Tupac Shakur (a.k.a. 2pac)
DOB: June 16, 1971 – Brooklyn, NY
DOD: September 13, 1996 – Las Vegas, NY
Height: 5’10 Weight: 168
Mother: Afeni Shakur
Father: William Garland
Step Father: Jeral Wayne Williams
Half Sister: Sekyiwa Shakur
Half Brother: Maurice Harding
Godfather: Elmar “Geronimo” Pratt
Music Group: One Nation Emcees, Two From The Crew, Strictly Dope, Digital Underground, Thug Life, Outlaw Immortalz/ Outlawz
Aliases: MC New York, 2pac, Makeveli
Martial Status: Divorced (Keisha Morris) & Engaged (Kidida)
What does it take to be an icon of the 21st century? An icon is a symbol representing what a person did to be admired by many people and achieved many things rarely an ordinary person can do. I would consider Tupac to be an icon of the 21st century because he became a living symbol of his generations to many hip-hop and rap fans all over the world. He was the son of Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland. At his teens, his family moved to Baltimore, MD. He attended The Baltimore School for the Performing Arts and studied acting and ballet. At this school, the teachers had an impression of Tupac that he had an outstanding potential. Unfortunately, he had to move to Oakland, CA with his family and that was when he began to, as Tupac called it, “Hang with the wrong crowd.”
As a true icon of the 21st century, Tupac had many great qualities and was very humble because he grew up in the poorest part of the city and he knew the feeling of being poor. After all of his success he never in any way try to flaunt about his wealth and that he showed strength not by money but by the words he sang and wrote. Tupac Shakur can be characterized as a rapper, an actor and a great personality.
One of the greatest aspects that create Tupac is his great talent of being a great rapper. Baltimore was the city where Tupac really began getting into the art of emceeing. In Baltimore, at the age of fourteen, Tupac was known as MC New York. In California, he joined the rap group Digital Underground to learn the ropes of the hip-hop industry, and became the dancer for the crew. A year later, Tupac finally recorded a song with Digital Underground called, “Same Song.” Not long before the group received award-winning success, Tupac came out with his own album called, “2pacalypse Now”, which was also a success. His hit single, “Brenda’s Got A Baby”, launched Tupac’s career like a rocket, which went gold and sold over 500,000 copies. In 1993 he recorded and released, “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z”, an album that brought him into the pop charts. In 1995, Tupac produced his most impressive accomplishments, which included, “Me Against The World”, that sold two million copies, and the double-CD, “All Eyez On Me”, which nearly sold six million! As his career was on the road to fame and fortune, he was shot killed after watching the Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas. After his death, Tupac’s label released an album called, “The Don Killuminati.” Even after his death Tupac lives on through his music and shows that he was and still is the best rapper.
Another aspect that makes Tupac such a remarkable icon is that he has a great personality. Unlike other rappers, he wrote songs about the reality of life in a poor situation and used poetic words that added meaning into his music. By the age of twelve, Tupac had discovered his love for writing songs and making poetry. One of his greatest qualities was his humbleness because after all of his achievements and success, he never tried to brag about his wealth and greatness. As a person who had lived in the Bronx, Tupac grew up strong and powerful. Although he was strong and powerful on the outside, he showed his sensitivity through his poems and songs. In 1993, Tupac released a book called, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”; a 200+ book containing hand written verses of poems that he made.
During Tupac’s childhood, he showed not only a major interest, but also a special talent in the craft of acting. At the age of twelve, he started his acting career with his debut in play of, “A Raisin in the Sun.” While at the Baltimore School of Arts, he acted in a variety of plays learning some of the basic fundamentals of acting. Tupac attended that school with current actors such as Jada Pinkett. Tupac’s career really took off in 1992, when his stunning talent got him a starring role in “Juice.” It was an acclaimed nationwide film about gangs and gained some Hollywood success. The highlight of Tupac’s career came when he gets himself another role in “Poetic Justice,” with Janet Jackson, in the John Singleton film. This role made Tupac a household name and showed that music may not only be Tupac’s #1 attribute. Even after he passed away, Gramency Pictures came out with Gridlock’d, a film where Tupac played the role of a drug addict. His final film, Gang Related, was released in 1997. As an actor and a rapper, Tupac was a very busy man and still achieved to be successful in both occupations. This kind of quality is one of the reasons why Tupac is considered to be an icon of the 21st century.
Tupac Shakur is truly an icon of the 21st century because he has three great qualities that make him such an outstanding person. As a rapper, his songs often detailed the misery, desperation, and violence of life in the ghetto. As a personality, he overcame the poor quality of life and successfully achieves to become a very wealthy person and very well respected. As an actor, he was good-looking and charismatic, and his appearances in multiple featured films suggested he had great potential on the big screens. But Tupac never had the chance to realize that his remarkable qualities had made him a symbol of his generation. On September 7, 1996, he was gunned down in a drive by shooting after the Tyson fight in Las Vegas. He died six days later from the wounds he received. At 25 years old, he died a young man but also died as a legend that became an icon of the 21st century. Tupac Shakur was, and still is the best rapper.