52 years ago, legendary West Coast Rapper, poet and activist Lesane Parish Crooks, often referred to as Tupac Amaru Shakur or ‘Makaveli’, was born in East Harlem, New York. The West Coast rap pioneer is one of the greatest and most controversial emcees on the planet.
The towering artist and revolutionary poet, ‘2Pac’ was recognised for his hard-hitting rap music concerning police brutality and racism in the 90s U.S. For many, Shakur furthered the political origins of rap music which can be traced back to historic Hip-Hop acts Public Enemy, the N.W.A. and Run-D.M.C.
Over his brief yet affecting rap career, Shakur released some of the most crucial rap records in history. Through his extraordinary body of work, which included “2Pacalypse Now”, “Strictly 4 My Ni–az”, “Me Against The World” and “All Eyez On Me” LPs, the “Hail Mary” emcee influenced Hip-Hop and changed it forever.
Earlier this month, Makaveli was posthumously honoured with his own star at the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’ in Los Angeles. Ahead of the coveted ceremony, the organisation delved into how Shakur was one of the most influential figures in rap who defied “the distinction between art and activism.”
“Though his career lasted just five years, Tupac Shakur remains one of the most complex and prolific artists of his generation with over 75 million records sold worldwide. He is one of hip-hop’s most iconic figures, his body of work constantly reminds us of why he is a legacy that continues to be examined and appreciated for generations,” the organisation further noted.
In 2017, Shakur was inducted into the ‘Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’ making him the first Hip-Hop artist recognized for that inclusion. Shakur’s music has inspired a generation of rap artists even to this day and in 2015, the Grammy Museum opened Tupac’s first museum exhibit, “All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur.”
Amidst a controversial ‘beef’ with the East Coast rap pioneer The Notorious B.I.G. or “Biggie”, Tupac Shakur was shot dead in a drive-by shooting on September 7, 1996. He was just 25.
Rest in Peace, Tupac Amaru Shakur.
Read about Hot97 Radio And Mass Appeal’s “Hip-Hop 50” Concerts here.
Listen to Tupac Shakur’s final album ‘All Eyez On Me’ and watch his hard-hitting visuals here.