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Tupac Shakur: Dead or Still Breathing?

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Tupac Shakur: Dead or Still Breathing?

In the same fashion that Elvis defined Rock 'n' Roll; Tupac Shakur defined the hip-hop music scene, as we know it today. What made Tupac (also known as 2Pac, or Makaveli) so special were his enormous talent, his on screen friendly looks, and the sense that he was "real" and talked the talk, while walking the walk. Tupac was born on June 16, 1971, Tupac Amaru Shakur. He was named after Tupac Amaru, the Inca Indian that was sentenced to death by the Spaniards. He was originally from Brooklyn, New York. Tupac spent a lot of time moving around as he was growing up. He was the son of a Black Panther activist Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland. Tupac moved from Harlem, to Baltimore, to Oakland. The constant moving caused Tupac to fit into his new communities by joining gangs, and his lengthy rap sheet was created even before his profalic entry into music and film. He was arrested eight times before even turning twenty (MTV.com).

Tupac's first big break came when he joined the group Digital Underground as a dancer and roadie. During that time, Tupac spent a lot of the time composing his own poetry and lyrics to launch his own career. In 1991 he signed with Interscope records and a year later he released his first album 2Pacalypse Now, which immediately landed him

into "gangster" rap stardom. That year he also starred in Juice with Omar Epps and Samuel L. Jackson. It was the beginning to a bright acting career, which also landed him parts in 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 was through music, and he followed up his successful debut with Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993), which also was a success. In 1995 he released Me Against the World, and in 1996 came All Eyez On Me (Smith 15-18).

Shakur's post celebrity run-ins with the law were almost as frequents as when he was growing up. In 1992 he was arrested when a stray bullet killed a six-year old child during a scuffle between Shakur and two others. The charges were later dropped. In 1993 Tupac was arrested for allegedly shooting two off duty Butts County Atlanta police officers who were harassing a black motorist, but the charges were again dropped. Ironically one of the officers was shot in the butt. That same year Tupac was accused of sexual abuse against a nineteen-year-old woman in a New York City luxury hotel. Shakur's legal troubles continued in 1994 when he punched out Menace II Society co director Allen Hughes and served a fifteen-day sentence for his actions. The sexual charge came back to haunt Shakur in 1994 and he was convicted and sentenced to four and a half years in prison. The same day that Tupac was convicted, he was shot five times and robbed of his jewelry in a mugging Tupac claimed that the Notorious B.I.G., rapper that Tupac argued with over the past couple of years was responsible for hiring those who shot him. This intensified the East Coast - West Coast feud (Venable 98-99).

After going to serve his sentence, Tupac's Me Against the World came out and the song Dear Mama became a hit. Later on, Marion "Suge" Knight the CEO of Death Row Records- record label that Tupac would sign to later on, posted $1.4 million dollars in

bail to get Tupac out of prison. He immediately flew off to Los Angeles to record his fourth album. In an apparent attempt to further enrage the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac said that he had slept with the rapper's wife, Faith Evans. She denied this allegation. Tupac added more fuel to the Bad Boy (B.I.G. 's record label) vs. Death Row feud when he released the music videos 2 of Americas Most Wanted and later Hit 'Em Up, which both assassinated the character of Bad Boy Records, B.I.G., Sean "Puffy" Combs (B.I.G.'s best friend), and others on the Bad Boy label. He returned to New York in 1996 for the MTV Video awards where he got into another fight. This was three days before he was gunned down in Las Vegas (Coker 39).

His troubles in Las Vegas occurred after attending a heavyweight-boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon. Tupac and Suge Knight got into an argument outside of the MGM Grand Hotel with a man named Orlando Anderson. Anderson was associated with Bad Boy Records. Tupac and his entourage started to beat up Anderson in the lobby of the hotel. Security cameras caught the fight, and Anderson was held to see if he wanted to press charges. When he declined to press charges, he was released (Marriot 116-119).

There is a lot of speculation about what happened afterwards. At 11:15 P.M., Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight were driving in Suge's black BMW, followed by an

entourage of about five cars. These five cars were full of bodyguards and friends of Tupac and Suge. The cars were stopped at a red light, when a white late model Cadillac with California license plates pulled up next to them. Two of the four men in the car got

out and continued to let off thirteen rounds from a forty-caliber handgun into Suge's car. The car was shot at right on the Las Vegas Strip. The Cadillac headed south, Suge

made a u-turn and headed for the hospital. According to police reports Tupac was shot five times, including shots to his right lung, and abdomen. He was then ambulanced to the University of Nevada Medical Center, after police and ambulances chased down Suge's car (Tirella 94-96).

And this is where the speculation really begins. There is much controversy on whether Tupac Shakur is dead or still breathing. Most of the controversy may come from fans not willing to let go. But are people just trying to hold on to the past? As for the theories on Tupac still being alive and well, there are many. And I will explain them all to you. But as for Tupac being dead, the only evidence is what the news reports broadcasted, and what we read in the papers. But I don't believe that in this day and age, we are at a guaranteed trust level with the government, or the newspapers, or even the news shows. They say things, and we believe them, why- because that seems to be how the world works. But should we really believe what they tell us. I will lay out all of the facts for you and you can decide for yourself what you believe.

Tupac Shakur is alive and well according to the government. While looking through the internet I came upon a website which lets you search for the deceased. It will

give

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