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Tupac Shakur

Background information
Also known as 2Pac, Pac, Makaveli
Born June 16, 1971(1971-06-16)
New York City, New York
Origin San Francisco Bay Area, California
Died September 13, 1996 (aged 25)
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, songwriter, actor, record producer, poet, screenwriter, activist, dancer
Years active 1988–1996
Labels Interscope, Out Da Gutta, Death Row, Makaveli, Amaru
Associated acts Digital Underground, Richie Rich, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Dave Hollister, Johnny "J", Snoop Dogg, Outlawz, Tha Dogg Pound, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, DJ Quik, Boot Camp Clik

Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), known by his stage names 2Pac (or simply Pac) and Makaveli, was an American rapper. He has sold 75 million plus albums to date and is one of the best-selling music artists in the world.[1] In addition to his status as a top-selling recording artist, Shakur was a promising actor[2] and a social activist. Most of Shakur's songs are about growing up amid violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, problems in society and conflicts with other rappers. Shakur's work is known for advocating egalitarianism.[3] Shakur was initially a roadie and backup dancer for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground.[4][5][6]

Shakur became the target of lawsuits and experienced other legal problems. In 1994, he was shot five times and robbed in the lobby of a recording studio in New York City. Following the event, Shakur grew suspicious that other figures in the rap industry had prior knowledge of the incident and did not warn him; the controversy helped spark the East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry.

He was later convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years in prison.[7][8][9]

After serving eleven months of his sentence, he was released from prison on an appeal financed by Marion "Suge" Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records. In exchange for Knight's assistance, Shakur agreed to release three albums for the Death Row label.

On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in Nevada. He died six days later of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest at the University Medical Center.[10]



Early life

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City.[11] He was named after Túpac Amaru II,[12] a Peruvian revolutionary who led an indigenous uprising against Spain and who was subsequently executed.

Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur, and his father, Billy Garland, were active members of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s; Shakur was born just one month after his mother's acquittal on more than 150 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks" in the New York Panther 21 court case.[13]

Although unconfirmed by the Shakur family, several sources (including his official coroner's report) list Shakur's birth name as "Lesane Parish Crooks".[14] This name was supposedly entered on the birth certificate because Afeni Shakur feared her enemies would attack her son, and disguised his true identity using a different last name. She changed it later, following her separation from Garland and marriage to Mutulu Shakur.

Through his biological father, Shakur is a great descendant of the royal Garamantes[15] kingdom of northern Africa. The modern Tuareg[16] people of Sub-Saharan Africa[17] are descended from the Garamantes civilization.

Struggle and incarceration surrounded Shakur from an early age. His godfather, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a high ranking Black Panther, was convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery, although his sentence was later overturned. His stepfather, Mutulu, spent four years at large on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list beginning in 1982, when Shakur was a pre-teen. Mutulu was wanted in part for having helped his sister Assata Shakur (also known as Joanne Chesimard) to escape from a penitentiary in New Jersey, where she had been incarcerated for allegedly shooting a state trooper to death in 1973. Mutulu was caught in 1986 and imprisoned for the robbery of a Brinks armored truck in which two police officers and a guard were killed.[18] Shakur had a half-sister, Sekyiwa, two years his junior, and an older stepbrother, Mopreme "Komani" Shakur, who appeared on many of his recordings.

At the age of twelve, Shakur enrolled in Harlem's 127th Street Repertory Ensemble and was cast as the Travis Younger character in the play A Raisin in the Sun, which was performed at the famous Apollo Theater. In 1986, the family relocated to Baltimore, Maryland.[19] After completing his second year at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School he transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet. He performed in Shakespeare plays, and in the role of the Mouse King in The Nutcracker.[18] Shakur, accompanied by one of his friends, Dana "Mouse" Smith, as his beatbox, won most of the many rap competitions that he participated in and was considered to be the best rapper in his school.[20] Although he lacked trendy clothing, he was one of the most popular kids in his school because of his sense of humor, superior rapping skills, and ability to mix in with all crowds.[21] He developed a close friendship with a young Jada Pinkett (later Jada Pinkett Smith) that lasted until Shakur's death. In the documentary Tupac: Resurrection, Shakur says, "Jada is my heart. She will be my friend for my whole life," and Pinkett Smith calls Shakur "one of my best friends. He was like a brother. It was beyond friendship for us. The type of relationship we had, you only get that once in a lifetime." A poem written by Shakur titled "Jada" appears in his book, The Rose That Grew From Concrete, which also includes a poem dedicated to Pinkett Smith called "The Tears in Cupid's Eyes". During his time in art school, Shakur began dating the daughter of the director of the Baltimore Communist Party USA.[22]

In June 1988, Shakur and his family moved once again, this time to Marin City, California,[19] where he attended Tamalpais High School.[23] Shakur began attending the poetry classes of Leila Steinberg in 1989.[24] That same year, Steinberg organized a concert with Shakur's former group, Strictly Dope; the concert led to him being signed with Atron Gregory who set him up with the up-and-coming rap group Digital Underground. In 1990, he was hired as the band's backup dancer and roadie.[4][5][6]

Rapping career

Shakur's professional entertainment career began in the early 1990s, when he debuted his rapping skills in a vocal turn in Digital Underground's "Same Song" from the soundtrack to the 1991 film Nothing but Trouble and also appeared with the group in the film of the same name. The song was later released as the lead song of the Digital Underground EP This is an EP Release, the follow-up to their debut hit album Sex Packets. Shakur appeared in the accompanying music video. After his rap debut, Shakur performed with Digital Underground again on the album Sons of the P. Later, he released his first solo album, 2Pacalypse Now. Initially he had trouble marketing his solo debut, but Interscope Records' executives Ted Field and Tom Whalley eventually agreed to distribute the record.

2Pacalypse Now did not do as well on the charts as future albums, spawning no top ten hits. His second record, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., was released in 1993. The album, mostly produced by Randy "Stretch" Walker (Shakur's closest friend and associate at the time) and the Live Squad, generated two hits, "Keep Ya Head Up" and "I Get Around", the latter featuring guest appearances by Shock G and Money-B of the Digital Underground.

Thug Life

In late 1993, Shakur formed the group Thug Life with a number of his friends, including Big Syke, Macadoshis, his stepbrother Mopreme Shakur, and Rated R. The group released their only record album Thug Life: Volume 1 on September 26, 1994, which went gold. The album featured the single "Pour Out a Little Liquor" produced by Johnny "J" Jackson, who went on to produce a large part of Shakur's album All Eyez on Me. The group usually performed their concerts without Shakur.[25] The concept of "Thug Life", at the time, was viewed as a philosophy of life by Shakur.

Legal issues

Even as he garnered attention as a rapper and actor, Shakur gained notoriety for his conflicts with the law. In October 1991, he filed a $10 million civil suit against the law enforcement of the Oakland Police Department, alleging they brutally beat him for jaywalking.[26]

In 1992, a Texas state trooper was killed by a teenager who was listening to 2Pacalypse Now which included songs about killing police. This caused a swirl of media controversy. Dan Quayle, the Vice President of the United States at the time, demanded that the album be withdrawn from music stores and media across the country; Interscope refused.[26] Shakur claimed his first album was aimed at the problems facing young black males, but it was criticized for its graphic language and images of violence by and against law enforcement. Quayle publicly denounced the album as having "no place in our society".[27]

In October 1993, in Atlanta, two brothers and off-duty police officers, Mark and Scott Whitwell, were with their wives celebrating Mrs. Whitwell's recent passing of the state bar examination. As they crossed the street, a car with Shakur inside passed by them or "almost struck them", after which the Whitwells began an altercation with the driver, Shakur and the other passengers, which was then joined by a second passing car. One officer was shot in the buttocks, and the other in the leg, back, or abdomen, according to varying news reports. There were no other injuries, but Mark Whitwell was charged with firing at Shakur's car and later lying to the police during the investigation, and Shakur with the shooting, until prosecutors decided to drop all charges against all parties.[28][29]

In December 1993, Shakur and others were charged with sexually abusing a woman in a hotel room. According to the complaint, Shakur sodomized the woman and then encouraged his friends to sexually abuse her. Shakur vehemently denied the charges. According to Shakur, he had prior relations days earlier with the woman; she performed oral sex on him on a club dance floor and the two later had consensual sex in his hotel room. The allegations were made after she revisited his hotel room for the second time where she engaged in sexual activity with his friends and alleged that Shakur and his entourage had mass raped her, saying to him while leaving, "Why you let them do this to me?"[30][31] Shakur stated he had fallen asleep shortly after she arrived and later awoke to her accusations and legal threats. In the ensuing trial Shakur was convicted of sexual abuse. In sentencing Shakur to one-and-a-half years in a correctional facility, the judge described the crime as "an act of brutal violence against a helpless woman".[32] In 1994, he was convicted of attacking a former employer while on a music video set. He was sentenced to fifteen days in jail with additional days on a highway work crew, community service, and a $2,000 fine.

In 1995, a wrongful death suit was brought against Shakur for a 1992 shooting that killed Qa'id Walker-Teal, a six-year old of Marin City. The child had been the victim of a stray bullet in a shootout between Shakur's entourage and a rival group, though the ballistics tests proved the bullet was not from Shakur or any members of his entourage's guns. Criminal charges were not sought, and Shakur settled with the family for an amount estimated between $300,000 and $500,000.[33][34] After serving part of his sentence upon a conviction, he was released on bail pending his appeal. On April 5, 1996, a judge sentenced him to serve 120 days in jail for violating terms of probation.[35]

November 1994 shooting

On the night of November 30, 1994, the day before the verdict in his sexual abuse trial was to be announced, Shakur was shot five times and robbed after entering the lobby of Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan by two armed men in army fatigues. He would later accuse Sean Combs,[36] Andre Harrell, and Biggie Smalls—whom he saw after the shooting—of setting him up. Shakur also suspected his close friend and associate, Randy "Stretch" Walker, of being involved in the attempt. According to the doctors at Bellevue Hospital, where he was admitted immediately following the incident, Shakur had received five bullet wounds; twice in the head, twice in the groin and once through the arm and thigh. He checked out of the hospital, against doctor's orders, three hours after surgery. In the day that followed, Shakur entered the courthouse in a wheelchair and was found guilty of three counts of molestation, but innocent of six others, including sodomy. On February 6, 1995, he was sentenced to one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years in prison on a sexual assault charge.[37]

On November 30, 1995, exactly one year to the day of the shooting, Stretch was killed in an execution-style murder in Queens.

