With 75 million records sold worldwide, performances with artistes like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Janet Jackson - American rapper Tupac Shakur, known as 2Pac on stage, would have celebrated his forty first birthday today had he been amongst us. But then as he once said, 'In my death, people will understand what I was talking about', the music world definitely understands and today, remembers the star as a pioneer rapper and hiphop musician.
Tupac Shakur at the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London
Named the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time by the Rolling Stone magazine, Tupac's sang about growing up, racism and violence and hardship in ghettos. He touched a chord with the Afro-centric population in the US by giving them voice through his music. Son of a Black Panther activist, as a child Tupac moved around the US a lot and finally debuted under the name 2Pac in 1991 with his album 2Pacalypse Now. His song Brenda's Got A Baby grossed as bunmer 3 on Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. He had no turning back since then and went on to successfully release five more albums during his lifetime.
Tupac's songs are laced with aggression, violence and explicit lyrics. His rhyming is considered as legendary in the world of rap and hiphop. He lived his songs with several brawls and violent arrests in the 1990s. He was finally faced with a violent death when he was shot while riding in his car in Las Vegas. After a lengthy murder investigation, his killer still remains unknown.
In 2005, Rolling Stone magazine named Tupac No.6 of the 100 Immortal Artists of All Time, leaving behind the likes of Elvis Presley and John Lennon. MTV ranked him No.2 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time. Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame in 2002 and was ranked No.3 on VH1's 50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists, among his innumerable posthumous honours.