Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR (born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His double disc albums All Eyez on Me (1996) and his Greatest Hits (1998) are among the best-selling albums in the United States. Shakur is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time, and he has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of any genre by many publications, including Rolling Stone, which ranked him 86th on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. On April 7, 2017, Shakur was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Shakur began his career as a roadie, backup dancer, and MC for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground, eventually branching off as a solo artist. Most of the themes in Shakur's songs revolved around the violence and hardship in inner cities, racism, and other social issues. Both of his parents and several other people in his family were members of the Black Panther Party, whose ideals were reflected in his songs. During the latter part of his career, Shakur was a vocal participant during the East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry, becoming involved in conflicts with other rappers, producers, and record-label staff members, most notably The Notorious B.I.G. and his label, Bad Boy Records. Aside from his career in music, Shakur was also an actor, starring in six films and one TV show in the 1990s, including Poetic Justice (1993), Gang Related (1997) and Gridlock'd (1997).
On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he died from his injuries six days later.
He is also known as 2Pac, Makaveli, Tupac Amaru Shakur, Tupac and Pac.
In October 1995, Shakur was released from prison after serving nine months of a sentence for sexual assault and formed a new group called Outlaw Immortalz. Shakur joined the Death Row label, under which he released the single "California Love".
On February 13, 1996, Shakur released his fourth solo album, All Eyez on Me. This double album was the first and second of his three-album commitment to Death Row Records. It sold more than nine million copies. The record was a general departure from the introspective subject matter of Me Against the World, being more oriented toward a thug and gangsta mentality. Shakur continued his recordings despite increasing problems at the Death Row label. Dr. Dre left his post as in-house producer to form his own label, Aftermath. Shakur continued to produce hundreds of tracks during his time at Death Row, most of which would be released on his posthumous albums Still I Rise, Until the End of Time, Better Dayz, Loyal to the Game and Pac's Life. He also began the process of recording an album, One Nation, with the New York-based Boot Camp Clik and their label Duck Down Records.
On June 4, 1996, he and Outlawz released the diss track "Hit 'Em Up", a scathing lyrical assault on The Notorious B.I.G. and others associated with him. In the track, Shakur claimed to have had sexual intercourse with Faith Evans, the wife of Wallace, Shakur's former friend and rival, and attacked Bad Boy's street credibility. Shakur was convinced that some members associated with Bad Boy had known about the 1994 attack on him due to their behavior that night and the information that his sources gave to him. According to a 2005 interview with Jimmy Henchman, in Vibe magazine, after the attack, Shakur immediately accused Henchman, an associate of Bad Boy CEO Sean Combs, of orchestrating the attack. Shakur, therefore, aligned himself with Suge, Death Row's CEO, who was already bitter toward Combs over a 1995 incident at the Platinum Club in Atlanta, Georgia, which culminated in the death of Jake Robles, the friend and bodyguard of Suge Knight; Knight was adamant in voicing his suspicions about Combs' involvement. In the years following their killings, associates of both Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. have made comments indicating the pair, were it not for their deaths, would have reconciled.