On March 27, 2008, the LA Times issued an apology to Combs for blaming him for having a role in the '94 attack on Shakur. The article stated that Shakur was led to the studio by Biggie's associates to gun him down to make favor with Biggie. The newspaper relied on forged documents that The Smoking Gun proved to be faked.[38] Combs stated that he is disgusted with the LA Times for printing the story.[39][40][41][42]

Prison sentence

Shakur began serving his prison sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility on February 14, 1995. Shortly afterwards, he released his multi-platinum album Me Against the World. Shakur is the only artist ever to have an album at number one on the Billboard 200 while serving a prison sentence. The album made its debut on the Billboard 200 and stayed at the top of the charts for five weeks. The record album sold 240,000 copies in its first week, setting a record for highest first week sales for a solo male rap artist at the time.[43] While serving his sentence, he married his long-time girlfriend, Keisha Morris, on April 4, 1995; the couple later divorced in 1996.[44] While imprisoned, Shakur read many books by Niccolò Machiavelli, Sun Tzu's The Art of War and other works of political philosophy and strategy.[45] He also wrote a screenplay titled Live 2 Tell while incarcerated, a story about an adolescent who becomes a drug baron.[46]

In October 1995, Shakur's case was on appeal but due to all of his legal fees he could not raise the $1.4 million bail. After serving eleven months of his one-and-a-half year to four-and-a-half year sentence,[47] Shakur was released from the penitentiary due in large part to the help and influence of Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records, who posted a $1.4 million bail pending appeal of the conviction in exchange for Shakur to release three albums under the Death Row label.[48]

Death Row Records

Upon his release from Clinton Correctional Facility, Shakur immediately went back to song recording. He began a new group called Outlaw Immortalz. Shakur began recording his first album with Death Row and released the single "California Love" soon after.

Shakur, Snoop "Doggy" Dogg, and Marion "Suge" Knight during Shakur's tenure on Death Row Records (1995)

On February 13, 1996, Shakur released his fourth solo album, All Eyez on Me. This double album was the first and second of his three-album commitment to Death Row Records. It sold over nine million copies.[49] The record was a general departure from the introspective subject matter of Me Against the World, being more oriented toward a thug and gangsta mentality. Shakur continued his recordings despite increasing problems at the Death Row label. Dr. Dre left his post as house producer to form his own label, Aftermath. Shakur continued to produce hundreds of tracks during his time at Death Row, most of which would be released on his posthumous albums R U Still Down? (Remember Me), Still I Rise, Until the End of Time, Better Dayz, and Pac's Life. He also began the process of recording an album with the Boot Camp Clik and their label Duck Down Records, both New York–based, entitled One Nation.

On June 4, 1996, he and Outlawz released the diss track "Hit 'Em Up", a scathing lyrical assault on Biggie and others associated with him. In the track, Shakur claimed to have had intercourse with Faith Evans, Biggie's wife at the time, and attacks Bad Boy's street credibility. Though no hard evidence suggests so, Shakur was convinced that some members associated with Bad Boy had known about the shooting beforehand due to their behavior that night and what his sources told him. Shakur aligned himself with Suge, Death Row's CEO, who was already bitter toward Combs over a 1995 incident at the Platinum Club in Atlanta, Georgia, which culminated in the death of Knight's friend and bodyguard, Jake Robles; Suge was adamant in voicing his suspicions of Combs involvement.[50] Shakur's signing with Suge and Death Row added fuel to building an East Coast-West Coast conflict. Both sides remained bitter enemies until Shakur's death.

On July 4, 1996, he performed live at the House of Blues with Outlawz, Tha Dogg Pound, and Snoop "Doggy" Dogg also headlining. This was Shakur's very last live performance.[51]

While incarcerated in Clinton Correctional Facility, Shakur read and studied Niccolò Machiavelli and other published works, which inspired his pseudonym "Makaveli" under which he released the record album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. The album presents a stark contrast to previous works. Throughout the album, Shakur continues to focus on the themes of pain and aggression, making this album one of the emotionally darker works of his career. Shakur wrote and recorded all the lyrics in only three days and the production took another four days, combining for a total of seven days to complete the album (hence the name). The album was completely finished before Shakur died and Shakur had complete creative input on the album from the name of the album to the cover, which Shakur chose to symbolize how the media had crucified him.[citation needed] Shakur had plans of starting Makaveli Records which would have included Outlawz, Wu-Tang Clan, Big Daddy Kane, Big Syke, and Gang Starr.

September 1996 shooting and death

The famous photograph of Shakur taken just twenty minutes before the drive-by shooting, from the cover of the book The Killing of Tupac Shakur by Cathy Scott

On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur attended the Mike TysonBruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After leaving the match, one of Suge's associates spotted 21 year-old Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, a member of the Southside Crips, in the MGM Grand lobby and informed Shakur. Shakur then attacked Anderson. Shakur's entourage, as well as Suge and his followers assisted in assaulting Anderson. The fight was captured on the hotel's video surveillance. A few weeks earlier, Anderson and a group of Crips had robbed a member of Death Row's entourage in a Foot Locker store, precipitating Shakur's attack. After the brawl, Shakur went to rendezvous with Suge to go to Death Row-owned Club 662 (now known as restaurant/club Seven). He rode in Suge's 1996 black BMW 750iL sedan as part of a larger convoy including many in Shakur's entourage.

At 10:55 p.m., while paused at a red light, Shakur rolled down his window and a photographer took his photograph.[52] At around 11:00–11:05 p.m., they were halted on Las Vegas Blvd. by Metro bicycle cops for playing the car stereo too loud and not having license plates. The plates were then found in the trunk of Suge's car; they were released without being fined a few minutes later.[52][53] At about 11:10 p.m., while stopped at a red light at Flamingo Road near the intersection of Koval Lane in front of the Maxim Hotel, a vehicle occupied by two women pulled up on their right side. Shakur, who was standing up through the sunroof, exchanged words with the two women, and invited them to go to Club 662.[52] At approximately 11:15 p.m., a white, four-door, late-model Cadillac with an unknown number of occupants pulled up to the sedan's right side, rolled down one of the windows, and rapidly fired twelve or thirteen shots at Shakur. He was struck by four rounds, with bullets hitting him in the chest, the pelvis, and his right hand and thigh.[10][52] One of the rounds apparently ricocheted into Shakur's right lung.[54] Suge was hit in the head by shrapnel, though it is thought that a bullet grazed him.[55] According to Suge, a bullet from the gunfire had been lodged in his skull, but medical reports later contradicted this statement.[56]

At the time of the drive-by Shakur's bodyguard was following behind in a vehicle belonging to Kidada Jones, Shakur's then-fiancée. The bodyguard, Frank Alexander, stated that when he was about to ride along with the rapper in Suge's car, Shakur asked him to drive Kidada Jones' car instead just in case they were too drunk and needed additional vehicles from Club 662 back to the hotel. Shortly after the assault, the bodyguard reported in his documentary, Before I Wake, that one of the convoy's cars drove off after the assailant but he never heard back from the occupants.

After arriving on the scene, police and paramedics took Suge and a fatally wounded Shakur to the University Medical Center. According to an interview with one of Shakur's closest friends the music video director Gobi, while at the hospital, he received news from a Death Row marketing employee that the shooters had called the record label and were sending death threats aimed at Shakur, claiming that they were going there to "finish him off".[57] Upon hearing this, Gobi immediately alerted the Las Vegas police, but the police claimed they were understaffed and no one could be sent.[57] Nonetheless, the shooters never arrived.[57] At the hospital, Shakur was in and out of consciousness, was heavily sedated, was breathing through a ventilator and respirator, was placed on life support machines, and was ultimately put under a barbiturate-induced coma after repeatedly trying to get out of the bed.[10][57][58]

Despite having been resuscitated in a trauma center and surviving a multitude of surgeries (as well as the removal of a failed right lung), Shakur had gotten through the critical phase of the medical therapy and was given a 50% chance of pulling through.[54] Gobi left the medical center after being informed that Shakur made a 13% recovery on the sixth night.[57] While in Critical Care Unit on the afternoon of September 13, 1996, Shakur died of internal bleeding; doctors attempted to revive him but could not impede his hemorrhaging.[10][58] His mother, Afeni, made the decision to tell the doctors to stop.[54][58] He was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m. (PDT)[10] The official cause of death was noted as respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds.[10] Shakur's body was cremated.[59] Some of his ashes were later mixed with marijuana and smoked by members of Outlawz.[60]

Murder case

Due largely to the perceived lack of progress on the case by law enforcement, many independent investigations and theories of the murder have emerged. Because of the acrimony between him and Biggie, there was speculation from the outset about the possibility of Biggie's collaboration in the murder. He, as well as his family, relatives, and associates, have vehemently denied the accusation.[61] In 2002, the LA Times writer Chuck Phillips fraudulently claimed to have uncovered evidence implicating Biggie, in addition to Anderson and the Southside Crips, in the attack.[62] In the article, Phillips quoted unnamed gang-member sources who claimed Biggie had ties to the Crips, often hiring them for security during West Coast appearances. However, in 2008, the LA Times printed an official front-page retraction of Phillips' story.[63] The documents Phillips used were discovered by The Smoking Gun to be completely fraudulent.[63] Phillips was consequently laid off less than five months later.[63] Biggie was murdered in March 1997.[64]

In support of their claims, Biggie's family submitted documentation to MTV insinuating that he was working in a New York recording studio the night of the drive-by shooting. His manager Wayne Barrow and fellow rapper James "Lil' Cease" Lloyd made public announcements denying Biggie's partaking in the crime and claimed further that they were both with him in the recording studio during the night of the event.

The high profile nature of the killing and ensuing gang violence caught the attention of English filmmaker Nick Broomfield, who made the documentary film Biggie & Tupac which examines the lack of progress in the case by speaking to those close to the two slain rappers and the investigation. Shakur's close childhood friend and member of Outlawz, Yafeu "Yaki Kadafi" Fula, was in the convoy when the drive-by occurred and indicated to police that he might be able to identify the assailants, however, he was shot and killed shortly thereafter in a housing project in Irvington.[65]

A DVD titled Tupac: Assassination was released on October 23, 2007, more than eleven years after Shakur's murder. It explores aspects surrounding the event and provides new insight about the cold case with details of the environment.


Shakur's music and philosophy is rooted in many American, African-American, and World entities, including the Black Panther Party, Black nationalism, egalitarianism, and liberty. His debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, revealed the socially conscious side of Shakur. On this album, Shakur attacked social injustice, poverty and police brutality on songs "Brenda's Got a Baby", "Trapped" and "Part Time Mutha". His style on this album was highly influenced by the social consciousness and Afrocentrism pervading hip hop in the late 1980s and early 1990s. On this initial release, Shakur helped extend the success of such rap groups as Boogie Down Productions, Public Enemy, X-Clan, and Grandmaster Flash, as he became one of the first major socially conscious rappers from the West Coast.

On his second record, Shakur continued to rap about the social ills facing African-Americans, with songs like "The Streetz R Deathrow" and "Last Wordz." He also showed his compassionate side with the anthem "Keep Ya Head Up", while simultaneously putting his legendary aggressiveness on display with the title track from the album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. he added a salute to his former group Digital Underground by including them on the playful track "I Get Around". Throughout his career, an increasingly aggressive attitude can be seen pervading Shakur's subsequent albums.

The contradictory themes of social inequality and injustice, unbridled aggression, compassion, playfulness, and hope all continued to shape Shakur's work, as witnessed with the release of his incendiary 1995 album Me Against the World. In 1996, Shakur released All Eyez on Me. Many of these tracks are considered by many critics to be classics, including "Ambitionz Az a Ridah", "I Ain't Mad at Cha", "California Love", "Life Goes On" and "Picture Me Rollin'".; All Eyez on Me was a change of style from his earlier works. While still containing socially conscious songs and themes, Shakur's album was heavily influenced by party tracks and tended to have a more "feel good" vibe than his first albums. Shakur described it as a celebration of life, and the record was critically and commercially successful.

