Ten Known (and Little-Known) Facts About Tupac
10. Pac was born June 16, 1971 in East Harlem, NYC. He also lived in Baltimore, Marin City, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
9. The name Tupac Amaru is a reference to the last indigenous Inca ruler of Peru, who died in 1572. Amaru’s name was later adopted by Tupac Amaru II , the leader of an 18th-century uprising against Spanish colonialists and by the Tupac Amaru rebels , a Communist anti-government group which formed in 1984. Clearly, the name Tupac Amaru is not one to take lightly and has always been associated with resistance, rebellion, revolution, and rightful rule.
8. Shakur wasn’t Tupac’s birth name, but the last name assumed by his adopted stepfather, Mtulu Shakur, a Black Panther who spent four years on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for helping his sister Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, who fled to Cuba rather than face prosecution.
7. Tupac studied acting, ballet, jazz, and poetry while a high school student at the Baltimore School for the Arts in 1985, where he met and befriended Jada Pinkett.
6. In 1989, Tupac formed the group Strictly Dope with Santa Rosa rapper Ray Luv.
5. In 1990, Tupac was a roadie and dancer for Digital Underground, eventually becoming a member of the platinum-selling Oakland ensemble before launching a successful solo career.
4. In 1994, Tupac briefly dated Madonna, who reportedly wanted to have his baby.
3. Tupac is the only artist in history to have an album at Number One on the Billboard charts (1995’s Me Against the World) while serving a prison sentence.
2. Tupac’s alter-ego Makaveli is a reference to 16th century Italian political strategist Niccolo Machiavelli , author of “The Prince.” The fact that Machiavelli faked his own death gave rise to numerous theories alleging that Tupac is still alive.
1. Since his death on September 13, 1996, Tupac has been playing dominoes in music heaven along with Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Richie Valens, Notorious B.I.G., and Johnny Ace.