Tupac (2Pac) Biography (Updated 2023)

If you’re into hip hop, then you’ve probably heard of Tupac, or 2Pac as some of his fans call him. He was an American rapper and actor who made a name for himself in the early 90s on the West Coast hip hop scene. He was basically a big deal!

Tupac was not only famous, he was also super influential in the rap game. Many people consider him to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. He sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the bestselling artists ever!

Sadly, Tupac passed away on September 13, 1996, after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. His death was a huge loss for the hip hop community and for music lovers around the world.

You may read some inspiring quotes from Tupac here.

Early Life and Education

Tupac Shakur, also known as Lesane Parish Crooks, was born on June 16, 1971, in New York City to Afeni and Billy, who were both members of the Black Panther Party. Growing up, many of his family members were also part of the movement and had been jailed for various offenses. Shakur had an older stepbrother named Mopreme and a younger half-sister named Sekyiwa.

The family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1984, where Shakur attended Roland Park Middle School and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Later, in the tenth grade, he transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied acting, jazz, ballet, and poetry and performed in numerous plays.

In 1988, Shakur relocated to Marin City, California, and attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. Although he didn’t graduate, he went on to earn a GED. Tupac Shakur’s life story continues to inspire people all over the world, and his impact on the music industry remains unparalleled.

Career Beginnings

Back in 1989, Tupac Shakur got his start in the music industry using the stage name MC New York. Around this time, he teamed up with his manager Leila Steinberg who helped him secure a spot with the hip hop group Digital Underground.

It wasn’t until 1991, when Tupac made his debut under the name 2Pac on the single “Same Song” with Digital Underground. This was a pivotal moment in his career, as it marked the birth of the iconic persona that we all know and love.

Solo Albums

Tupac Shakur made his solo debut with “2Pacalypse Now” in late 1991. The album’s singles “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” “If My Homie Calls,” and “Trapped” gained widespread recognition. The release established Tupac as a powerful voice, with songs touching on racism, police brutality, and poverty.

In early 1993, he followed up with “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…,” which featured the hits “Keep Ya Head Up” and “I Get Around.”

While serving time in jail, Tupac released his third album, “Me Against the World,” in early 1995. It is considered his masterpiece, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and spawning the singles “Dear Mama,” “So Many Tears,” and “Temptations.” Tupac continued his success the following year with “All Eyez on Me,” which also topped the Billboard 200. The album included the hits “How Do U Want It” and “California Love” and was the last one released during Tupac’s lifetime.

Several posthumous albums were released after Tupac’s death, including “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory,” “Still I Rise,” and “Pac’s Life.” Tupac’s impact on the music industry is immeasurable, and his albums continue to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans worldwide.

You may also check out 2Pac’s best songs here.

Thug Life

Did you know that apart from his solo career, Shakur had his own hip hop squad called Thug Life? Yeah, that’s right! He formed the group in late 1993 with some other talented rappers like Big Syke, Macadoshis, the Rated R, and even his own stepbrother Mopreme!

Thug Life came out with one banging album in 1994 called “Thug Life: Volume 1.” The group’s unique sound and style caught the attention of many music lovers, and they quickly became a household name.

Shakur’s contribution to the music industry was outstanding, and Thug Life was just one of the many ways he showcased his exceptional skills. It’s clear that Shakur’s legacy will continue to live on, even years after his passing.

Film Career

Did you know that Tupac Shakur was not only a rapper but also an actor? Yeah, he appeared in several movies during his career. Let’s check out some of his most notable roles.

First up, we have “Juice,” a crime thriller released in 1992. Tupac played the lead role, and it was his first starring role in a film. The following year, he starred alongside Janet Jackson in the romantic drama “Poetic Justice.” That’s right, he showed us his romantic side too!

In 1994, Tupac appeared in the sports drama “Above the Rim,” where he played a talented basketball player. After his tragic death, three of his films were released posthumously. These include “Bullet,” “Gridlock’d,” and “Gang Related,” which all came out between 1996 and 1997.

It’s crazy to think that Tupac was able to make such an impact in both the music and movie industries. Even though he is no longer with us, his performances in these films will always be remembered.

