Birth Name: Lesane Parish Crooks Government Name: Tupac Amaru Shakur Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York Born: June 16, 1971 Died: September 13, 1996 Place Of Death: Las Vegas, Nevada Height: 5'9" Weight: 165 Occupation: Rapper/Actor Marital Status: Divorced (Keisha Morris) /Engaged (Kadida Jones) Mother: Alice Faye Williams a/k/a Afeni Shakur Father: William Garland Step Father: Jeral Wayne Williams a/k/a Mutula Shakur Siblings: Half sister, Sekyiwa Shakur and half brother, Maurice Harding (Mopreme of Thug Life) Godfather: Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt Music Groups: One Nation Emcees, Two From The Crew, Strictly Dope, Digital Underground, Thug Life, Outlaw Immortalz/Outlawz A/K/A: MC New York, 2pac, Makaveli
Tupac Shakur grew up around nothing but self-delusion. His mother, Alice Faye Williams, thought she was a "revolutionary." She called herself "Afeni Shakur" and associated with members of the ill-fated Black Panther Party, a movement that wanted to feed school kids breakfast and earn civil rights for African Americans.
During her youth she dropped out of high school, partied with North Carolina gang members, then moved to Brooklyn: After an affair with one of Malcolm X's bodyguards, she became political. When the mostly white United Federation of Teachers went on strike in 1968, she crossed the picket line and taught the children herself. After this she joined a New York chapter of the Black Panther Party and fell in with an organizer named Lumumba. She took to ranting about killing "the pigs" and overthrowing the government, which eventually led to her arrest and that of twenty comrades for conspiring to set off a race war. Pregnant, she made bail and told her husband, Lummuba, it wasn't his child. Behind his back she had been carrying on with Legs (a small-time associate of Harlem drug baron Nicky Barnes) and Billy Garland (a member of the Party). Lumumba immediately divorced fer.
Things went downhill for Afeni: Bail revoked, she was imprisoned in the Women's House of Detention in Greenwich Village. In her cell she patted her belly and said, "This is my prince. He is going to save the black nation."
By the time Tupac was born on June 16, 1971, Afeni had already defended herself in court and been acquitted on 156 counts. Living in the Bronx, she found steady work as a paralegal and tried to raise her son to respect the value of an education.
From childhood, everyone called him the "Black Prince." For misbehaving, he had to read an entire edition of The New York Times. But she had no answer when he asked about his daddy. "She just told me, 'I don't know who your daddy is.' It wasn't like she was a slut or nothin'. It was just some rough times."When he was two, his sister, Sekyiwa, was born. This child's father, Mutulu, was a Black Panther who, a few months before her birth, had been sentenced to sixty years for a fatal armored car robbery.
With Mutulu away, the family experienced hard times. No matter where they moved-the Bronx, Harlem, homeless shelters-Tupac was distressed. "I remember crying all the time. My major thing growing up was I couldn't fit in. Because I was from everywhere. I didn't have no buddies that I grew up with."
As time passed, the issue of his father tormented him. He felt "unmanly," he said. Then his cousins started saying he had an effeminate face. "I don't know. I just didn't feel hard. I could do all the things my mother could give me, but she couldn't give me nothing else."
The loneliness began to wear on him. He retreated into writing love songs and poetry. "I remember I had a book like a diary. And in that book I said I was going to be famous." He wanted to be an actor. Acting was an escape from his dismal life. He was good at it, eager to leave his crummy family behind. "The reason why I could get into acting was because it takes nothin' to get out of who I am and go into somebody else."
His mother enrolled him in the 127th Street Ensemble, a theater group in the impoverished Harlem section of Manhattan, where he landed his first role at age twelve, that of Travis in A Raisin in the Sun. "I lay on a couch and played sleep for the first scene. Then I woke up and I was the only person onstage. I can remeber thinking, "This is the best shit in the world!" That got me real high. I was gettin' a secret: This is what my cousins can't do."
