his feelings toward the racial issues facing society.
According to Vanity Fair most of his lyrics describe the struggle his mom went through being an African American single mother. One of his top hits “Dear Mama” is about “a single mother on welfare who came home after working late and tried to fix her kids a hot plate.” Tupac is an example of someone came from nothing and grew up to be successful through hard work and dedication.
Tupac portrayed himself as a “thug” but according to The Washington Post, those who knew him say he had a soft spot that others didn’t know about. What some people don’t know is that this rap legend had a criminal history. According to Forbes, Tupac was incarcerated for sexual assault in 1995. Before that he was charged with the shooting of two off-duty police officers in 1993. According to The Washington Post some people believe that his criminal record made him a target and that’s why he was killed.
Regardless of his criminal record Tupac was a world famous rapper that made an impact in the music industry. There are many people who appreciate his music, and many artists who are heavily influenced by him. Rolling Stone posted a picture of a letter written by Eminem sent to Afeni Shakur stating how much of an impact Tupac had on his music.
His legend still continues to live on. According to Forbes his mother created the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation in order to provide support to students who are aspiring to enhance their talents. His legacy lives through the albums he’s released that people are still listening to. Forbes states Tupac gave a “hologram performance at Coachella in 2012.” Rolling Stone released a trailer to “All Eyez On Me,” a movie based on Tupac’s life and is set to be released some time in November.
Tupac accomplished so much during his lifetime. He used his music to shed light on problems people were unaware of or issues people just chose to ignore. Though he had his run in with the law his fans have remained loyal to him for the past 20 years. If he were still alive today one could only imagine what else he would have accomplished.