Shakur was a voracious reader. He was inspired by a wide variety of writers, including Niccolò Machiavelli, Donald Goines, Sun Tzu, Kurt Vonnegut, Mikhail Bakunin, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Khalil Gibran. In his book, Dyson describes the experience of visiting the home of Shakur's friend and promoter Leila Steinberg to find "the sea of books" once owned by Shakur.[66]


Statue of Tupac Shakur

At a Mobb Deep concert following the death of the famed icon and release of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Cormega recalled in an interview that the fans were all shouting "Makaveli",[67] and emphasized the influence of the The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and of Shakur himself even in New York at the height of the media-dubbed 'intercoastal rivalry'.

Shakur is held in high esteem by other MCs – in the book How to Rap, Bishop Lamont notes that Shakur “mastered every element, every aspect” of rapping[68] and Fredro Starr of Onyx says, “2Pac was a master of the flow”.[69] named Shakur the most influential rapper ever.[70]

To preserve Shakur's legacy, his mother founded the Shakur Family Foundation (later re-named the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation or TASF) in 1997. The TASF's stated mission is to "provide training and support for students who aspire to enhance their creative talents." The TASF sponsors essay contests, charity events, a performing arts day camp for teenagers and undergraduate scholarships. The Foundation officially opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts (TASCA) in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on June 11, 2005. On November 14, 2003, a documentary about Shakur entitled Tupac: Resurrection was released under the supervision of his mother and narrated entirely in his voice. It was nominated for Best Documentary in the 2005 Academy Awards. Proceeds will go to a charity set up by Shakur's mother Afeni. On April 17, 2003, Harvard University co-sponsored an academic symposium entitled "All Eyez on Me: Tupac Shakur and the Search for the Modern Folk Hero." The speakers discussed a wide range of topics dealing with Shakur's impact on everything from entertainment to sociology.[71]

Many of the speakers discussed Shakur's status and public persona, including State University of New York English professor Mark Anthony Neal who gave the talk "Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian" in which he argued that Shakur was an example of the "organic intellectual" expressing the concerns of a larger group.[72] Professor Neal has also indicated in his writings that the death of Shakur has left a "leadership void amongst hip-hop artists."[73] Neal further describes him as a "walking contradiction", a status that allowed him to "make being an intellectual accessible to ordinary people".

Professor of Communications Murray Forman, of Northeastern University, spoke of the mythical status about Shakur's life and death. He addressed the symbolism and mythology surrounding Shakur's death in his talk entitled "Tupac Shakur: O.G. (Ostensibly Gone)". Among his findings were that Shakur's fans have "succeeded in resurrecting Tupac as an ethereal life force".[74] In "From Thug Life to Legend: Realization of a Black Folk Hero", Professor of Music at Northeastern University, Emmett Price, compared Shakur's public image to that of the trickster-figures of African-American folklore which gave rise to the urban "bad-man" persona of the post-slavery period. He ultimately described Shakur as a "prolific artist" who was "driven by a terrible sense of urgency" in a quest to "unify mind, body, and spirit".[75]

Michael Eric Dyson, University of Pennsylvania Avalon Professor of Humanities and African American Studies and author of the book Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur[66] indicated that Shakur "spoke with brilliance and insight as someone who bears witness to the pain of those who would never have his platform. He told the truth, even as he struggled with the fragments of his identity."[76] At one Harvard Conference the theme was Shakur's impact on entertainment, race relations, politics and the "hero/martyr".[77] In late 1997, the University of California, Berkeley offered a student-led course entitled "History 98: Poetry and History of Tupac Shakur."[78]

In late 2003, the Makaveli Branded Clothing line was launched by Afeni. In 2005, Death Row released Tupac: Live at the House of Blues. The DVD was the final recorded performance of Shakur's career, which took place on July 4, 1996, and features a plethora of Death Row artists. In August 2006, Tupac Shakur Legacy was released. The interactive biography was written by Jamal Joseph. It features unseen family photographs, intimate stories, and over 20 removable reproductions of his handwritten song lyrics, contracts, scripts, poetry, and other personal papers. Shakur's sixth posthumous studio album, Pac's Life, was released on November 21, 2006. It commemorates the 10th anniversary of Shakur's death. He is still considered one of the most popular artists in the music industry as of 2006.[79]

According to Forbes, in 2008 Shakur's estate made $15 million.[80] In 2002, they recognize him as a Top Earning Dead celebrity coming in on number ten on their list.[81]


  • MTV ranked him at #2 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time.[82]
  • Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame in 2002.[83]
  • In 2003, MTV's "22 Greatest MCs" countdown listed Shakur as the "number 1 MC", as voted by the viewers.[84]
  • In 2004, at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors Shakur was honored along with DJ Hollywood, Kool DJ Herc, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C., Rock Steady Crew, and Sugarhill Gang.[85]
  • A Vibe magazine poll in 2004 rated Shakur "the greatest rapper of all time" as voted by fans.[86]
  • At the First Annual Turks & Caicos International Film Festival held on Tuesday, October 17, 2006, Shakur was honored for his undeniable voice and talent and as a performer who crossed racial, ethnic, cultural and medium lines; his mother accepted the award on his behalf.[87]
  • In 2008, the The National Association Of Recording Merchandisers in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized him as a very influential artist and has added him in their Definitive 200 list.[88]

His double album, All Eyez on Me, is one of the highest-selling rap albums of all time, with over 5 million copies of the album sold in the United States alone by April 1996; it was eventually certified 9x platinum in June 1998 by the RIAA.[89]


Studio albums

Year Album Peak chart positions
1991 2Pacalypse Now 64 13 Gold
1993 Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. 24 4 Platinum
1995 Me Against the World 1 1 2× Platinum
1996 All Eyez on Me 1 1 9× Platinum Platinum
1996 The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory 1 1 4× Platinum Gold

Posthumous albums

Year Album Peak chart positions
1997 R U Still Down? (Remember Me) 2 1 4× Platinum
2001 Until the End of Time 1 1 3× Platinum 2× Platinum
2002 Better Dayz 5 1 2× Platinum 3× Platinum
2004 Loyal to the Game 1 1 Platinum
2006 Pac's Life 9 3
2010 Shakurspeare[100]


Acting career

In addition to rapping and hip hop music, Shakur acted in films. He made his first film appearance in the motion picture Nothing But Trouble, as part of a cameo by the Digital Underground. His first starring role was in the movie Juice. In this story, he played the character Bishop, a trigger happy teen, for which he was hailed by Rolling Stone's Peter Travers as "the film's most magnetic figure."[101] He went on to star with Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice (for which he was nominated outstanding actor in 1994, but did not win)[102] and with Duane Martin in Above the Rim. After his death, three of Shakur's completed films, Bullet, Gridlock'd and Gang Related, were posthumously released.

He had also been slated to star in the Hughes brothers' film Menace II Society but was replaced by Larenz Tate after assaulting Allen Hughes as a result of a quarrel. Director John Singleton mentioned that he wrote the script for Baby Boy with Shakur in mind for the leading role.[103] It was eventually filmed with Tyrese Gibson in his place and released in 2001, five years after Shakur's death. The movie features a mural of Shakur in the protagonist's bedroom as well as featuring the song "Hail Mary" in the movie's score.


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Nothing But Trouble Himself (Brief appearance)
1992 Juice Bishop First starring role
1992 Drexell's Class Himself Season 1: "Cruisin'"
1993 A Different World Piccolo Season 6: "Homie, Don't You Know Me?"
1993 Poetic Justice Lucky Co-starred with Janet Jackson
1993 In Living Color Himself Season 5: "Ike Turner and Hooch"
1994 Above the Rim Birdie Co-starred with Duane Martin
1995 Murder Was the Case: The Movie Himself (Uncredited)
1996 Bullet Tank Released one month after Shakur's death
1997 Gridlock'd Ezekiel 'Spoon' Whitmore Released several months after Shakur's death
1997 Gang Related Detective Rodríguez Shakur's last performance in a film
2003 Tupac: Resurrection Himself Official documentary film
2009 Notorious Himself (archive footage) Portrayed by Anthony Mackie
20?? Live 2 Tell Screenwriter (Written in 1995)[104]


Shakur's life has been recognized in big and small documentaries each trying capture the many different events during his short lifetime, most notably the Academy Award–nominated Tupac: Resurrection, released in 2003.

  • 1997: Tupac Shakur: Thug Immortal
  • 1997: Tupac Shakur: Words Never Die (TV)
  • 2001: Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake...
  • 2001: Welcome to Deathrow
  • 2002: Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw
  • 2002: Biggie & Tupac
  • 2002: Tha Westside
  • 2003: 2Pac 4 Ever
  • 2003: Tupac: Resurrection
  • 2004: Tupac vs.
  • 2004: Tupac: The Hip Hop Genius (TV)
  • 2006: So Many Years, So Many Tears
  • 2007: Tupac: Assassination
  • 2009: Tupac: Assassination II: Reckoning