In Baltimore, at age fifteen, he fell into rap; he started writing lyrics, walking with a swagger, and milking his background in New York for all it was worth. People in small towns feared the Big Apple's reputation; he called himself MC New York and made people think he was a tough guy.
He enrolled in the illustrious Balitomore School for the Arts, where he studied acting and ballet with white kids and finally felt "in touch" with himself. "Them white kids had things we never seen," he said. "That was the first time I saw there was white people who you could get along with. Before that, I just believed what everyone else said: They was devils. But I loved it. I loved going to school. It taught me a lot. I was starting to feel like I really wanted to be an artist.
By the time he was twenty, Shakur had been arrested eight times, even serving eight months in prison after being convicted of sexual abuse. In addition, he was the subject of two wrongful- death lawsuits, one involving a six- year- old boy who was killed after getting caught in gang- war crossfire between Shakur's gang and a rival group.
In the late eighties, Shakur teamed up with Humpty- Hump (a.k.a. Eddie Humphrey, a.k.a. Gregory "Shock- G" Jacobs) and other Oakland- based rappers to create Digital Underground, a band intent on massive bass beats and frenetic, Parliament- Funkadelic- style rhythms. In 1990, the group released its debut and best album, Sex Packets, a pulsating testament to the boogie power of hip- hop, featuring two classic tracks, "Humpty Dance" and "Doowutchyalike." After an EP of re- mixes in 1991, D.U. released Sons of the P and, the following year, The Body- Hat Syndrome, all on Tommy Boy Records.
In 1992, Shakur entered a most fruitful five- year period. He broke free of D.U. and made his solo debut, 2Pacalypse Now, a gangsta rap document that put him in the notorious, high- speed lane to stardom. That same year he starred in Juice, an acclaimed low- budget film about gangs which saw some Hollywood success. In 1993, he recorded and released Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., an album that found Shakur crossing over to the pop charts. Unfortunately, he also found himself on police blotters, when allegations of a violent attack on an off- duty police officer and sexual misconduct arose. The same year, Shakur played a single father and Janet Jackson's love interest in the John Singleton film Poetic Justice.
In November of 1994, he was shot five times during a robbery in which thieves made off with $40,000 worth of his jewelry. Shakur miraculously recovered from his injuries to produce his most impressive artistic accomplishments, including 1995's Me Against the World, which sold two million copies, and the double- CD All Eyez on Me, which sold nearly three million. As his career arc began a steep rise toward fame and fortune, Shakur was shot (most say suspiciously) and killed after watching a Mike Tyson fight with Death Row Records president Marion "Suge" Knight. Though his death was a jolt to his fans and the music community, Shakur himself often said that he expected he'd die by the sword before he reached thirty.
Following his passing, Shakur's label released an album, The Don Killuminati, under the pseudonym "Makaveli." The cover depicted Shakur nailed to a cross under a crown of thorns, with a map of the country's major gang areas superimposed on it. In January of 1997, Gramercy pictures released Gridlock'd, a film in which Shakur played the role of a drug addict to mostly good reviews. His final film, Gang Related, was released in 1997, and Death Row is said to have several unreleased recordings in the vaults for potential future release.
Mother: Afeni Shakur Biological Father: Billy Garland Father: Mutulu Shakur Brother: Maurice Harding a.k.a Mopreme Shakur Uncle: Lumumba Shakur Uncle: Zayd Shakur Godfather: Geronimo Pratt
Afeni Shakur Mother of Tupac, she was in prison while pregnant with Tupac. Afeni was a member of the Black Panthers. She was in prison for a plot to bomb banks and department stores. Family moved from the east coast to the west. Tupac found out Afeni was taking drugs while on tour with digital underground in 1990.
Billy Garland Biological father of Tupac. Tupac was told that his father was dead, but he first met him in hospital after being shot in New York. A member of the Black Panthers.
Mutulu Shakur Married to Afeni Shakur. Convicted for his involvement in a 1981 armored car robbery. It left two policeman and a brinks guard dead.
