Tupac lives on.
Tupac was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting on September 7, 1996 after leaving the Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Suge Knight, who was driving Pac’s car, was also injured, but survived. After being hospitalized for days, Tupac succumbed to his injuries and died on September 13, 1996. Now, 20 years later, we still remember the incident like it was yesterday.
To the media and people outside the hip-hop community, he was seen as nothing but a gangster. He was described as “the controversial but wildly popular ‘gangsta’ rapper whose life and lyrics evoked a ghetto culture of violence and nihilism” on the front page of The Washington Post the day after he died. In that same write-up, his music was described as “bitter, explosive and often cruel” and “shocked critics but struck home to a generation of rap fans already hardened by life.”
But to us, his fans, Tupac was something of a savior. He was about the community and justice for African-Americans. He was our voice. And he was talented as hell. Not only was he one of the greatest rappers, but he was also a great actor and former hip-hop dancer.
We take a look back on his life, the barriers he broke and the most famous photo of the rapper.