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Growing Tupac's Legacy, 10 Years After His Death : NPR Music.
  3. ^ Musicians: Tupac Shakur – by Monica Leftwich – Helium.
  4. ^ a b Tupac Shakur – Thug Angel (The Life of an Outlaw). 2002. 
  5. ^ a b Tupac Shakur –
  6. ^ a b Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 330.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c d e f Tupac Shakur's death certificate details reported by Cathy Scott. Retrieved on 2007-10-05.
  11. ^ (Hoye 2006, p. 30)
  12. ^ John Crow "The Epic of America", page 408.
  13. ^ "Afeni Shakur" (PDF). 2Pac Legacy. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  14. ^ "Tupac Coroner's Report". Cathy Scott. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ Ancestry of Tupac Shakur
  18. ^ a b Sullivan, Randall (2003-01-03). LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records' Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal. Grove Press. ISBN 080213971X. 
  19. ^ a b "Back 2 the Essence: Friends and Families Reminisce over Hip-hop's Fallen Sons". Vibe 7 (8): 100–116. October 1999. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  20. ^ (Bastfield 2002, p. 5)
  21. ^ (Bastfield 2002, p. 3)
  22. ^ (Bastfield 2002, p. 67-68)
  23. ^ Marriott, Michel; James Brooke, Charlie LeDuff and Donatella Lorch (September 16, 1996). "Shots Silence Angry Voice Sharpened by the Streets". The New York Times: pp. A-1. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  24. ^ "Leila Steinberg". Assemblies in Motion. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  25. ^ Thug Life: Vol. 1. [CD]. 1994. 
  26. ^ a b
  27. ^ "Tupacs Music Was A Reminder To America". Tupac Online. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  28. ^ Smothers, R. "Rapper Charged in Shootings of Off-Duty Officers". New York Times. November 2, 1993. Retrieved from on 2008-09-30.
  29. ^ "Shakur's Estate Hit With Default Claim Over Shooting". MTV News, July 20, 1998. Retrieved from on 2008-09-30.
  30. ^ – A Total News Source for Hip-Hop Culture.
  31. ^ Sex was the Case.
  32. ^ James, George, "Rapper Faces Prison Term For Sex Abuse", New York Times, B1 (February 8, 1995); also Olen, Helaine, "Rapper Shakur Gets Prison for Assault", Los Angeles Times, A4 (February 8, 1995); Romano, Lois, "The Reliable Source", Washington Post, B3 (1995-02-08).
  33. ^ "Marin slaying case against rapper opens", San Francisco Chronicle, 1995-11-03.
  34. ^ "Settlement in Rapper's Trial for Boy's Death". San Francisco Chronicle. 1995-11-08.
  35. ^ "Rapper Is Sentenced To 120 Days in Jail". New York Times. 1996-04-15.
  36. ^ What Did Sean 'Puffy' Combs Know? : NPR Music.
  37. ^ Today In Entertainment History February 6 | | Triad, NC | Watercooler News Article.
  38. ^ "Big Phat Liar". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  39. ^ Diddy: 'The story is a lie' –
  40. ^ L.A. Times looking into sourcing of Tupac story –
  41. ^ L.A. Times apologizes for Diddy-Tupac story –
  42. ^ 2Pac Story.
  43. ^ "Timeline: 25 Years of Rap Records". BBC News. October 11, 2004. Retrieved from on 2006-04-10.
  44. ^
  45. ^ Au, W. J. "Yo, Niccolo!". December 11, 1996. Retrieved from on 2006-04-10.
  46. ^ Live 2 Tell at the Internet Movie Database.
  47. ^ Info from, from
  48. ^ "Biography: Suge Knight". AOL Music. nd. Retrieved from on 2006-04-10.
  49. ^ The Top Selling Record Albums of All Time.
  50. ^
  51. ^ In the Name of Allah: 2pac – Live At The House Of Blues (July 1996).
  52. ^ a b c d Tupac Shakur LV Shooting –
  53. ^ The Murder of Tupac Shakur.
  54. ^ a b c Detailed information on the fatal shooting at
  55. ^ Don Killuminati |.
  57. ^ a b c d e Interview with Gobi at
  58. ^ a b c Tupac shooting in Las Vegas at
  59. ^ Tupac Amaru Shakur.
  60. ^ Tupac's life after death.
  61. ^ BBC News. September 9, 2002. Retrieved on April 10, 2006, from Rapper's family denies murder theory.
  62. ^ BBC News. September 6, 2002. Retrieved on April 10, 2006, from Paper investigates rapper murder.
  63. ^ a b c Los Angeles Times Writer Chuck Philips, Author of Retracted Tupac/Diddy Story, Let Go During Layoffs.
  64. ^ "Fresh probe over rapper's murder". BBC News. March 18, 2006. Retrieved from on 2006-04-10.
  65. ^ Jones, S. "The Truth is Being Covered Up". Philadelphia Weekly. 2002-09-18.
  66. ^ a b Dyson, M. Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur. BasicCivitas Books. 2001.
  67. ^ Tupac Shakur: A Roundtable Discussion, retrieved on 2009-10-14.
  68. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. x.
  69. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 100.
  70. ^ 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987–2007).
  71. ^ Gewertz, K. "Symposium analyzes, celebrates 'Thug'". Harvard University Gazette. April 24, 2003. Retrieved from on 2006-04-16.
  72. ^ Neal, M. "Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian". Harvard University. 2003.
  73. ^ Neal, M. "New Black Man". Retrieved from on 2006-04-16.
  74. ^ Forman, M. "Tupac Shakur: O.G. (Ostensibly Gone)". Harvard University. 2003.
  75. ^ Price, E. "From Thug Life to Legend: Realization of a Black Folk Hero". Harvard University. 2003.
  76. ^ Dyson, M. "Holler If You Hear Me". Harvard University. 2003.
  77. ^ Harvard Gazette, 2003-05-01, edition, writer Ken Gewertz.
  78. ^ Berkeley University Offers Class On Tupac at VH1 (September 10, 1997). Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
  79. ^ Top Musical Artists for 2006.
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^ The Greatest MCs of All Time MTV. Retrieved on 2006-12-26.
  83. ^ – Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur To Be Inducted Into Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame, retrieved on 2009-10-14.
  84. ^ MTV2 Presents: 22 Greatest MC's broadcast July 2003.
  85. ^ VH1 Hip Hop Honorees 2004 at VH1.
  86. ^ V Community: Greatest Rapper of All Time?.
  87. ^ Turks and Caicos International Film Festival – Festival To Honor John Debney and Tupac Shakur, Friday, October 13.
  88. ^ Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Top Artist.
  89. ^ RIAA – Gold & Platinum, retrieved on 2009-10-14.
  90. ^ Discography entry for 2Pacalypse Now at
  91. ^ Discography entry for Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.A. at
  92. ^ Discotraphy entry for Me Against the World at
  93. ^ Discography entry for All Eyez on Me at
  94. ^ a b allmusic ((( 2Pac > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums ))). Allmusic. Accessed 2008-05-11.
  95. ^ a b c RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for albums by Tupac Shakur.
  96. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for albums by Makaveli.
  97. ^ a b CRIA Gold and Platinum database.
  98. ^ Discography entry for RU Still Down? (Remember Me) at
  99. ^ Discography entry for Until the End of Time at
  100. ^ Born Busy Records.
  101. ^ 2Pac biography. Alleyezonme. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  102. ^ [3]
  103. ^ village voice > news > Sex & Negrocity by Greg Tate.
  104. ^ Recently announced biopic in the works.


  • Bastfield, Darrin Keith (2002), Back In The Day: My Life And Times With Tupac Shakur, Da Capo Press, ISBN 978-0345447753 .
  • Hoye, Jacob (2006), Tupac: Resurrection, Atria, ISBN 074347435X .

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Tupac Shakur article)

From Wikiquote

Tupac Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996) best-selling rap artist of all time. The names "Tupac Amaru" and "Shakur" mean "shining serpent" in Quechua and "thankful to God" in Arabic, respectively.


Quotes from Speeches

  • First, I wanna say 'Peace to my mother. She's not here but I gotta give a 'peace out' to her because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my mother.

second -Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Atlanta, 1992

  • It's not going to stop until we stop it. And it's not just white man that's doing this to Brenda. It's not just white man that's keeping us trapped. It's black. And we have to find the new African in everybody... But before we can be African, we gotta be black first.

-Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Atlanta, 1992

  • What I want you to take seriously is what we have to do for the youth.

-Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Atlanta, 1992

  • You grew up, we grew up B.C. Before crack. That's just saying it all. You understand? You don't have parents... You have young kids, fourteen, coming home and their mama is smoking out, going to their best friend to get the product.

-Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Atlanta, 1992.

  • It's not just about you taking care of your child. It's about you taking care of these children.

-Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Atlanta, 1992 First, wanna say 'Peace to my mother. She's not here but I gotta give a 'peace out' to her because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my mother. And I look in the front of this thing and it says start from with in to rebuild the our original greatness. Right? Ok well that’s what my mother did. You know what im sayin. And im listen about freedom fighters and sugglers. Well you got to understand when it was in to have a gun and be in the streets. My mother gave that up to be in a house and wash the dishes and feed us. You know what im sayin? And put the thoughts in our brain. We didn’t get any of that history from all thus soldiers that we lost. We got none of that. They all went to jail if you can remember that. They all went to patentees. We did see any of that knowledge. If it was not for my mother that stayed home and didn’t go out and do all that. Then I wouldn’t have shit. Excuse my language. Or I wouldn’t have been no were. So what I want to do hopefully is. I want to be I I I.. not I want to be I am tupac Shakur. I have to be a reminder that we cant chill out. No it not time cool out and bang wit u. its still on. Its on just like it was on when u were young and u wana say fuck dat. Just like u said fuck dat back then. So how come now that im 20 years old and ready to start some shit everybody telling me to clam down. don’t curser go to school go to college. Well fuck dat. We have had colleges for awhile now. U know what im sayin? Their still Brenda’s out there and niggas are still trapped. You know what im sayin? And it gets me hurt. U know what im sayin? Cuz I understand that its not going to stop. U know what im sayin? It's not going to stop until we stop it. And it's not just white man that's doing this to Brenda. It's not just white man that's keeping us trapped. It's black. And we have to find the new African in everybody in all of us... Cuz if we keep runnin around lookin for black and who got the most colors on or who got the baddest dashiki we still gonna excuse my language we still gonna get fucked. Because it hurts me my mother right now is going though mmm direct to get clean. This is somebody I watched travel the whole country. U know what im sayin? During the time when our women were scared to speck up. But a black panther she spoke at Harvard, Yael everywhere and now. I see my mother as whats really going on. U know what im sayin? I don’t see no big parade around my mother now. She got a dozen fuckin awards. And I don’t see nobody there. U understand what im sayin? So out of this I take that lightly I take all this lightly. What I want you to take seriously is what we have to do for the youth. Because we coming up in a totally different world. This is not the same world that you had this is not 6th street its not. You grew up, we grew up B.C. Before crack. That's just saying it all. You understand? We did not grow up without parents. You had parents that told you this and that and told you what went on back in the day. You have young kids, fourteen, coming home and their mama is smoking out, going to their best friend to get the product. U understand what im sayin? So that means It's not just about you taking care of your child. It's about you taking care of these children.” Insert Wikipedia pagename[citation needed]

Quotes from Interviews

  • Everybody's at war with different things… I'm at war with my own heart sometimes.

Vibe magazine interview (February 1996)

  • All good niggas, all the niggas who change the world, die in violence. They don't die in regular ways.

—'Details magazine interview (Spring 1996)

  • It's not like I idolize this one guy Machiavelli. I idolize that type of thinking where you do whatever's gonna make you achieve your goal.

Vibe magazine (September 1996)

  • This new Makaveli album I got comin' out, I'm takin' on niggas. It's like, my dopest album ever.

—'Vibe magazine (September 1996)

  • I am the future of black America.

Vibe magazine (September 1996)

  • Fuck it, I feel like I shine.

Vibe magazine (September 1996)

  • On the whole, I don't have any friends. Friends come and go; I've lost my trust factor. I believe I have people who think they're my friend. And I believe that there are people probably in their heart who are friends toward me or are friends to me. But they're not my friends, because what I learned is that fear is stronger than love.

