.. to call for a band on gansta rap. While all of this was going on with Tupac’s rap career, he believed it was the best time to start his acting career. In Ernest Dickerson’s 1992 film “Juice”, Tupac played Bishop, a kid who become addicted to violence. Some people said that after Tupac played Bishop, he began to become Bishop.
He began to lead a violent life. On August 22, 1992, he returned to his old neighborhood in Marin City; where he was in a shoot out which left a 6 year old boy dead. In April 5, 1993, he assaulted a fellow rapper with a baseball bat. October 31, 1993, he was charged with shooting two off duty police officers in Atlanta, Ga. The charges were later dropped.
On September 7, 1994, there was another claim toward Tupac’s song Souljah’s Story by 2 teens that murdered a police officer. The teens said Tupac’s song was their inspiration. On November 19, 1993, he was charged with sexual assault of a 19-year-old New York female. On November 31, 1994, Tupac is found guilty of sexual assault, but is acquitted of sodomy and weapon charges. While out on bail waiting sentencing, he was shot five times during an attempted robbery outside a music studio in New York.
Tupac was sentenced to eighteen-months to four and one-half years. Afterward, Tupac spoke with Vibe’s writer Kevin Powell, from behind bars he spoke of his disavowed Thug Life: Thug life to me is dead. If its real, let somebody else represent it because Im tired of it. I represented it too much. I was Thug Life.
I’m going to show people my true intentions, and my true heart. I’m going to show them the man that my mother raised. I’m going to make them all proud. I see my incarceration as a gift–straight up. It’s God’s will.
Being getting clean after years of incessant marijuana smoking has cleared my head and given me a new perspective on my work. If we’re really saying rap is an art form then we got to be true to it and be more responsible for our lyrics. If you see everybody dying because of what you saying, it don’t matter that you didn’t make them die, it just matters that you didn’t save them. (Vibe, 1995) Throughout his troubles with the law, Tupac had a very promising career. His first album “2Pacallyps Now” went gold.
He released two more albums, Februarys 1993 “Strictly for my Niggaz”(platinum) and Aprils 1995 “Me Against The World” (multi-platinum). He made two more movies “Poetic Justice” (1993) with Janet Jackson and “Above the Rim”(1994). In May 1995, while still in the New York’s Rickers Island penitentiary, Tupac married Keisha Morris. Tupac is released from jail on bail in October 1995 when Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records, paid $1.4 million to free him. In return, Tupac signs a record contract with Death Row, in Los Angeles. The last album released before he died, All Eyes on Me, was out April 25, 1996.
This album sold over 6 million copies and was a groundbreaking for its quintuple platinum sales and was the first double CD for rap music. Tupac was not happy recording under Death Row Record label and worked hard to fourfold his contact. By September of that year he had recorded over 2 albums for Death Row but was also mysteriously shot. On Friday, September 13, 1996, at 4:03 p.m. PDT, Tupac Amaru Shakur was pronounced died of respiratory failure and cardio-pulmonary arrest at University Medical Center, Las Vegas, after lingering in a coma for days.
He died of bullet wounds to the abdomen and chest received seven days prior. Tupac was only 25 years old. To date, police still have no suspects in his murder. After Tupacs death, Death Row released “Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory” under the artist name Makaveli. On this album, Tupac speaks of his death as his resurrection as Makaveli.
This led many people to believe that he may still be alive. Soon after his death, Afeni released a new album by Tupac under her own label Amaru Records called 2Pac R U Still Down? [remember me]. This album was also a double CD that had several unreleased recordings by Tupac that he previously recorded at Interscope Records. Along with his other albums, this was also controversial. Only Fear of Death is the title of one of the most controversial songs on the album with such lyrics: ..They wanna bury me, I’m worried — no need to lie. I pray to God I don’t scream when it’s time to fry.
Nowhere to rest I’m losin homies, ain’t that a bitch. When I was rich I had clout, now a nigga’s lonely. I put the pistol to my head, and say a prayer. I see visions of me dead, Lord are you there? Then tell me am I lost cause I’m lonely. I thought I had friends but in the end a nigga dies lonely.
Nowhere to run I’m in terror, and no one cares. A closed casket at my funeral and no one’s there. Is there a future for a killer? I change my ways.. But still that don’t promise me the next day.. They wonder if I’m hell bound..
well Hell can’t be worse than this, cause I’m in Hell now.. Never will I die, I’ll be back Reincarnated as a mother*censored*in mack.. I love it cause in heaven there’s no shortage on G’s. I’m tellin you now, you mother*censored*ers don’t know me..(Tupac) In this portion of the song, Tupac once again foretells his vision of his death. The irony of the song is that it was released after his death, which lead many people to believe that he is still alive.
Throughout the song, he repeatedly mentions not fearing his death, but rather, returning after death resurrected. Tupac then continues the song with: .. Hahaha, I ain’t scared to die. I ain’t scared to die. To my homies in heaven, I ain’t scared to die.
Do you wanna live forever? Are you scared, to die? Or will you scream, when you fry? I don’t fear death. My only fear of death is comin back, reincarnated. (Tupac). Tupac ended the song with the emphasis of being resurrected. The final chorus continuously repeated Only fear of death is comin back reincarnated.
This further lead people to wonder who the song was directed. Just as Afeni, Tupac was thought of as a revolutionary. He knew people wouldn’t understand what he stood for, but knew in his heart and mind that if he didn’t stand for what he believed in he couldnt stand for anything at all. Rev. Jesse Jackson best explained Tupac while standing outside the hospital in which Tupac died as he was talking to society as a whole: Tupac has had many close calls.
But this is about more than Tupac. It’s about the culture of violence that we live in, this survival of the fittest mentality that too often calls out for revenge, for retaliation. This is so sad, sometimes the lure of violent culture is so magnetic that even when one overcomes it with material success, it continues to call. He couldnt break the cycle. I believe Tupac, though he lived a violent life, mostly tried to keep others away from the life he had lived.
He died after going farther than a lot of people would have gotten in their entire life. Some believe that Tupacs death was faked but I do not know which to believe. This man was great at what he did, rap, and movies and that is what I admire him for. Bibliography Works Cited Powell, Kevin. Vibe.
New York: February 1995, April 1995. Tupac Shakur. Contemporary Black Biography. Volume 14. 1997.
Castro, Peter and Ken Baker. All Eyes on Her; Afeni Shakur Tends to Her Son Tupac’s Fortune-And Some of His Troubles A Once-Wayword Mother Defends Her Son’s Legacy. People 1 December 1997: 151+. Pareles, Jon. Tupac Shakur, Rap Performer Who Personified Violence, Dies. New York Times 14 September 1996, Sec.
1: 1+. URL:http://www.daveyd.com/pactribute.html (23 Oct. 1998). Hilburn, Robert and Jerry Crowe. Rapper Tupac Shakur, 25, Dies 6 Days After Ambush. Times Mirror, 14 Sep. 96.
Home Ed: A1+. Marriott, Michael. Deadly Rhythms. New York Times, 16 Sep 96. Late Ed: A1+.