Art/Culture  •  On this day

On this day: in 1996 Tupac Shakur died

21 years ago, the death by gunshot wound of activist, poet, and rap legend, Tupac Shakur shocked the world. We look at 2Pac's legacy and his music.

September 13, 2017
In light of circumstances surrounding his premature death, many today may remember Tupac from the East v West feud that preceeded it. Those too young to remember his influence on the music scene, which coincided with rap music's evolution into modern hip hop, should still be familiar with his last hit song, California Love, released the year of his death. Students of musical history and serious fans of rap and hip hop, however, understand what made Tupac stand out from the music of the era. While much of the music of the era reflected either the angst of inner-city life or high living as a result of making it big in the music industry, Tupac's lyrics reflected a similar experience, but with a twist. Because his mother was a Black Panther, Tupac was reared with both an appreciation for education and a fearless devotion to freedom of expression and opportunity. His poetry and his lyrics thus spanned the gamut from everyday life to serious social commentary and his lifestyle was both philanthropic and militant. In a mere 25 years, Tupac made a great impact on both the music world and individual lives.