—'Vibe magazine (June 1996)

  • It says "I really got my ass beat. I really don't like police. -Policeman questioning Tupac
  • It doesn't say that. Where are you at? Right there... oh. I didn't say that. That's not what it says. -Tupac
  • Okay. -Policeman
  • It says, 'I'm a victim for real. Everything I talk is for real. I really got my ass beat. I really don't like them... I really don't like crooked police. -Tupac

Tupac: Resurrection

  • Some people say I was a thug and a gangsta. Other people remember me as a poet and a born leader. But I'm saying to you measure a man by his actions fully, through his whole life, from the beginning to the end.
  • Remember, this country had a man named J. Edgar Hoover, whose job it was to destroy the credibility of any black man coming up.
  • My mother was pregnant with me while she was in prison. She was her own attorney, never been to law school. She was facing 300 and something odd years. One black woman, pregnant, beat the case. That just goes to show you the strength of a black woman and the strength of the oppressed.
  • When I was a little baby, I remember that one moment of calm peace, and three minutes after that, it was on.
  • But in my homeboys' high school, it's not like that. They don't have trips to go see this Broadway play, they don't read things we read. They didn't know when I was like: "Yo, Shakespeare's dope."
  • The same crime element that white people are scared of black people are scared of. While they waiting for legislation to pass, we next door to the killer. All them killers they let out, they're in that building. Just because we black, we get along with the killers? What is that? We need protection too.
  • You have to be logical. You know? If I know that in this hotel room they have food every day, and I'm knocking on the door every day to eat, and they open the door, let me see the party, let me see them throwing salami all over, I mean, just throwing food around, but they're telling me there's no food.
  • Every day, I'm standing outside trying to sing my way in:

We are hungry, please let us in We are hungry, please let us in

After about a week that song is gonna change to: We hungry, we need some food

After two, three weeks, it's like: Give me the food Or I'm breaking down the door

After a year you're just like: I'm picking the lock Coming through the door blasting

It's like, you hungry, you reached your level. We asked ten years ago. We was asking with the Panthers. We was asking with them, the Civil Rights Movement. We was asking. Those people that asked are dead and in jail. So now what do you think we're gonna do? Ask?

  • No, you don't wanna get me started. Jell-O with hair all in the mold. I'd be like, "Damn, man, how are you gonna mess up Jell-O?" Jell-O is so wholesome and family-like. It just ruins it for me. To have a hair in there, yeah. I mean, I'm like, "Come on, Bill Cosby pumps this, man!"
  • And you can't go, "There's a hair in my Jell-O. I'd like to send this back. Can I see the cook, please?" The cook is a big dude named Bubba Joe.
  • I got shot. I always felt like I'd be shot. Somebody was trying to do me some harm because a lot of people don't like me. But I didn't think it was gonna happen at that particular moment.
  • Niggers was the ones with the rope, hanging off trees; Niggas are the ones with gold ropes, hanging out at clubs.
  • Measure a man by his actions fully, through his whole life, from the beginning to the end.
  • Coming to grips with my past, it was hard. I don't feel like what I did was so evil, I just feel like the way I was living, and my mentality, was part of my progression to be a man.
  • You grow, we all grow, we're made to grow. You either evolve or disappear.
  • Keep ya head up. Do what you gotta do. And then, inside of you, I will be reborn.

Sourced Lyrics

  • The real tragedy is that there are some ignorant brothers out here. That's why I'm not on this all-White or all Black shit. I'm on this all-real or all fake shit with people, whatever color you are. Because niggaz will do you. I mean, there's some [foul] niggaz out there [in the streets]; the same niggaz that did Malcolm X, the same niggaz that did Jesus Christ- every brother ain't a brother. They will do you. So just because it's Black, don't mean it's cool. And just because it's White don't mean it's evil. (From Interview with Tupac)

—"Still I Rise"

  • I was born not to make it but I did.


  • I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself/"Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?"
  • I'm tired of bein' poor and even worse I'm black/My stomach hurts, so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch
  • Cops give a damn about a negro/pull the trigger kill a nigga, he's a hero
  • Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares/one less hungry mouth on the welfare
  • First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers/give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other
  • It's time to fight back, that's what Huey said, 2 shots in the dark, now Huey's dead.
  • I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere/unless we share with each other
  • We gotta start makin' changes/learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers/and that's how it's supposed to be/How can another take a brother if he's close to me?
  • I see no changes all I see is racist faces/misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
  • We under I wonder what it takes to make this/one better place, let's erase the wasted
  • Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right/'cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
  • And although it seems heaven sent/We ain't ready, to see a black President
  • It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact/the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
  • But some things will never change/try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
  • And still I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace/It's war on the streets & the war in the Middle East/Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs/so the police can bother me
  • We gotta make a change. It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes. Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live and let's change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.

—"Shorty Wanna Be a Thug"

  • I tell you it's a cold world, stay in school/You tell me its a man's world, play the rules
  • Menacin' Methodz/Label Me a Lethal Weapon/Witnessing Breathless Imperfectionz
  • Can you picture my specific plan?/to be the man in this wicked land,underhanded hits are planned/Scams are plotted over grams and rocks/Outlawz, mothafuckers die by the random shots
  • We all die in the end, so revenge we swore/I was all about my ends, fuck friends and foes
  • Me, a born leader, never leave the block without my my heata/Got me a dog and named him my bitch nigga eata
  • How can I show you how I feel inside/We outlawz motherfuckas can't kill my pride
  • Niggas talk a lot of shit but that's after im gone/Cause they fear me in physical form let it be known
  • Gutter ways my mentality is ghetto/We're guerillas in this criminal war, we all rebels
  • We came for murder, pullin' up in a herse/Westside was the war cry bustin' all freely screaming fuck all ya'll niggas in Swahili
  • Pistol packin' fresh out of jail, I ain't goin' back/Release me to care of my heartless strap
  • Tell me young nigga never learned a thang/Dead at thirteen cause he yearned to bang/Snipped a lot of flowers, but how can I cry/Tried to warn the little nigga either stop or die
  • Mercy is for the weak when I speak I scream/Afraid to sleep in havin' of crazy dreams
  • God to forgive me cause it's wrong but I plan to die
  • Need to take me in heaven and understand I was a G'/Did the best I could, raised in insanity
  • Or send me to hell cause I ain't beggin' for my life/Ain't nothing worse than this cursed ass hopeless life
  • In your wildest dreams, you couldn't picture a nigga like me!
  • I live a thug life losin' my focus, baby...I'm Troublesome

—"Troublesome '96"

  • With all this extra stressin, The question I wonder is after death, after my last breath/When will I finaly get to rest?
  • Through this supression, they punish the people that's askin questions/And those that possess, steal from the ones without possesions
  • The message I stress: to make it stop study your lessons/Don't settle for less - even the genius asks-es questions
  • Be grateful for blessings/Don't ever change, keep your essence
  • The power is in the people and politics we address/Always do your best, don't let the pressure make you panic
  • And when you get stranded/And things don't go the way you planned it/Dreamin of riches, in a position of makin a difference
  • Politicians and hypocrites, they don't wanna listen/If I'm insane, it's the fame made a brother change/It wasn't nuttin like the game/It's just me against the world

—"Me Against the World"

  • Now that I'm strugglin in this business, by any means/Label me greedy gettin green, but seldom seen
  • And fuck the world cause I'm cursed, I'm havin visions/of leavin here in a hearse, God can you feel me?
  • Take me away from all the pressure, and all the pain/Show me some happiness again, I'm goin blind
  • I spend my time in this cell, ain't livin well/I know my destiny is Hell, where did I fail?
  • My life is in denial, and when I die, baptized in eternal fire I'll shed so many tears
  • Now I'm lost and I'm weary, so many tears/I'm suicidal, so don't stand near me
  • My every move is a calculated step, to bring me closer/to embrace an early death, now there's nothin left
  • There was no mercy on the streets, I couldn't rest/I'm barely standin, bout to go to pieces, screamin peace
  • And though my soul was deleted, I couldn't see it/I had my mind full of demons tryin to break free
  • They planted seeds and they hatched, sparkin the flame/inside my brain like a match, such a dirty game
  • No memories, just a misery/Paintin a picture of my enemies killin me, in my sleep
  • Will I survive til the mo'nin, to see the sun/Please Lord forgive me for my sins, cause here I come
  • Don't trust my lady, cause she's a product of this poison/I'm hearin noises, think she fuckin all my boys, can't take no more
  • I'm fallin to the floor; beggin for the Lord to let me in/to Heaven's door

—"Dear Mama"

  • I finally understand/for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man/You always was committed/A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
  • There's no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you that I understand/You are appreciated
  • I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks/It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
  • Cause when I was low you was there for me/And never left me alone because you cared for me/And I could see you comin home after work late/You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
  • Ya just workin with the scraps you was given/And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
  • And all my childhood memories/Are full of all the sweet things you did for me/And even though I act craaazy/I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
  • There are no words that can express how I feel/You never kept a secret, always stayed real/And I appreciate, how you raised me/And all the extra love that you gave me


  • Now everytime I see you cats is rollin in packs/For the life of me I cannot see why you don't know how to act
  • Love to clown when you deep, but when you on that solo creep/out on the streets you don't hear a peep
  • ni**a it's a god damn shame, somebody explain/why they sent a Bad Boy to play a grown man's game
  • Tear that a*s out the frame, completely get that a*s kicked/Woke up on the street but you'll be sleepin in the casket
  • From small time crooks to big-time drug dealers/My homeboys, the only thing a ni**a got left/I love my ni**az to death, we ain't s**t without our homeboys/.. You know what time it is/I ain't s**t without my homeboys
  • Now I was born alone, took my first joint and I got high alone/Now I'm an Outlaw ni**a, I never die alone
  • Me and my ni**az is so close, it's complicated/One ni**a smokin and drinkin, and yet we all faded
  • My ni**a Edi had a son we all happy/Cause now that little ridah got to deal with eight daddies
  • My ni**az cry, we all cry, and all ride/To rectify the problem, motherf**kers they all die
  • Been tryin to make a million, by hustlin since my adolescense/From crack dealin to rap villian, my new profession
  • Who wanna see me at eight deep, f**k 3D/You coward a*s motherf**kers'll never see me
  • Bustin with automatic straps, my raw raps like good crack/ni**az fiendin, I got em comin back
  • Until I die, they label me as a ridah/Forever, my ni**az be together


  • my alias is Boss
  • Won't be no bullshit, no ass-kissin/This bitch'll have ya wakin up with all your cash missin
  • I'm askin, as if I'm qualified to analyze/You're lookin at a bitch who specialize in tellin lies
  • She got a body make a motherf**ker fantasize/Her face ain't never shed a tear through them scandalous eyes
  • Dangerous and ambitious, while schemin on gettin riches/I'm spittin at tricks cause I'm addicted to pretty bitches
  • Currency motivated, not easily terminated/Now that we made it, my niggaz can never be faded
  • This is my prophecy -- I gotta be paid

—"Ambitionz Az A Ridah"

  • This life as a rap star is nothin without heart
  • Was born rough and rugged, addressin the mad public/My attitude was, "Fuck it," cause motherfuckers love it
  • To be a soldier, must maintain composure at ease/Though life is complicated, only what you make it to be
  • you put the money in the benz, cause bitch I'm barely broke
  • I'm smokin bomb-ass weed feelin crucial/From player to player, the game's tight, the feeling's mutual
  • Can't trust a bitch in the bidness so I got with Death Row/Now these money hungry bitches gettin suspicious/Started plottin and plannin on schemes, to come and trick us/But Thug niggaz be on point and game tight
  • I'm ready to die right here tonight, and motherfuck they life/That's what they screamin as they drill me, but I'm hard to kill/So open fire, I see you kill me witness my steel
  • Spittin at adversaries envious and after me/I'd rather die before they capture me, watch me bleed
  • Mama come rescue me I'm suicidal thinkin thoughts/I'm innocent, so there'll be bullets flyin when I'm caught/Fuck doin jail time, better day, sacrifice
  • My murderous lyrics equipped with spirits of the Thugs before me/Pay off the block evade the cops cause I know they comin for me
  • I been hesitant to reappear, been away for years/Now I'm back my adversaries been reduced to tears
  • Blast me but they didn't finish, (buck buck buck buck buck) didn't diminish my powers/so now I'm back to be a motherfuckin menace
  • They cowards that's why they tried to set me up/Had bitch-ass niggaz on my team, so indeed, they wet me up/But I'm back reincarnated,-=-incarcerated had the time to contemplate what way that God made it...
  • Lace em with lyrics that's legendary, musical mercenary/For money, I'll have these motherfuckers buried
  • Just remind ya, my history'll prove I been it/Revenge on them niggaz that played me
  • Hopin you listenin, catch you payin attention/to my ambitions as a ridah

