Tupac Shakur Unisex T-Shirt
Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.
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2Pac – Dear Mama (Official Music Video)
Tupac Amaru Shakur (/ˈtuːpɑːk ʃəˈkʊər/ TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), better known by his stage name 2Pac and by his alias Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. He is considered by many to be one of the most influential rappers of all time. Much of Shakur’s work has been noted for addressing contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, and he is considered a symbol of resistance and activism against inequality.
Shakur was born in Manhattan, a borough of New York City, but relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. He moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to further pursue his music career. By the time he released his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991, he had become a central figure in West Coast hip hop, introducing social issues in the genre at a time when gangsta rap was dominant in the mainstream. Shakur achieved further critical and commercial success with his follow-up albums Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… (1993) and Me Against the World (1995).
Shakur became heavily involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry between 1995 and 1996. His double-disc album All Eyez on Me (1996) became certified Diamond by the RIAA. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas; he died six days later and the gunman was never captured. The Notorious B.I.G., Shakur’s friend turned rival, was at first considered a suspect, but was also murdered in another drive-by shooting six months later. Five more albums have been released since his death, all of which have been certified platinum in the United States.
Shakur is one of the best-selling music artists of all time having sold over 75 million records worldwide. In 2002, he was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone named Shakur in its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Outside music, Shakur also gained considerable success as an actor, with his starring roles as Bishop in Juice (1992), Lucky in Poetic Justice (1993) where he starred alongside Janet Jackson, Ezekiel in Gridlock’d (1997), and Jake in Gang Related (1997), all garnering praise from critics.
2Pac – Changes (Official Music Video) ft. Talent
In January 1991, Tupac, rapper, nationally debuted under the stage name 2Pac, guest on rap group Digital Underground‘s single “Same Song,” compiled on the soundtrack of the February 1991 movie Nothing but Trouble.
2Pac’s first two solo albums, November 1991’s 2Pacalypse Now and February 1993’s Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…, preceded September 1994’s eponymous and only album of his side group Thug Life, himself in it.
Rapper/producer Stretch guests on the above, three 2Pac projects. 2Pac’s third solo album, March 1995’s Me Against the World, features rap clique Dramacydal, reshaping as Outlawz on 2Pac’s fourth solo.
The fourth 2Pac solo album, and last in his lifetime, February 1996’s All Eyez on Me, features also, of among its numerous guests, Thug Life member Big Syke. Yet another solo album was already finished.
November 1996’s The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, under the stage name Makaveli, is a studio album made in one August week, whereas later posthumous albums are archival productions.
Tupac, using the stage name MC New York, began recording in 1989. That year, he began attending the poetry classes of Leila Steinberg. Soon, she became the budding music artist’s manager.
Steinberg organized with Tupac’s rap group Strictly Dope a concert. She managed to get Tupac signed by Atron Gregory, manager of the rap group Digital Underground. In 1990, Gregory placed Tupac with the Underground as a roadie and backup dancer.
Under the stage name 2Pac, he debuted on the group’s January 1991 single “Same Song,” leading the group’s January 1991 EP titled This Is an EP Release, while 2Pac appeared in the music video. It also went on the soundtrack of the February 1991 movie Nothing but Trouble, starting Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Chevy Chase, and Demi Moore.
Rising star: 1992–1993
2Pac’s debut album, 2Pacalypse Now—alluding to the 1979 film Apocalypse Now—arriving in November 1991, would bear three singles. Some prominent rappers—like Nas, Eminem, Game, and Talib Kweli—cite it as an inspiration. Aside from “If My Homie Calls,” the singles “Trapped” and “Brenda’s Got a Baby” poetically depict individual struggles under socioeconomic disadvantage. But once a Texas defense attorney, with a young client who had shot a state trooper, rationalized the defendant had been listening to the album, which touches upon police brutality, controversy ensued.
US Vice President Dan Quayle partially reacted, “There’s no reason for a record like this to be released. It has no place in our society.” Tupac, finding himself misunderstood, explained, in part, “I just wanted to rap about things that affected young black males. When I said that, I didn’t know that I was gonna tie myself down to just take all the blunts and hits for all the young black males, to be the media’s kicking post for young black males.” In any case, 2Pacalypse Now was certified Gold, half a million copies sold. Altogether, 2Pacalypse Now seats well with the socially conscious rap, addressing urban black concerns, still prevalent in rap at the time.
2Pac’s second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…, arrived in February 1993. A critical and commercial advance, it debuted at No. 24 on the pop albums chart, the Billboard 200. More hardcore overall, it emphasizes Tupac’s sociopolitical views, and has a metallic production quality, in fact featuring Ice Cube, the famed primary creator of N.W.A’s “Fuck tha Police,” but who, in his own solo albums, had newly gone militantly political, along with L.A.’s original gangsta rapper, Ice-T, who in June 1992 had sparked controversy with his band Body Count‘s track “Cop Killer“.
