Tupac Amaru Shakur, more popularly known as Tupac or 2Pac, was an American rapper, poet and social activist. He was born in East Harlem on June 16, 1971 to Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland, both members of the Black Panther party. His mother, Afeni, wrote his name on his birth certificate as Lesane Parish Crooks, due to her fears that her enemies would harm her son. once she married Mutulu Shakur and escaped the Black Panthers, she changed his name to what she originally intended.
Tupac was most popularly known as a rapper. He began his rapping and entertainment career in the early '90's, with his first album, 2Pacalypse Now. His later albums include Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. and Live Squad, both of which generated some of his more popular hits including "Keep Ya Head Up" and "I Get Around."
While Tupac is mainly known for his rap career, many people fail to look more deeply into who he was as a writer. After Tupac's death in 1996, a book titled "The Rose That Grew From Concrete," named after one of his poems, was released, containing copies of his original poetry written by him over the years. Anyone looking to gain a larger perspective of Tupac and who he was as a person is encouraged to read his poetry to see that not only was he an advocate for freedom, liberation and free speech for everyone, but he was also incredibly creative in the ways he expressed his feelings on love, family and even the fate of his own death.
On September 7, 1996, Tupac was shot outside of a boxing match at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A week later on September 13, he was pronounced dead as a result of the shooting. To this day, many conspiracy theories surround his death and whether or not he really is dead. Some believe it may be part of a hoax and way for him to escape the limelight and crime that surrounded him and his life. While Tupac is in fact dead, there is no denying by any of his fans that his music, writing and impact on the rap industry lives on.