Fifteen years ago this month, the world lost one of the greatest musicians ever and one of the most controversial people the music industry has ever seen when Tupac Shakur was killed.
His personality was certainly one of the most unique the music industry has ever seen.
Tupac died when he was 25 years old from multiple gunshot wounds at the Las Vegas University Medical Center. At the time, Tupac was one of a kind because in 1996 there was nobody as controversial as him.
He was one of the first rappers to star in multiple films and receive critical acclaim for his acting. His biggest hit movie was “Juice,” in which Tupac played a psychotic murderer to perfection. At the same time, he was also releasing albums regularly.
Tupac wrote his album “All Eyez on Me,” which is received by most as his greatest album ever, in one month. To simply put it, many successful CDs take a couple years to write, but Tupac did his in one month.
On top of being a great musician he was a great poet as well. Most rappers are just great artists but Tupac was certainly unique. What made him even more mysterious is he talked about death in a lot of his songs and poems. Many believe he was prepared to die long before he did.
Tupac was always caught up in legal trouble. There were times were he would be going to perform a concert, but as soon as he got off the plane he went straight to court because he had charges pending.
At the time the media portrayed rap music (especially Tupac Shakur) in a bad eye. They saw that his lyrics were degrading toward women and jumped all over him.
One of his biggest critics C Delores Tucker, constantly made Tupac out to be a horrible human being. It wasn’t until after his death that most of the main stream media started giving him respect. Tupac was unlike other rappers.
Yes he had songs with lyrical content that was inappropriate but he also wrote about the truth. On “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” he really opened up. “I hear Brenda’s got a baby But, Brenda’s barely got a brain a damn shame the girl can hardly spell her name.” Tupac spoke from the heart and wrote about harsh realities that the media and society do not like to cover.
Although one of his best qualities was his personality it would ultimately lead to his demise. Tupac was outspoken, but once he got out of jail he trusted no one and held nothing back. The people he targeted were none other then Notorious B.I.G. and Junior M.A.F.I.A.
He wrote a song called “Hit Em Up,” in which it singled out ways Tupac’s crew was going to destroy B.I.G.’s crew, even going as fair to claim Tupac had an affair with B.I.G.’s wife Faith Evens.
After that song was released things started to get out of control and this ignited one of the most famous controversies in the music industry known as East Coast vs. West Coast.
When Tupac was killed, a lot of people associated his death with not only Orlando Anderson (who was a Crip gang member) jumped earlier in the night but also Notorious B.I.G. and Junior M.A.F.I.A. So many threats had been exchanged back and forth that it was going to happen that people speculate. Sadly Notorious B.I.G. would not be around much longer as he was also shot to death on March 9, 1997. A feud that only contained diss songs to start led to two young rappers being shot to death.
When it all comes down to it Tupac Shakur was one of the greatest ever. Not only was he ahead of his time musically but he was one of the most talented and honest musicians the music industry has ever seen. What made his fans love him also led to his demise.
When you portray violence in your songs it’s only a matter of time until something happened. Rolling Stone Magazine named him the 86th greatest-selling artist of all time, and the second greatest-selling rapper behind Eminem with 75 million albums sold.
He is one of the few artists to sell more albums after his demise than when he was alive. We lost a great artist too soon to senseless violence.
One thing for sure is Tupac’s legacy will never die. In fact, it is only getting stronger 15 years later.