Lumumba Shakur Brother of Mutulu Shakur. Murdered in Louisiana before Mutulu's arrest.
Zayd Shakur Brother of Mutulu Shakur. Killed in a shootout in New Jersey.
Geronimo Pratt Convicted Black Panther member, Tupac's godfather.
Assata Shakur In 1973 she and Zayd Shakur were stopped by an NJ trooper. In a shootout Zayd and the NJ trooper were killed. Assata was sent to prison. In 1979 she escaped from prison after learning of a plan to kill her. She fled to Cuba, where she is under Asylum granted by Fidel Castro.
Set Shakur She is a sister of Tupac. She appeared on Killa Tay's album Snake Eyez on the track Coast Trippin.
Keisha Morris-Shakur She married Tupac when he was in prison. She first met Tupac in June 1994. Tupac asked her to marry him three months after they had started dating. They married while Tupac was in prison. Tupac said he wanted to move to Arizona and name a daughter Star or a son Michelangelo. They separated after Tupac got released from jail.
1968: Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, joins the New York Black Panther party at age 22. April 1969: Afenis is arrested and charged with conspiracy to bomb several public areas in new York City. While out on bail, Afeni courts two men: Legs, a local hood, and Billy, a member of the party. February 1971: Afeni, pregnant with Tupac, has her bail revoked; she's sent to the Women's House of Detention in Greenwich Village. June 16, 1971: Shortly after his mom is acquitted on bombing charges, Tupac Amaru Shakur is born in New York. Tupac Amaru are Inca Words meaning "shining serpent." Shakur is Arabic for Thankful to God. 1975-1983: Tupac's family shuttles between the Bronx and Harlem, at times living in shelters. 1983: Legs comes to live with the Shakur family; Tupac "claims" him as his father. Legs introduces Afeni to Crack. September 1983: Afeni enrolls 12-year-old Tupac in the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem theater group. In his first performance, Tupac plays Travis in a Raisin the Sun. June 1986: Shakur's family moves to Baltimore;. As MC New York Tupac writes his first rap. September 1986: Tupac enrolls at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studies ballet and acting. June 1988: Tupac and his family move to Marine City, California "Leaving that school affected me so much," he said later. "I see that as the point where I got off track." Shortly after, Tupac moves in with a neighbor and begins selling drugs. August: 1988: Mutulu Shakur, Tupac's stepfather, is sentenced to sixty years in prison for his involvement in a 1981 armored-car robbery. 1990: Tupac joins Digital Underground as a rodie/dancer/rapper. While on tour, he learns that his mother is using crack. January 3, 1991: Tupac makes his recording debut on DU's. This is an E.P. Release. November 12, 1991: 2Pacaplypse Now is released. Shorty thereafter, Tupac files a $10 million lawsuit against the Oakland police for alleged brutality following an arrest for jaywalking. January 17, 1992: Tupac makes his big-screen debut in Ernest Dickerson's Juice, earning praise for his portrayal of Bishop. He is perhaps best remembered for the line "I am crazy, and I don't give a fuck!" April 11, 1992: Ronald Ray Howard, 19, shoots a Texas trooper. Howard's attorney claims 2Pacalypse Now, which was in his client's tape deck, incited him to kill. August 22, 1992: Tupac has an altercation with old acquaintances in Marine City. A 6 year old bystander is shot in the head. Tupac's half brother, Maurice Harding is arrested but released due to lack of evidence. September 22, 1992: Tupac is denounced by Vice President Dan Quayle, who says 2Pacalypse Now "has no place in our society." February 1, 1993: Strictly 4 My NIGGAZ is released and eventually goes platinum. March 13, 1993: Tupac has a fight with a limo driver in Hollywood who accuses him of using drugs in the car. Tupac's arrested but the charges are dropped. April 5, 1993: Tupac is arrested in Lansing Michigan, for taking a swing at a local rapper with a baseball bat during a concert. He's sentenced to 10 days in jail. July 23, 1993: John Singleton's Poetic Justice, starring