—"Can't C Me"

  • give me my money in stacks/and lace my bitches with dime figures/real niggas fingers on nickle plated 9 triggas
  • Must see my enemies defeated/i'm catch 'em while they coked up and weeded/open fire/now them niggas bleedin'
  • they got me stressed out on Death Row/i've seen money but baby I got to gets mo'
  • u screamin' go 2pac, and I ain't stopin' till i'm well paid/bails paid/now nigga, look what hell made
  • i'm a Boss Playa gettin' high/and when i'm rollin' by/Niggas Can't C Me
  • my own momma say im thugged out/my shit be bumpin out tha record store/as if it was a drug house/my lyrics bang like a Crip or Blood
  • a young nigga with heart/ain't had shit to loose/pullin' my pistol on them fools/you know the rules
  • tha life of a Boss Playa/f**k what ya thought tho'/my enemies deceased/die like a bitch when my album hit tha streetz

—"All Bout U"

  • this game's like my religion
  • addicted to the fast life
  • Nobody loves me I'm a thug nigga; I only hung out/with the criminals and the drug dealers, I love niggaz

—"Wonder Why They Call U"

  • But don't be bad and play the game/get mad and change/Then you wonda why these muthafuckas/call you names.
  • Keep your mind on your money/enroll in school/And as the years pass by/you can show them fools
  • Keep your head up, legs closed, eyes open/either a nigga wear a rubber or he die smokin'/I'm hearin' rumors so you need to switch/and niggas wouldn't call you bitch
  • But now things change/cuz you don't look the same/let the ghetto get the best of you/baby, that's a shame
  • Caught HIV and now you 'bout to be deceased/and finally be in peace.
  • See I loved you like a sista/but you died to quick/And that's why we called U bitch, I betcha.
  • Dear Ms. Deloris Tucker, keep stressen me fuckin' with a muthafucken mind. I figured you wanted to know...why we call them hoes bitches -- and maybe this might help you understand. It ain't personal; strictly business.

—"Heartz of Men"

  • Now, on this ride there's gonna be some real mutha-fuckas and there's gonna be some pussys. Now the real niggas gonna be the ones with money and bitches; the pussys are gonna be the niggas on the floor bleedin'. Now everybody keep your eyes on the prize cause the ride get tricky. See you got some niggas on your side that say they're your friends, but in real life they your enemies. And then you got some mutha-fuckas that say they your enemies, but in real life they eyes is on your money. See the enemies will say they true, but in real life those niggas will be the snitches! Its a dirty game y'all. Y'all got ta be careful about who you fuck with and who you don't fuck with 'cause the shit get wild y'all. Keep your mind on your riches, baby keep your mind on your riches.
  • 9-1-1 its a emergency cowards tried to murder me/From hood to the 'burbs, everyone of you niggas heard of me/Shit I'm legendary niggas scary and paralyzed/Nothing more I despise than a liar
  • I proceed to make them shiver/when I deliver/Criminal lyrics from a world wide mob figure
  • So many rumors but I'm infinitely Immortal Outlaw
  • And every breath I breathe until the moment I'm deceased/Will be another moment ballin' as a 'G'/I rip the crowd, then I start again/Internally I live in sin/until the moment that they let me breathe again/The heartz of men
  • I died and came back/I hustle with these lyrics as if it's a game of crack
  • Uhh, can it be fate/that makes a sick muthafucka break/On these jealous ass coward cuz they evil and fake

—"Life Goes On"

  • How many brothas fell victim to tha streetz/Rest in peace young nigga, there's a Heaven for a 'G'
  • be a lie, If I told ya that I never thought of death/my niggas, we tha last ones left!
  • life in tha hood is all good for nobody
  • I got your name tatted on my arm/so we both ball till' my dying days/before I say goodbye/Kato and Mental rest in peace/Thug till I die
  • nobody cries when we die/we outlaws/let me ride
  • to my niggas from old blocks/from old crews/niggas that guided me through/back in tha old school
  • pour out some liquor/have a toast for tha homies/see we both gotta die but ya chose to go before me/and brothas miss ya while your gone
  • you left your nigga on his own/how long we mourn
  • Bury me smilin' with G's in my pocket/have a party at my funeral/let every rapper rock it/let tha hoes that I usta know/from way before/kiss me from my head to my toe

—"Only God Can Judge Me"

  • Perhaps I was blind to the facts, stabbed in the back/I couldn't trust my own homies just a bunch a dirty rats
  • Will I succeed paranoid from the weed/And hocus pocus try to focus but I can't see
  • Look to my future cause my past, is all behind me/Is it a crime, to fight, for what is mine?/Everybody's dyin tell me what's the use of tryin
  • I've been Trapped since birth, cautious, cause I'm cursed/And fantasies of my family, in a hearse
  • And they say it's the white man I should fear/But, it's my own kind doin all the killin here
  • Oh my Lord, tell me what I'm livin for/Everybody's droppin got me knockin on heaven's door
  • And all my memories, of seein brothers bleed/And everybody grieves, but still nobody sees
  • Recollect your thoughts don't get caught up in the mix/Cause the media is full of dirty tricks
  • I hear the doctor standing over me screamin I can make it/Got a body full of bullet holes layin here naked
  • Still I, can't breathe, somethings evil in my IV/Cause everytime I breathe, I think they killin me
  • I'm having nightmares, homicidal fantansies/I wake up stranglin, danglin my bed sheets/I call the nurse cause it hurts, to reminisce/How did it come to this? I wish they didn't miss
  • Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here/Cause even Thugs cry, but do the Lord care?
  • I'd rather die like a man, than live like a coward/There's a ghetto up in Heaven and it's ours, Black Power is what we scream as we dream in a paranoid state/And our fate, is a lifetime of hate
  • Dear Mama, can you save me?
  • No more hesitation each and every black male's trapped/And they wonder why we suicidal runnin round strapped/Mista, Po-lice, please try to see that it's a million motherfuckers stressin just like me

—"Trading War Stories"

  • Pardon my thug poetry, but suckers is born everyday/and fear of man grow on trees
  • Criminal ties for centuries, a legend in my own rhymes
  • Machiavelli was my tutor Donald Goines, my father figure/Momma sent me to go play with the drug dealers
  • we thug niggaz and we came in packs/Every one of niggaz strapped sippin on 'yaq (Cognac)/In the back, my AR-15/Thuggin till I die, these streets got me cravin thorazine
  • My lyrics are blueprints to money makin/phat as that ass that honey shakin
  • And they say it's the white man I should fear, but it's my own kind doing all the killing here

—"I ain't Mad At Ya"

  • Now we was once two niggaz of the same kind/Quick to holla at a hoochie with the same line/You was just a little smaller but you still rolled/Got stretched to Y.A. and hit the hood swoll
  • Collect calls to the till, sayin how ya changed/Oh you a Muslim now, no more dope game/Heard you might be comin home, just got bail/Wanna go to the Mosque, don't wanna chase tail
  • I seems I lost my little homie he's a changed man/Hit the pen and now no sinnin is the game plan
  • Now the whole shit's changed, and we don't even kick it/Got a big money scheme, and you ain't even with it
  • knew in my heart you was the same motherfucker bad/Go toe to toe when it's time for roll you got a brother's back
  • I kiss my Mama goodbye, and wipe the tears from her lonely eyes/Said I'll return but I gotta fight the fate's arrived/Don't shed a tear, cause Mama I ain't happy here/I'm through trial, no more smiles, for a couple years
  • They got me goin mad, I'm knockin busters on they backs/in my cell, thinkin, "Hell, I know one day I'll be back"
  • So many tried to plot/That I keep a glock beside my head, when will it stop?
  • Til God return me to my essence/Cause even as a adolescents, I refuse to be a convalescent
  • So many questions, and they ask me if I'm still down/I moved up out of the ghetto, so I ain't real now?/They got so much to say, but I'm just laughin at cha

—"I Ain't Mad At Cha" video version released a few days after Tupac's death (9/13/96)"

  • Father forgive us for livin while all my homies stuck in prison/Barely breatin believin that the world is a prison
  • It's like a ghetto we can never leave/A broken rose givin bloom to the cracks of the concrete
  • So many other things for us to see/Things to be, our history so full of tragedy and misery
  • To all my homies never made it home/The dead peers I shed tattoo tears for, when I'm alone
  • Picture us inside a ghetto heaven, a place to rest/Findin peace through this land of stress
  • In my chest I feel pain comin sudden storms/Life full of rain in this game watch for landstorms
  • Our unborn never got to grow, never got to see what's next/In this world full of countless threats
  • I beg God, to make a way for our ghetto kids to breathe/Show a sign, make us all believe

—"Letter To The President"

  • Plus all my homies wanna die, call it euthanasia/Dear Lord, look how sick this ghetto made us
  • sincerely yours/I'm a thug, the product of a broken home
  • but then America f**ked up and blamed up/I guess it's cause we black that we targets
  • Down to die, for everything I represent/Meant every word, in my letter to the President
  • Word motherf**kin life/f**k this ni**a think?Cuttin taxes, takin off welfare/We 'sposed to just sit here, go broke and die, starvin?
  • Dear Mr. Clinton, It's gettin harder and harder for a motherf**ker to make a dollar in these here streets. I mean s**t, I hear you screamin peace, but we can't find peace til my little ni**az on these streets get a piece. I know you feel me cause you too near me not to hear me. So why don't you help a ni**a out? Sayin you cuttin welfare. That got us ni**az on the street, thinkin who in the hell care? s**t, y'all want us to put down our glocks and our rocks, but y'all ain't ready to give us no motherf**kin dollars. What happened to our 40 acres and a mule fool? We ain't stupid. Think you got us lookin to lose tryin to turn all us young ni**az into troops. You want us to fight your war. What the f**k I'm fightin for? s**t, I ain't got no love here. I ain't had a check all year. Taxin, all the blacks and police beatin me in the streets. f**k peace.

