*By Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan.
Rap music lovers across the globe today remembered the late hip hop icon Tupac Amaru Shakur.
Kazeem Awojoodu, a Publisher of the SWIndependentnews.com.ng in this special report writes about life and moments of Late Tupac Amaru Shakur bings back the memory of the rap legendary.
*****Tupac Amaru Shakur And Suge knight shortly Before he was shot dead….
He writes “I vividly remember this day in 1996 on CNN in the morning being reported that some unknown assailants have shot dead the world Rap Music Act, Tupac Amaru Shakur.
On that unfortunate night of September 7, 1996, Shakur was leaving a Las Vegas casino, where he had just attended a prizefight featuring heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, when he was shot by an unknown assailant.
On Saturday, September 7, In Las Vegas, a hand suddenly emerged from a white Cadillac beside hip hop superstar Tupac Amaru Shakur’s BMW Sedan and was shot four times while sitting with Suge Knight the CEO of Death Row Record Label at around 11pm.
Shakur died six days later at a local hospital. His death was devastating to his family, friends and millions of fans. It also further inflamed tensions between rival record companies on the West and East coasts, as well as between the street gangs associated with them.
Amaru Shakur was born Lasane Crooks on June 16, 1971 to Afeni Shakur (nee Alice Faye Williams) a member of the Black Panther Party, who renamed him Tupac Amaru Shakur—after Peruvian revolutionary Túpac Amaru II—when he was a year old.
Shakur spent much of his childhood on the move with his family, which in 1986 settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where Shakur attended the elite Baltimore School for the Arts.
He distinguished himself as a student, both creatively and academically, but his family relocated to Marin City, California, before he could graduate.
There Shakur took to the streets, selling drugs and becoming involved in the gang culture that would one day provide material for his rap lyrics. In 1990 he joined Digital Underground, an Oakland-based rap group that had scored a Billboard Top 40 hit with the novelty single “The Humpty Dance.”
Shakur performed on two Digital Underground albums in 1991, This Is an EP Release and Sons of the P, before his solo debut, 2Pacalypse Now, later that year.
2Pacalypse Now was a radical break from the dance party sound of Digital Underground, and its tone and content were much closer to the works of Public Enemy and West Coast gangsta rappers N.W.A.
The lack of a clear single on the album limited its radio appeal, but it sold well, especially after U.S. Vice Pres. Dan Quayle criticized the song “Soulja’s Story” during the 1992 presidential campaign.
That same year Shakur joined the ranks of other rappers-turned-actors, such as Ice Cube and Ice-T, when he was cast in the motion picture Juice, an urban crime drama. The following year he appeared in Poetic Justice, opposite Janet Jackson, and he released his second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. The album did not stray far from the activist lyricism of his debut, but singles such as “Holler If Ya Hear Me” and “Keep Ya Head Up” made it much more radio-friendly.
With increased fame and success came greater scrutiny of Shakur’s gangsta lifestyle. A string of arrests culminated with a conviction for sexual assault in 1994; he was incarcerated when his third album, Me Against the World, was released in 1995. Shakur was paroled after serving eight months in prison, and he signed with Suge Knight’s Death Row Records for his next release.
That album, All Eyez on Me (1996), was a two-disc paean to the “thug life” that Shakur embodied. It debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and sold more than five million copies within its first year of release. Quick to capitalize on his most recent success, Shakur returned to Hollywood, where he starred in Bullet (1996) and Gridlock’d (1997).
His popularity was undiminished after his death, and a long succession of posthumous releases (many of them were simply repackaged or remixed existing material, and most were of middling quality) ensured that “new” 2Pac albums continued to appear well into the 21st century. Shakur was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
Until his death, Tupac Amaru Shakur remain the best American entertainment of all time, he was a rapper, songwriter, movie actor and script writer.
He was love passionately by millions of his fans who despite his exit in music scene still find it hard to believe that he’s truly no more.
Some of his hit tracks included but not limited to All Eyez On Me, Dear Mama, Ghetto, Changes, Hit Em Up, Keep Ya Head Up, Picture Me Rollin, How Long Will They Mourn Me among others.