Legal Troubles

Tupac Shakur, a popular rapper and actor, had a lot of run-ins with the law throughout his life. He was involved in instances of violence and sexual assault, which led to his numerous arrests.

In 1993, Shakur and two others were charged with raping a woman in New York, and he was also charged with possessing an illegal firearm. Although he was acquitted of some charges, he was still convicted of first-degree sexual abuse, which led to his imprisonment.

On Halloween that same year, Shakur was arrested in Atlanta for shooting two off-duty police officers. Some reports say that it was in self-defense. In the following year, he was imprisoned for assaulting one of the directors of the film “Menace II Society,” which he was supposed to star in.

Aside from those incidents, Shakur had more legal troubles. He served jail time in 1994 for misdemeanor assault and in 1996 for hiding a firearm and violating his release terms.

Overall, Shakur’s legal troubles were a big part of his life and career, but he still managed to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry.


Tupac Shakur was a pretty popular guy back in the day, and he had some A-list friends to prove it! When the rapper faced legal troubles, a handful of his high-profile pals stepped up to support him. Jada Pinkett, Mickey Rourke, Madonna, and Jasmine Guy were just a few of the big names in his corner.

But Tupac’s support system didn’t stop there. While serving time in prison in 1995, he even tied the knot with Keisha Morris. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last long and was annulled after only ten months. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Tupac had a squad of people who cared about him, both in good times and bad.

The Mysterious Death

Let’s talk about the mysterious death of the legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Back in 1994, Shakur and a group of friends were robbed and beaten at Quad Studios in Times Square. He believed that the shooting was a setup since music manager James Rosemond had offered him money to come to the studio. Shakur also accused fellow East Coast rappers Sean Combs and the Notorious B.I.G. of being involved in the attack.

Fast forward to September 7, 1996, when Shakur was on his way in a convoy in Las Vegas, and a Cadillac sedan pulled up beside his car at a stop light. 

Suddenly, an occupant opened fire, hitting Shakur four times. He was rushed to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada and placed on life support but unfortunately passed away six days later. Till date, no one knows who was responsible for his murder, with many speculations pointing fingers at Crips gang member Orlando Anderson or Shakur’s hip hop rival, the Notorious B.I.G, who was also killed in another drive-by shooting in early 1997.

Estate Value and Control

Tupace was in some major debt, like almost 5 million big ones, to his record company Death Row when he passed away. But since he didn’t leave a will, his mom, Afeni, took control of his estate. She ended up suing Death Row because they weren’t giving her the royalties and advances that were promised to Tupac in his contract. Death Row denied it, though, and claimed that Tupac was broke because he was living too large and spending too much.

To back up their claims, Death Row provided records that showed they actually lent Tupac millions of dollars to pay for his lifestyle. They gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy cars and rent homes for himself and his family. They even paid off a $300,000 hotel bill that he racked up in just one visit! On top of all that, Death Row covered Tupac’s monthly $16,000 payment to support his mother and lent him a cool $2 million to cover the costs of his album and video for “Makaveli: The Don Killuminati”.

When Afeni threatened to hold back the release of that album until they sorted out the financial drama, Death Row’s distributor, Interscope Records, paid Tupac’s estate a cool $3 million right away. They also agreed to pay another $2 million in a year, upped his royalty rate from 12% to 18%, and forgave half of the $4.9 million debt that Death Row said Tupac owed them. Jimmy Iovine was the man who helped make this all happen at a really tense time.

In the decades since then, Tupac’s estate has earned tens of millions from all the albums, merch, and licensing deals that have come out since his death. It’s crazy to think that even though he’s gone, his legacy lives on and his music is still reaching new audiences.


Did you know that Tupac Shakur is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time? Yep, he was so good that in 2002 he was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame and in 2017, he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pretty impressive, right?

Tupac was so influential that he even became the subject of some films. Have you seen the documentary “Tupac: Resurrection” that was nominated for an Academy Award? It’s definitely worth checking out! And if you’re a fan of biopics, you might want to watch “All Eyez on Me,” starring Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Shakur.

All in all, Tupac Shakur was a legendary rapper who rocked the hip-hop world and left a lasting impact on music.

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