—"When We Ride On Our Enemies"

  • What they want from us motherf**kin thug niggaz?/Used to love niggaz now I plug niggaz, and slug niggaz
  • BAM! Set my plan in mode, time to exterminate my foes/I can't stand you hoes, uhh
  • Now label this my f**kin trick shot/My lyrics runnin all you cowards out of hip-hop
  • You was HEARTLESS on yo' hits/Niggaz love to scream peace after they start some shit
  • pay attention. Here's a word to those that robbed me/I murder you then I, run a train on Mobb Deep!
  • Don't f**k with me Nigga you're barely livin, don't you got sickle cell?/See me have a seizure on stage, you ain't feelin well, hell
  • How many niggaz wanna be involved?/See I was only talkin to Biggie, but I'll kill all o' y'all, then ball
  • Then tell Da Brat to keep her mouth closed/F**k around and get tossed up, by the f**kin Outlawz
  • Before I leave, make sure everybody HEARD/Know I meant, EVERY MOTHERF**KIN WORD When we ride on our enemies

—"Thug Mansion"

  • I once contemplated suicide, and woulda tried/But when I held that 9, all I could see was my momma's eyes
  • Where do niggaz go when we die?/Ain't no heaven for a thug nigga/That's why we go to thug mansion/That's the only place where thugs get in free and you gotta be a G
  • Picture me inside the misery of poverty/No man alive has ever witnessed struggles I survived/Prayin hard for better days, promise to hold on/Me and my dawgs ain't have a choice but to roll on
  • We found a family spot to kick it/Where we can drink liquor and no one bickers over trick shit/A spot where we can smoke in peace, and even though we G's/We still visualize places, that we can roll in peace/And in my mind's eye I see this place, the players go in fast/I got a spot for us all, so we can ball, at thug's mansion
  • Nobody cares, seen the politicians ban us/They'd rather see us locked in chains, please explain/why they can't stand us, is there a way for me to change?/Or am I just a victim of things I did to maintain?/I need a place to rest my head/with the little bit of homeboys that remains, cause all the rest dead
  • I need a house that's full of love when I need to escape/the deadly places slingin drugs, in thug's mansion
  • Just think of all the people that you knew in the past/that passed on, they in heaven, found peace at last
  • Picture a place that they exist, together/There has to be a place better than this, in heaven/So right before I sleep, dear God, what I'm askin/Remember this face, save me a place, in thug's mansion


  • You know they got me trapped in this prison of seclusion/Happiness, living on tha streets is a delusion
  • Even a smooth criminal one day must get caught/Shot up or shot down with tha bullet that he bought
  • Nine millimeter kickin' thinking about what tha streets do to me/Cause they never talk peace in tha black community
  • All we know is violence, do tha job in silence/Walk tha city streets like a rat pack of tyrants
  • Too many brothers daily heading for tha big penn/Niggas commin' out worse off/than when they went in
  • There must be another route, way out/To money and fame, I changed my name/And played a different game
  • Tired of being trapped in this vicious cycle/If one more cop harrasses me I just might go psycho
  • Thoughts in my mind was tha nine and a better life/What do I do?/Live my life in a prison cell?/I'd rather die than be trapped in a living hell

—"Hit 'Em Up"

  • Grab your glocks when you see 2Pac / Call the cops when you see 2Pac, Uhh / Who shot me, but your punks didn't finish / Now, you 'bout to feel the wrath of a menace
  • First off, fuck your bitch/And the click you claim/West side when we ride/Come equipped with game
  • You claim to be a playa but I fucked your wife/We bust on bad boys, niggas fucked for life
  • We keep on coming/While we running for yah jewels/Steady gunning/Keep on busting at them fools/You know the rules
  • Don't let the west side/Ride the night (ha ha)/Bad Boys murdered on Wax and kill/fuck with me/And get your caps peeled
  • I don't know why I'm even on this track/Y'all niggas ain't even on my level
  • Peep how we do it/Keep it real/Its penitentiary steel/This ain't no freestyle battle/All you niggas getting killed
  • With your mouths open/Tryin' to come up off of me/You and the clouds hoping
  • niggas think they learned to fly/But they burn mutha-fucka you deserve to die/Talking about you Getting Money/But its funny to me
  • All you niggas living bummy/While you fucking with me?/I'm a self made Millionaire/Thug livin', out of prison/Pistols in the Air {Air} (Ha Ha)
  • Now its all about versace/You copied my style/Five shots couldn't drop me/I took it and smiled
  • Now I'm back to set the record straight/With my A-K/I'm still the thug that you love to hate/Mutha-fucka I'll Hit 'Em Up
  • Oh yah Mobb Deep (uhh)/You wanna fuck with us/You Little young ass mutha-fuckas
  • Any of you niggas from New York that want to bring it, Bring it./But we ain't singing, We bringing drama
  • Now when I came out, I told you it was just about biggie. Then everybody had to open their mouth with a mother fuckin opinion.Well this is how we gon' do this: fuck Mobb Deep, fuck Biggie, fuck Bad Boy as a staff, record label, and as a mother fuckin crew. And if you want to be down with Bad Boy, Then fuck you too. Chino XL, fuck you too. All you mother fuckers, fuck you too.
  • Killing ain't fair but somebody's got to do it.
  • Alla y'all motherfuckers, fuck you die slow motherfucker, my fo'-fo' make sure all y'all kids don't grow

—'"Got My Mind Made Up"

  • So mandatory my elevation my lyrics like orientation/So you can be more familiar with tha nigga you facin/We must be based on nothin better than communication
  • My lyrics motivate the planet/It's similar to Rhythm Nation/but thugged out

—"Ain't Hard To Find"

  • I heard a rumour I died, murdered in cold blood dramatized/Pictures of me in my final stage you know Mama cried/But that was fiction, some coward got the story twisted/Like I no longer existed, mysteriously missin
  • Watching for thievin I'm cautious it's like I'm barely breathin/Puttin a bullet in mutherfuckers give me a reason
  • See me and hope I'm intoxicated or slightly faded/You tried to play me now homicide is my only payment
  • I'm addicted to currency in this life I lead/Why the fuck you cowards be runnin, too scared to fight a G

—"I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto"

  • why must I sock a fella, just to live large like Rockefeller
  • God damn it's a motherfuckin riot/Black people only hate police so don't try it/If you're not from the town then don't pass through
  • When they ask me, when will the violence cease?/When your troops stop shootin niggaz down in the street
  • First we couldn't afford shit now everything's free/so we loot, please don't shoot when you see
  • I'm takin from the, cause for years they would take it from me/Now the tables have turned around
  • You didn't listen, until the niggaz burned it down/And now Bush can't stop the hit
  • Predicted the shit, in 2Pacalypse/And for once I was down with niggaz, felt good/in the hood bein around the niggaz
  • Living on Earth / Tell me, what's a black life worth? / A bottle of juice / is no excuse, the truth hurts!
  • Mo' nigga mo' nigga mo' niggaz/I'd rather be dead than a po' nigga/Let the Lord judge the criminals/If I die, I wonder if heaven got a ghetto

—'"Keep Ya Head Up"

  • Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice/I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots/I give a holler to my sisters on welfare/Tupac cares, and don't nobody else care
  • You know it makes me unhappy (what's that)/When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
  • And since we all came from a woman/Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman/I wonder why we take from our women/Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?/I think it's time to kill for our women/Time to heal our women, be real to our women
  • And if we don't we'll have a race of babies/That will hate the ladies, that make the babies/And since a man can't make one/He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
  • So will the real men get up/I know you're fed up ladies, but keep your head up
  • And suddenly tha ghetto didn't seem so tough/And though we had it rough, we always had enough
  • I huffed and puffed about my curfew and broke the rules/Ran with the local crew, and had a smoke or two
  • And I realize momma really paid the price/She nearly gave her life, to raise me right
  • And in the end it seems I'm headin for tha pen/I try and find my friends, but they're blowin in the wind
  • It's gonna take the man in me to conquer this insanity/It seems tha rain'll never let up
  • I try to keep my head up, and still keep from gettin wet up/You know it's funny when it rains it pours
  • They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor/Say there ain't no hope for the youth and the truth is/it ain't no hope for tha future/and they wonder why we crazy,i blame my mother for turnin brother into a crack baby
  • Cause I think we can make it, in fact, I'm sure/And if you fall, stand tall and comeback for more
  • Cause ain't nuttin worse than when your son/wants to kno why his daddy don't love him no mo'
  • You can't complain you was dealt this/hell of a hand without a man, feelin helpless
  • Dying inside, but outside you're looking fearless/While tears, is rollin down your cheeks/Ya steady hopin things don't all down this week
  • Cause if it did, you couldn't take it, and don't blame me/I was given this world I didn't make it
  • And now my son's getten older and older and cold/From havin the world on his shoulders
  • While the rich kids is drivin Benz/I'm still tryin to hold on to my survivin friends
  • And it's crazy, it seems it'll never let up, but/please... you got to keep your head up
  • And when he tells you you ain't nothin / don't believe him / And if he can't learn to love you / you should leave him

—'"I Get Around"

  • Back to get wrecked/All respect/to those who break their neck to keep their hoes in check
  • Cause oh they sweat a brother majorly/And I don't know why, your girl keeps paging me
  • She tell me that she needs me, cries when she leaves me/And every time she sees me, she squeeze me, lady take it easy!
  • Hate to sound sleazy, but tease me, I don't want it if it's that easy
  • Ayo bust it, baby got a problem saying bye bye/Just another hazard of a fly guy
  • You ask why, don't matter, my pockets got fatter/Now everybody's looking for the latter
  • And ain't no need in being greedy/If you wanna see me dial the beeper number baby when you need me
  • And I'll be there in a jiffy/Don't be picky, just be happy with this quickie/But when you learn, you can't tie me down/Baby doll, check it out, I get around
  • Finger tips on the hips as I dip, gotta get a tight grip, don't slip/Loose lips sink ships, it's a trip/I love the way she licks her lips, see me jocking/Put a little twist in her hips cause I'm watching
  • You picked the wrong guy baby if you're too fly/You need to hit the door, search for a new guy/Cause I only got one night in town/Break out or be clown
  • I wonder why we take from our women/Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?/I think it's time to kill for our women/Time to heal our women, be real to our women/And if we don't we'll have a race of babies/That will hate the ladies, that make the babies

—"Until The End of Time"

  • Perhaps I was addicted to the dark-side/somewhere inside my childhood, witness my heart die
  • How could it be through the misery that came to pass/The hard times make a true friend afraid to ask, for currency/But you could run to me when you need me, I'll never leave/I just needed someone to believe in, as you can see
  • It's a small thang through and true/What could I do? Real homies help ya get through,
  • And coming new, he'd do tha same thang if he could/Cuz in the hood true homies make you feel good
  • And half the time we be acting up call tha cops/Bringing the cease to tha peace that was on my block/It never stop, when my mama ask me will I change/I tell her yeah, but it's clear I'll always be tha same/Until the end of time
  • Besides rapping the only thing I did good was scrapping
  • This all night money making got me outta touch, shit/Ain't flashed a smile in a long while/An unexpected birth worst of the ghetto childs
  • My attitude got me walking solo/Ride out alone in my low-low/Watching the whole world move in slow-mo
  • Now who's to say if I was right or wrong?/To live my life as an outlaw all along
  • Remain strong in this planet full of playa haters/They conversate but Death Row full of demonstrators/And in tha end drinking henessy made all my enemies envy me/So cold when I flow eliminating easily/Fall to their knees, they plead for their right to breath/While beggin me to keep the peace (haha)
  • Well I can see close into achieve/In times of danger don't freeze time to be a g/Follow my lead I supply everything you need/An ounce of game and the trainin to make a g
  • Remember me, as an outcast outlaw/Another album out that's what I'm about, more
  • Gettin raw till the day I see my casket/Buried as a g while tha whole world remembers me

