On September 7th of 1996, hip hop artist Tupac Shakur was shot several times while sitting in a car in Las Vegas. He was riding a black BMW with Suge Knight, founder of Death Row Records, sitting next to him. A white Cadillac sedan pulled up alongside their vehicle. Shots were fired. Suge Knight was only grazed with a bullet, but Tupac didn't do so well. He died at a hospital six days later. He was 25 years old.
Tupac Shakur was born Lesane Parish Crooks in East Harlem, New York City, on June 16th of 1971. In 1986, he and his family moved to Baltimore. At Baltimore School for the Arts, he was considered the best rapper in his school. He eventually became a world famous American rapper, record producer, and actor. As of 2007, Tupac Shakur has sold more than 75 million records all over the world.
Both of Tupac's parents were active members of the Black Panther party, and the lyrics to his songs reflect that influence. The themes of his songs revolve around inner city despair, drug addiction, hopelessness, pregnant 12-year olds, and that sort of thing. He has been ranked one of the greatest artists of all time by many major magazines.
Shakur's killer was never identified. However, some believe Orlando Anderson, a member of the murderous Crips gang, may have been getting revenge. Earlier in the evening, Anderson had been attacked in the MGM Grand Hotel lobby by a group of men from Death Row Records, which included Suge Knight. When a video of the attack was revealed, Suge, who was out on parole at the time, had to return to prison to finish a nine-year sentence. Shakur's mother filed a lawsuit against Orlando Anderson for her son's death. However, the case was never resolved, because Anderson was shot to death in 1998.
Live by the gun, die by the gun.
Unfortunately, Shakur had been involved in a number of violent encounters, had been in trouble with the law, had been shot multiple times once before, and even went to prison for sexual assault. He was also required to defend himself in two civil lawsuits, where people actually claimed that Tupac's music was causing them to kill police officers.
For evidence of the talent of Tupac Shakur, you can look at almost any one of his poems. You could even pick one at random. For instance, here are the lyrics to a song he wrote about Jada Pinkett (Smith).
u r the omega of my heart
the foundation of my conception of love
when i think of what a black woman should be
its u that i first think of
u will never fully understand
how deeply my heart feels 4 u
i worry that we'll grow apart
and i'll end up losing u
u bring me 2 climax without sex
and u do it all with regal grace
u r my heart in human form
a friend i could never replace