When thinking of the Hip-Hop industry, one of the first names that comes to mind is Tupac Shakur. Shakur was born in the Bronx on June 16, 1971. He was reared by his mother Afeni Shakur who was an active member of the Black Panthers. Tupac's family later relocated to Oakland, California, where he spent much of his time on the street. As a kid, he was always getting himself into trouble, and he was very lonely. He started writing songs to keep himself out of trouble. An article from VIBE magazine "Troubled Times for Tupac Shakur" quotes Tupac. "'I was lonely, I didn't have no big brothers, no big cousins until later. I could remember writing songs.... I remember writing poetry.' " 1 Tupac was talented in the areas of poetry, songwriting and acting from the beginning. He started acting at a young age, and he joined the rap group Digital Underground, performing as a dancer in 1990. In an interview with MTV, John Singelton, the writer-director of Boyz in the Hood and Poetic Justice, says that Tupac was a natural born actor; he knew how every role should be played.2 Tupac began his public acting career before his music career.
After the Digital Underground debut, Tupac signed to Interscope Records and released his first solo album, 1991's 2pacalypse Now. The album quickly went gold thanks to the hit singles "Trapped" and "Brenda's Got a Baby," as well as a high-profile appearance in the hit movie Juice. Tupac's 1993 follow-up album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., reached number four and went platinum, spawning the top 10 hits "I Get Around" and "Keep Ya Head Up." Then in 1995, Tupac put out Me Against the World, which debuted at number one, went platinum and established Shakur as one of the most popular and successful rappers of the 90's.
Throughout most of 1993 and 1994 Shakur was in and out of jail on various charges. He was arrested in Los Angeles for carrying a concealed weapon, was implicated in the shooting deaths of two undercover policemen and was convicted of sexual assault. In November 1994, in a much publicized incident, Shakur was shot four times while entering a New York recording studio and robbed of $40, 000 in jewelry. The following month he was sentenced to prison for the sexual assault conviction. After spending eight months in jail, his case was appealed and head of Death Row Records, Suge Knight, bailed Tupac out of jail. This also brought about the opportunity to sign him with Death Row Records.
In 1996, Tupac released his last album All Eyez on Me. The album was the beginning of his career with Death Row. In an MTV interview with Tupac, Kurt Loder, a journalist from the source said:
Tupac turned his troubles to a career that was bigger than ever. His double
Album... "All Eyes on Me," sold more than five million copies, scored a
number one single and included tracks with Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Dr.
Dre. With three years past since Snoop's last solo release.... Tupac became