Throw It Up For the West Coast on Tupac Shakur’s Birthday

Tupac Shakur would have turned 46 years old today. Born Lesane Parish Crooks on June 16, 1971, in Harlem, New York, Shakur’s parents were members of the Black Panther party and his mother, Afeni, was pregnant with him while she was in jail facing bombing charges. Sheand the Panther 21 were acquitted around the same time Shakur was born.

Shakur’s family left New York City when he was 13, first moving to Baltimore before landing in California, the state that would define him and he would help define for the rest of the life. He got his real start in hip hop as a dancer for the Oakland group, Digital Underground. He was featured on “Same Song,” a track that appeared on 1990’s This is an EP Release and the film Nothing But Trouble.

In 1991, going by 2Pac, he was signed to Interscope and released 2pacalypse Now. He followed that release up with 1993’s Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. and 1995’s Me Against The World. He also put together his crew, Dramacydal, later known as Outlawz Immortal and the Outlawz.

Pac’s third studio album, Me Against the World, was released while he was in a New York prison on sexual assault charges. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top 200 chart. On Me Against the World, Pac was at his rawest. He delivered deep, introspective bars, tackling subjects including poverty, civil rights and the prison industrial complex.

After Shakur was released in 1995, he signed to Death Row and put out the double album All Eyez on Me. That same year marked the escalation of his infamous beef with the Notorious B.I.G. and Bad Boy Records, stemming from a 1994 robbery at Quad City Studios in Manhattan where he was shot five time. As members of the Outlawz recently told MASS APPEAL, Shakur felt that Biggie could have warned him about what was about to go down. They believe that Pac was trying to put that beef behind him before his death, but both Pac and B.I.G. were killed within nine months of each other. Shakur was a victim of a drive-by shooting on September 13, 1996, in Las Vegas and Biggie was shot on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles. Both murders remain officially unsolved.

Shakur released his last studio album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, posthumously, two months after his death. It hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 in its first week. The RIAA has certified that Shakur has sold 36.5 million albums to this day. His remains one of hip hop’s greatest and most influential MCs.

Check our Daily Operation video above and stream Me Against The World below.

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