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Cyerah Fields


Tupac Research Project

24 April 2019

The Life & Death Makaveli

Tupac Shakur was an American rapper and actor who came to embody the 1990s

gangsta-rap aesthetic. His death became an icon symbolizing noble struggle in the hood.​ ​His

“fate” drove him to gangsta rap, and into the arms of the controversial Death Row Records ran

by Suge Knight, the boundaries between Shakur's art and his life became increasingly blurred.

Tupac has released 11 platinum albums. Four albums during his career, with seven more released

after his death. Tupac has sold more than 75 million records worldwide to date. Tupac Shakur

was a significant person due to his impact in the community, his upbringing and what he rapped


Due to Tupac’s values he impacted the community as much as a political activist. He

pushed his audience into believing in themselves. “Through every dark night, there's a brighter

day,” (Tupac Shakur) Tupac himself went through tough times, but he never let a bad day stop

him or push him down to where there’d be no return. “here's a message to the newborns, waitin’

to breath, if you believe, then you can achieve,” (Tupac Shakur) Tupac’s success is one in a

million. He didn’t come from money. Therefore he was teaching the kids that if he could make it

anyone could. As well as Tupac’s wanting to do something for the community and be a positive

role model since he went without one besides his mother really.

Tupac’s childhood made him into the humble unique rapper that was so beloved. Born in june

16th 1971 as Lesane Parish Crooks, in East Harlem, Manhattan. Later moving to Baltimore

Maryland and then again to Oakland, California. (Bruce Cameron) While one of Tupac’s most

famous events was the east side west side beef he’s ironically from Harlem. This gave him

insight to the slurs they’d throw at him. He already knew what it was like on the east side,

though he traded it for the west side California living. ​He had a hard early life, spent in the

company of people who had been convicted of serious crimes and had been imprisoned. He had

been exposed to violence and gang affiliation from an early age. ( Childhood, Life Achievements

& Timeline) Shakur’s whole persona was this LA gangster rapper. Unlike most rappers today

that rap & portray a certain lifestyle opposite to what they were brought up in, Tupac took his

struggles as a child to create his identity of a bad ass gangsta rapper not to be reckoned with.

Tupac rapped about what he saw in the streets of LA, and social inequalities no one else

would shed light to. He rapped about the disposability of women and how society viewed them,

especially black women. ( Ruiz Ismael) In multiple songs Tupac speaks on how easy it is to

disregard and discard the position of a woman especially black women in America. Politicians in

his community wouldn’t speak on controversial topics like that.He spoke of gangs, police drama,

marijuana, and even calls out the Governor in his song “To live and die in LA” (Ruiz Ismael)

Because of his position he implemented social issues in his songs that he knew would sell rather

than letting them stay in the dark.

Tupac was only 25 when he was murdered in Las Vegas, yet in his short years he’s still

influencing the rap and hip hop culture today. Because of his involvement in his community,

what he rapped about, and and his childhood his impact on the world is something that shouldn’t

ever be forgotten. To this day Tupac is still being talk about. Just a few years ago he was

featured in the story of NWA. Later his own movie was made titled ‘All Eyez On Me’. Presently

Tupac’s change for the better of the black community and social political issues has started

another movement of change seen in the 1960’s with the first civil rights movement. He lived by

the gun and ultimately that’s what killed him.


Works Cited

Cameron, Bruce. “Tupac Shakur.” ​IMDb​, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/name/nm0000637/bio

Ruiz, Ismael. “Tupac Shakur's Most Socially Conscious Lyrics: 10 Times He Was at His Most

Woke.” ​Billboard​, 12 Nov. 2016,

“Tupac Shakur.” ​Biography.com​, A&E Networks Television, 10 Apr. 2019,

“Who Was Tupac Shakur? Everything You Need to Know.” ​Childhood, Life Achievements &