Tupac and Janet Jackson, is released. Before filming began, Jackson demanded Shakur take an HIV test before she would do any kissing scenes. October 31, 1993: Tupac is arrested for allegedly shooting two off-duty Atlanta police officers who he says were harassing a black motorist. Charges are eventually dropped. November 18, 1993: A 19 year old woman, whom Tupac picked up 4 days earlier in a New York nightclub, is allegedly sodomized and sexually abused by the rapper and 3 of his friends. December 1993: John Singleton is forced by Columbia Pictures to drop the rapper from the cast of his upcoming film, Higher Learning. March 10, 1994: Tupac is sentenced to fifteen days in a Los Angeles jail for punching out director Allen Hughes. (Hughes and his brother, Albert, had dropped Tupac from Menace II Society.) March 23, 1994: Tupac stars as Birdie, a troubled drug dealer, in Above the Rim. The soundtrack album, featuring the song "Pour out a little Liquor," recorded by Tupac's group, Thug Life, sells 2 million copies. September 7, 1994: Two Milwaukee teens murder a police officer and cite Tupac's "Souljah's Story" as their inspiration. November, 30 1994: While on trial for sex and weapons charges, Tupac is shot five times and robbed of $40,000 worth of jewelry in the lobby of a Times Square recording studio. Tupac checks himself out of the hospital less than three hours after surgery. The case remains unsolved. December 1, 1994: Tupac is acquitted of sodomy and weapons charges but is found guilty of sexual abuse.
February 14, 1995: Tupac is sentenced to up to four and a half years in a maximum security prison, convicted of touching her bum. He immediately begins serving his time in New York's Rikers Island penitentiary. April 1, 1995: While he's incarcerated, Tupac's third album, Me Against the World, debuts at no. 1 on Billboard's pop chart. Fueled by the single "Dear Mama," the album goes double platinum in 7 months. April 1995: In a vibe interview from jail, Tupac renounces "Thug Life" persona and commits himself to positive works. He also implicates Biggie Smalls, Puffy Combs, Andre Harrell, and his close friend Stretch, and others in the recording studio ambush. August 1995: Biggie, Puffy and Harrell tell Vibe, they had no connection to Tupac's shooting. October 1995: Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight posts $1.4 million bond to release Tupac, who immediately flies to LA, signs with Death Row and begins recording All Eyez on Me. November 30, 1995: Exactly on year after Tupac's shooting, Randy "Stretch" Walker is murdered execution-style in Queens. February 1996: In Vibe Tupac suggests he's been sleeping with Biggie's wife, Faith Evans. She denies the stories. February 13, 1996: Tupac's Death Row Debut, All Eyez on Me, rap's first double CD, is released. March 29, 1996: Words are exchanged and a gun is pulled when Death Row and Bad Boy employees face off after the Soul Train awards in Los Angeles. April 25, 1996: All Eyez on Me goes quintuple platinum. May 1996: Tupac and Snoop Doggy Dogg release "2 of Amerikaz most Wanted." In the video, caricatures of Biggie and Puffy and punished for setting up Tupac. June 4, 1996: Death Row releases Tupac's "Hit 'Em Up," a brutal diatribe against Biggie, Bad Boy, Mobb Deep, and others. September 4, 1996: Tupac returns to New York for the MTV music awards and gets into a scuffle. September 7, 1996: After leaving the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight in Las Vegas in Suge Knight's car, Shakur is shot four times in the chest by an assailant in a white Cadillac. Knight, who has connections with the Bloods, escapes with a minor injury. Shakur is rushed to University Medical Center, where he undergoes surgery, including the removal of his right lung. September 11, 1996: A Compton man who police say is associated with the LA Crips is shot to death while sitting in his car, the first in a series of gang releated murders. Police begin investigating possible connections to Tupac's shooting. Friday, September 13 1996: After six days in critical condition, Tupac Shakur is pronounced dead at 4:03pm. He was only 25.