Tupac Shakur

From humble beginnings to becoming rap legend

16 June 1971

The Birth of Tupac Shakur

On June 16, 1971, Tupac Amaru Shakur was born. He was born on the East Harlem section of Manhattan in the state of New York. His parents got the inspiration for his name from a Peruvian revolutionary, Tupac Amaru II, who led an indigenous revolt against Spain. He was later executed for his actions. 

13 September 1983

Tupac’s Days in Harlem’s 127th Street Repertory Ensemble

When Tupac was twelve years old, he enrolled in Harlem’s 127th Ensemble. Shakur was chosen to play the role of Travis Younger in the play ‘A Raisin in the Sun’. This was performed at the famous Apollo Theater.

4 September 1986

The Move to Maryland

Tupac Shakur transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts at the end of his second year at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. At Baltimore School for the Arts, Tupac studied acting, jazz, ballet, and poetry. Tupac played many roles in his youth. Shakur also participated in several rap competitions around this time. He was often accompanied by his close friend, Dana “Mouse” Smith.

2 June 1988

The Move to California

Tupac and his family moved to California in June 1988. His family chose Marin City in California. Marin City was a community that was filled with housing projects. It is located 8 kilometers north of San Francisco. While in California, the rapper attended the Tamalpais High School.

5 September 1989

Tupac Attends Poetry Classes

In 1989, Tupac Shakur began attending poetry classes conducted by Leila Steinberg.

17 May 1990

Tupac Signs with Digital Underground

In 1990, Leila Steinberg organized a concert with Tupac Shakur’s former group, Strictly Dope. The group’s performance at the concert let to Tupac Shakur being signed by Digital Underground. Atron Gregory signed Tupac to be a roadie and backup dancer for the youthful rap group, Digital Underground.

1 October 1991

Tupac Files Lawsuit against Oakland Police Department

Tupac accused the law enforcement of the Oakland Police Department of brutally beating him for jaywalking. The rapper ended up taking legal action by filing a civil suit of $10 million against the Oakland Police Department.

12 November 1991

Tupac’s Debut Album

Tupac Shakur’s debut album, 2Pacalypse Now was released on November 12, 1991. The album was not very polished, at least when compared to his later studio projects. The album was overtly political. The rapper addressed issues such as racism, police brutality, poverty and teenage pregnancy. The rapper’s intention was to paint a lyrical picture of what is seen and experienced by the average young black man.

22 August 1992

Tupac’s Shooting Incident in Marin City

Tupac performed at an outdoor festival in Marin City on August 22, 1992. The rapper remained at the location for another hour to mingle with fans and to sign autographs. Tupac had made some negative statements about Marin City early the night and was confronted for them while mingling with fans. The rapper drew a firearm and dropped it by mistake. While he was retrieving it, firearm mistakenly went off. No one at the event was injured; however, a six-year-old child by the name of Qa’id Walker-Teal died as a result of being hit by a bullet.

16 February 1993

The Release of ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z’

On February 16, 1993, rapper Tupac Shakur released his sophomore album, ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z’. This album saw much more success than the rapper’s debut album and helped to propel Tupac into the mainstream. The album debuted at number 24 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

11 October 1993

The Atlanta City Shooting Incident

Shakur got into an altercation with a group that was celebrating a millstone on the night of October 11, 1993. It was alleged that Tupac almost hit the individuals as they crossed the street. Things escalated and it was reported that Tupac shot two officers.

1 November 1993

Tupac Faces a Rape Charge

A lady claimed that Tupac had raped her and took the rapper to court. Shakur stated that he had fallen asleep after the young lady arrived and when he rose from his sleep, she started to accuse him of raping her. Shakur was eventually convicted of sexual abuse. He was sentenced to a 1 ½ to 4 ½ prison term. 

26 September 1994

The Release of ‘Thug Life: Volume 1’

Tupac formed a group called Thug Life in 1993. The group included several of the rapper’s friends. It included Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme Shakur, and Rated R. On September 26, 1994, the group released ‘Thug Life: Volume 1’. This would be the first and only album released by Thug Life. This album featured the popular single ‘Pour Out a Little Liquor’.

30 November 1994

Tupac is Shot and Robbed

On November 30, 1994, the night before the verdict of his sex assault case, Tupac was robbed and shot five times. The incident occurred in the lobby of Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan. The shooting was carried out by two armed men. Tupac later blamed Sean Combs, Andre Harrel and Biggie Smalls for the shooting. 

28 January 1995

Tupac Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The mother of Qa’id, who died from a bullet on the nigh that Tupac’s firearm had mistakenly gone off in Marin City, filed a wrongful death suit against the rapper in 1995. The rapper’s record company turned over an undisclosed amount of money as settlement for the lawsuit.

14 February 1995

Tupac Begins His Prison Sentence

Tupac began his prison sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility in February of 1995. Being locked away did not stop the rapper from committing his love to his long-time girlfriend, Keisha Morris. The rapper got married to her while in prison on April 4, 1995. 

14 March 1995

The Release of ‘Me Against the World’

Tupac released his third album, ‘Me Against the World’ on March 14, 1995. The album sold two million copies.

13 February 1996

The Release of ‘All Eyez on Me’

The album that was the most successful for Tupac was ‘All Eyez on Me’. It debuted at number one on the charts and has sold more than 9 million copies. 

15 August 1996

Tupac Releases the Emotionally Dark ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’

The rapper had studied Niccolò Machiavelli while in prison. The influence that the literature had on the rapper led to the title of this release and for the rapper’s pseudonym, Makaveli.

7 September 1996

Tupac is Shot and Killed

On the night of September 7, 1996, a white car pulled up beside the vehicle that Tupac was travelled in and fired several gunshots at Tupac. The rapper succumbed to the injuries and died.

4 October 2020

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