Biography on Tupac Shakur
In much the same fashion that Kurt Cobain defined the alternative rock music scene, Tupac Shakur defined the hip-hop scene as we know it today. What made Tupac (also known as 2pac) so special was his enormous talent, his on-screen friendly looks, and the sense that he was 'real' and talked the talk, while walking the walk. Since his death, there's been a deluge of speculation on who and why, and even if, but unfortunately still no concrete answers exist for any of these questions. Born June 16, 1971, Tupac Amaru Shakur, who was named after Tupac Amaru, the Inca Indian that was sentenced to death by the Spaniards, was originally a newborn from Brooklyn, New York. He later was transplanted and grew most of his childhood moving from inner-city town to town. The son of Black Panther political activists Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland (who was Tupac's 'deadbeat dad' and recently lost a judgment to be included in his estate), Tupac was moved from Harlem, Baltimore, and Oakland. The constant moving caused Tupac to try to fit into his new communities by joining gangs, and his lengthy rap-sheet was created even before his prolific entry into music and film, where he was arrested eight times before even turning 20.
Tupac's first big break came when he joined the group Digital Underground as a dancer and roadie. During that time, Tupac spent much of it composing his own poetry and lyrics to launch his own career, and in 1991 he signed with Interscope and a year later released his first album, 2Pacalypse Now, which immediately landed him into gangsta rap stardom. Also that year he starred in Juice with Omar Epps and Samuel L. Jackson. It was the beginning and too early of an ending to a bright acting career which he also landed other urban and African American oriented films such as Poetic Justice (1993), Above the Rim (1994), Bullet (1996), and Gridlock'd (1996). His main notoriety though was through music, and he followed up his successful debut with Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. in 1993, which also was a crossover pop success. In 1995 he released Me Against the World and his last living album release came with All Eyez on Me in 1996.
Shakur's post-celebrity run-ins with the law were almost as frequent as when he was growing up. In 1992 he was arrested when a stray bullet killed a 6 year old child during a scuffle between Shakur and two others, though later charges against Shakur were dropped. In 1993 Tupac was arrested for allegedly shooting 2 off-duty Butts County Atlanta police officers who were harassing a black motorist, but the charges were again dropped. Ironically, one of the Butts County officers was shot in the ass, and in 1998 Deputy Scott Whitwell won a $210,000 lawsuit for the incident. Then, that same year, Tupac was accused of sexual abuse against a 19 year old woman in a New York City luxury hotel. Shakur's legal troubles continued in 1994 when he punched out Menace II Society codirector Allen Hughes and...