—"Everything You Owe"

  • We back for everything you owe, no longer oppressed/cause now we overthrow those that placed us in this rotten mess
  • But let's agree on strategy and pick out enemies right/Who stands accused of the abuse my own, kind do right
  • Supreme ideology, you claim to hold/Claimin that we all drug dealers with empty souls
  • That used to tempt me to roll, commit to violence/In the midst of an act of war, witnesses left silent
  • Shatter, black talon style, thoughts I throw/It remains in your brain then of course it grows
  • Maybe, even your babies can produce and rise/Picture a life where black babies can survive past five
  • But we must have hope, quotin the reverand from the pulpit/Refuse to turn the other cheek we must defeat the evil culprit
  • Lace me with words of destruction and I'll explode/but supply me with the will to survive, and watch the world grow
  • This ain't bout talkin bout problems, I bring solutions/Where's the restitution, stipulated through the constitution
  • You violated, now I'm back to haunt your nights/Listen to the screams, of the lives you sacrificed
  • And in case you don't know, ghetto born black seeds still grow/We comin back, for everything you owe
  • Now they got me goin to the county jail/And my family can't pay this outrageous bail
  • Try to offer me a deal, they told me if I squeal/move me, and my people, to a mansion in Brazil
  • Not me, so this is how it ends, no friends/I'll be stressed and they just, reposessed my Benz
  • Told the judge it was self-defense, he won't listen/So I'm bumpin this in federal prison, givin everything I owe

—"Staring Through My Rearview"

  • Multiple gunshots fill the block the fun stops niggas calling cops, people shot nobody stop , I wonder when the world stop caring last night, two kids shot while the whole block staring
  • I will never understand this society, first they try/to murder me, then they lie to me, product of a dying breed
  • All my homies trying weed, now the little baby's/crazed raised off Hennesey, tell me will my enemies
  • flee when they see me, believe me/Even Thugs gotta learn to take it easy, listen
  • Through the intermissions search your heart for a plan/and we turnin Bad Boys to grown men, it's on again
  • I give a holla to my niggaz in the darkest corners/Roll a perfect blunt, and let me spark it for ya
  • One love from a thug nigga rollin with a posse/full of paranoid drug dealers, to the end my friend
  • I'm seein nuttin but my dreams comin true/While I'm starin at the world through my rearview
  • Go on baby scream to God, he can't hear you/I can feel your heart beatin fast cause it's time to die/(we) Gettin high, watchin time fly, and all my motherf**kers
  • Now I was raised as a young black male/In order to get paid, forced to make crack sales
  • Caught a nigga so they send me to these overpacked jails/In the cell, countin days in this livin black Hell, do you feel me?
  • Keys to ignition, use at your discretion/Roll with a twelve gauge pump for protection/Niggaz hate me in the section from years of chin checkin, Turn to Smith and Wesson war weapons
  • Heavenly Father I'm a soldier/ I'm gettin hotter cuz the world's gettin colder/ baby let me hold ya
  • The world, the world is behind us. Once a motherf**ker get an understanding on the game and what the levels and the rules of the game is. Then the world ain't no trick no more. The world is a game to be played. So now we lookin at the world, from like, behind us. Niggaz know what we gotta do, just gotta put our mind to it and do it. It's all about the papers, money rule the world; Bitches make the world go round. Real niggaz do they wanna do, bitch niggaz do what they can. Starin at the world through my rearview

—"Who Do You Beleive In?"

  • I put my faith in God, blessed and still breathin/And even though it's hard, that's who I believe in/Before I'm leavin, I'm askin the grievin - who do you believe in?
  • Watchin our own downfall, witness the end/It's like we don't believe in God cause we livin in sin
  • I asked my homie on the block why he strapped, he laughed/Pointed his pistol as the cop car passed and blast
  • It's just another murder, nobody mourns no more/My tear drops gettin bigger but can't figure what I'm cryin for
  • I hate the man in the mirror/Cause his reflection makes the pain turn realer
  • Times of Armageddeon, murder in mass amounts/In this society where only gettin the cash counts
  • I started out as a beginner/Entered the criminal lifestyle became a sinner
  • I make my money and vacate, evade prison/Went from the chosen one to outcast, unforgiven
  • And all the Hennessy and weed can't hide, the pain I feel inside/You know, it's like I'm livin just to die
  • I fall on my knees and beg for mercy, not knowin if I'm worthy/Livin life thinkin no man can hurt me
  • So I'm askin -- before I lay me down to sleep/Before you judge me, look at all the shit you did to me, my misery
  • I rose up from the slums, made it out the flames/In my search for fame will I change? I'm askin

—'"Why Do Thugz Cry"

  • Battlefields and Closed Caskets Multiplies/Thugs Die/Don't ask why/When Thugz cry we shed blood/Do you still wanna be a thug?
  • My pulse rushing, see me clutching into insanity/They shot at my cousin, now we bustin at they whole family
  • The coppers wanna see me burried... I ain't worried/I got a line on the D.A. cuz I'm f**king his secretary
  • Where did we go wrong? I put my soul in the song/to help us grow at times, but now our minds are gone
  • We went from brothers and sisters, to niggaz and bitches/We went from welfare livin, to worldwide riches
  • But somethin changed in this dirty game, everything's strange/Lost all my homies over cocaine.. mayne
  • See they ask me if I shed a tear, I ain't lie/See you gotta get high or die, cause even thugs cry
  • Cause in my criminal mind, nobody violates the Don/I write your name on a piece of paper, now your family's gone
  • Why perpetrate like you can handle my team?/So merciless that my attack'll take command of your dreams
  • Regulate my area, the terror I represent/Makin yo' people disappear, you wonderin where they went?
  • Am I cold or is it just I sold my soul?/Addicted to these streets, never find true peace I'm told
  • Come take my body God, don't let me suffer any longer/Smoke a pound of marijuana, so I know it ain't long
  • Where is the end to all my misery, is there a close?/I suppose that's why I murder my foes, when thugs cry

—'"No More Pain"

  • When I die, I wanna be a livin legend, say my name/Affiliated with this motherfuckin game, with no more pain
  • It's Westside, Death Row, Thug niggaz on the rise/Busters shot me five times, real niggaz DONT DIE...
  • Can ya hear me? Laced with this game, I know you feel me/Spit the secret to war, so cowards fear me
  • My only fear of death is reincarnation/Heart of a solider with a brain to teach your whole nation

—"Hail Mary"

  • Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting pussy

-"Mama's Just a Little Girl"

  • to ask us why we to turn from bad to worse/Is to ignore from which we came/You see you wouldn't ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals/On the contrary/We would all celebrate its tenacity/We would all love its will to reach the sun/Well/We are the roses/This is the concrete/And these are my damaged petals/Don't ask me why /Thank G-d nigga/Ask me how


  • When I speak, I want my words to mean something. I want my words to make people shiver.

—Interview (1994)

  • Can't nobody touch me right now. Maybe next month all of this will be over, but this month I'm takin' every moving target out.

—'two weeks before his death

  • Everybody that was involved knows what happened [...] and everything is there. [...] Just read everything over, and read my reply, read their reply, read what people say, watch people, cuz you can fake for a long time but one day you gonna show yourself to be a phony [...] think back, think of all the people that you've seen me put on stage, think of all the people I've put on, that I got into this game, that I show how to do this, and think about what they're saying now. That's not keeping it real.

—'in prison, 1995, on who shot him up

  • I believe that everything that you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that's bad, I'm going to suffer from it. But in my mind, I believe what I'm doing is right. So I feel like I'm going to heaven.
  • I feel like our future is our confidence and self-esteem..
  • I swear, if they hadn't tried to ruin me, I never would have ended up being a rapper. I probably would have been a preacher or something.
  • I think the old should go through school again. I think that rich people should live like poor people, and poor people should live like rich people, and change every week.
  • I'm not saying I'm gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.
  • I'm one-hundred percent original, and that's what got me here. My rap music is more understandable, slower. It tells a story. You can write a book on each of my thoughts.
  • If I could patent "being real", I think I could own that.
  • If it don't make dollars it don't make sense.
  • In my death, people will understand what I was talking about.
  • June 16, 1971, mama gave birth to a Hell raising heavenly son.
  • My first words was thug for life and papa pass the mack.
  • My Mama used to tell me if you can't find something to live for, you best find something to die for.
  • Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.
  • The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams.
  • The reason why I could get into acting was because it takes nothing to get out of who I am and go into somebody else.
  • We look at death from the selfish side, like: "That guy died. Oh, it's so sad." Why is it sad? He's away from all of this bad stuff that's here on Earth. I mean, at the worst, he's just somewhere quiet, no nothing. At best, he's an angel… or he's a spirit somewhere. What is so bad about that?
  • We talk a lot about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., but it's time to be like them, as strong as them. They were mortal men like us and everyone of us can be like them. I don't want to be a role model. I just want to be someone who says, this is who I am, this is what I do. I say what's on my mind.
  • What is fame? Everybody knows your name: never again are you alone.
  • Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal.
  • The only crime I been convicted of is fighting; getting into a fight with my fears.
  • Dont get it twisted this is not my real life, this is not how my real life is suppose to be.
  • Look, I am selling records. This is what I do for a living. I am selling records. I never thought it was going to be a matter of life and death.
  • I'm not saying I'm gonna rule the world but if I keep talking about how dirty it is, someone will have to clean it up.
  • I live the life of a thug, Live it and Die for it!
  • But my nigga from the other side of the globe knows all my theories, i dedicate all this drama to you (Oumar Camara a.k.a Paparesta)
  • T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E stands for The Hate U Give Lil Infants Fucks Everybody
  • M.O.B. stands for Money Over Bitches, Member of Blood, or The Mob.
  • N.I.G.G.A stands for Never Ignorant about Getting Goals Accomplished or No Ignorance Got Goals Accomplished
  • During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams.


  • 2Pacalypse Now (1991)
  • Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z (1993)
  • Thug Life: Thug Life Vol. 1 (1994)
  • Me Against the World (1995)
  • All Eyez on Me (1996)
  • Makaveli: The Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory (1996)
  • R U Still Down? (1997)
  • 2Pac's Greatest Hits (1998)
  • Still I Rise (2Pac + Outlawz) (1999)
  • The Lost Tapes (1989/released 2000)
  • The Rose that Grew from Concrete (2000)
  • Until the End of Time (2001)
  • Better Dayz (2002)
  • Tupac Resurrection (2003)
  • Nu-Mixx Klazzics (2003)
  • 2Pac Live (2004)
  • Loyal to the Game (2004)
  • The Rose Vol. 2 (2005)
  • Live At The House Of Blues (with Outlawz, Dogg Pound, Snoop Dogg, K-Ci & JoJo) (2005)
  • Pac's Life (2006)
  • Greatest Hits Vol 1:Thug and Vol 2:Life (2007)

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