Tupac Shakur, born on June 1971, was an American rapper, actor and music artist. Although he lived to be only 25, Tupac left behind more than just a name – he left a legacy. He started his musical career at a very young age, and despite having lived a short life, he made such an impact on Hip Hop music that to date, he has sold more than 100 Million music albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He was also ranked at number two on MTV’s list of The Greatest MCs of All Time, and at number 86th on Rollin Stone’s list of the Greatest Artist of All Time. His double disk album, All Eyes on Me, is one of the best selling hip hop albums of all time. Yesterday was his birthday anniversary, so we thought his fans would like a list of 10 strange facts about Tupac. Enjoy 🙂
10 Strange Facts about Tupac
His name comes from the Inca
His first and middle name mean “shining serpent,” and he was named Tupac Amaru, after a freedom-fighting eighteenth-century Incan chief whose body was torn apart by Spanish imperialists. Shakur means thankful to God in Arabic.
He rejected a record contract at the age of 13
He was offered a record contract at the age of 13. However, his mother refused to let him sign anything at such a young age. She felt he had a lot to learn about the world before joining the music industry
He was an actor and dancer before being a rapper
He moved to Maryland in 1984 with his mother and sister. There, he attended the Baltimore School for Arts, and majored in dance and drama.
Served prison before being born!
Yeah, that’s right! His mother was arrested and sent to jail in 1969 on charges of conspiracy to bomb New York City police Stations. He was born only days after she was released from jail.
The Vatican has his song on its top 12 songs
Released in 1998, his song “Changes” is about the struggles of a young boy, and it speaks of racial equality. This is perhaps why the Vatican added this song to its 12 favourite songs playlist on its MySpace page in 2009.
He was very poor
Actress Jade Pinkett Smith, who was his classmate in Baltimore, recalls “When I met Tupac, he owned two pairs of pants and two sweaters. He slept on a mattress with no sheets.”
He survived being shot with 5 bullets in 1994
In 1994, he was accosted by a pair of muggers in the lobby of a New York recording studio. Upon resistance, the muggers shot him five times, and ran away. He miraculously survived the attack, and after the incident, Tupac frequently boasted of his ‘durability’ in his lyrics.
Three universities actually offer ‘Tupac Shakur’ as a course in the U.S!
The dream by many of studying the influences behind Tupac Shakur’s lyrics has come true in three universities. Harvard, University of California Berkeley, and University of Washington all have offered classes on the late rap legend. In 2003, UW offered a class using books like “The Art of War” and “Hamlet” to decipher meaning in the late rap legend’s songs. After listening to his songs in the classroom, students analyzed their meaning and used the themes to discuss race, gender and class issues.
Troubles with the FBI
The FBI was constantly investigating after him and family because of their alleged ties with the Black Panthers. In fact, he spent most of his childhood with some of his close relatives behind the bars, which is probably why his music often depicts the struggles of a young boy such as he was.
He didn’t see much success while alive
More albums have been released after his death than when he was alive. More than 10 such albums exist that have been released after his death, all of which have gone platinum.