In fact, in its vinyl release, side A, tracks 1 to 8, is labeled the “Black Side,” while side B, tracks 9 to 16, is the “Dark Side.” Nonetheless, the album carries the single “I Get Around,” a party anthem featuring the Underground’s Shock G and Money-B, which would render 2Pac’s popular breakthrough, reaching No. 11 on the pop singles chart, the Billboard Hot 100. And it carries the optimistic compassion of another hit, “Keep Ya Head Up,” encouraging women. This album would be Certified platinum, a million copies sold. As of 2004, among 2Pac albums, including of posthumous and compilation albums, the Strictly album would 10th in sales, about 1 366 000 copies.
In late 1993, Shakur formed the group Thug Life with Tyrus “Big Syke” Himes, Diron “Macadoshis” Rivers, his stepbrother Mopreme Shakur, and Walter “Rated R” Burns. Thug Life released its only album, Thug Life: Volume 1, on October 11, 1994. It went Gold. It carries the single “Pour Out a Little Liquor”, produced by Johnny “J” Jackson, who would also produce much of Shakur’s album All Eyez on Me. Usually, Thug Life performed live without Tupac. The track “Pour Out a Little Liquor” appears also on the 1994 film Above the Rim‘s soundtrack. But due to gangsta rap being under heavy criticism at the time, the album’s original version was scrapped, and the album redone with mostly new tracks. Still, along with Stretch, Tupac would perform the first planned first single, “Out on Bail,” which was never released, at the 1994 Source Awards.
2Pac’s third album, arriving in March 1995 as Me Against the World, is now hailed as his magnum opus, and commonly ranks among the greatest, most influential rap albums. The album sold 240,000 copies in its first week, setting a then record for highest first-week sales for a solo male rapper. The lead single, “Dear Mama,” arrived in February with the B side “Old School.” The album’s most successful single, it topping the Hot Rap Singles chart, and peaked at No. 9 on the pop singles chart, the Billboard Hot 100. In July, it was certified Platinum. It ranked No. 51 on the year-end charts. The second single, “So Many Tears,” released in June, reached No. 6 on the Hot Rap Singles chart and No. 44 on Hot 100. August brought the final single, “Temptations,” reaching No. 68 on the Hot 100, No. 35 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, and No. 13 on the Hot Rap Singles. At the 1996 Soul Train Music Awards, Tupac won for best rap album. In 2001, it ranked 4th among his total albums in sales, with about 3 524 567 copies sold in the US.
While imprisoned February to October 1995, Tupac wrote only one song, he would say. Rather, he took to political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli‘s treatise The Prince and military strategist Sun Tzu‘s treatise The Art of War. And on Tupac’s behalf, his wife Keisha Morris communicated to Suge Knight of Death Row Records that Tupac, in dire straits financially, needed help, his mother about to lose her house. In August, after sending $15,000 for her, Suge began visiting Tupac in prison. In one of his letters to Nina Bhadreshwar, recently hired to edit a planned magazine, Death Row Uncut, Tupac discusses plans to start a “new chapter.” Eventually, music journalist Kevin Powell would say that Shakur, once released, more aggressive, “seemed like a completely transformed person.”
2Pac’s fourth album, All Eyez on Me, arrived on February 13, 1996. Of two discs, it basically was rap’s first double album – meeting two of the three albums due in Tupac’s contract with Death Row – and bore five singles while perhaps marking the peak of 1990s rap. With standout production, the album has more party tracks and often a triumphant tone. As 2Pac’s second album to hit No. 1 on both the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the pop albums chart, the Billboard 200, it sold 566,000 copies in its first week and was it was certified 5× Multi-Platinum in April. “How Do U Want It” as well as “California Love” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. At the 1997 Soul Train Awards, it won in R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year. At the 24th American Music Awards, Tupac won Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist. The album was certified 9× Multi-Platinum in June 1998, and 10× in July 2014.
Tupac’s fifth and final studio album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, commonly called simply The 7 Day Theory, was released under a newer stage name, Makaveli. The album had been created in seven days total during August 1996. The lyrics were written and recorded in three days, and mixing took another four days. In 2005, MTV.com ranked The 7 Day Theory at No. 9 among hip hop’s greatest albums ever, and by 2006 a classic album. Its singular poignance, through hurt and rage, contemplation and vendetta, resonate with many fans. But according to George “Papa G” Pryce, Death Row Records’ then director of public relations, the album was meant to be “underground,” and “was not really to come out,” but, “after Tupac was murdered, it did come out.” It peaked at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and on the Billboard 200, with the second-highest debut-week sales total of any album that year. On June 15, 1999, it was certified 4× Multi-Platinum.
2Pac – I Get Around (Official Music Video)
2Pac ft. Dr. Dre – California Love (Official Video) [Full Length Version]
2Pac – Hail Mary ( ft. The Outlawz ) HD (With Lyrics)
2Pac – All Eyez On Me
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