Tupac Shakur
Posted by Chris in Featured Articles, Vectors on 12 25th, 2010 | no responses
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Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City. He was named after Túpac Amaru II, a Peruvian revolutionary who led an indigenous uprising against Spain. Shakur’s professional entertainment career began in the early 1990s, when he debuted his rapping skills in a vocal turn in Digital Underground’s “Same Song” from the soundtrack to the 1991 film Nothing but Trouble and also appeared with the group in the film of the same name. The song was later released as the lead song of the Digital Underground EP This is an EP Release, the follow-up to their debut hit album Sex Packets. Shakur appeared in the accompanying music video. After his rap debut, he performed with Digital Underground again on the album Sons of the P. Later, he released his first solo album, 2Pacalypse Now. In late 1993, Shakur formed the group Thug Life with a number of his friends, including Big Syke, Macadoshis, his stepbrother Mopreme Shakur, and Rated R. The group released their only record album Thug Life: Volume 1 on September 26, 1994, which went gold. The album featured the single “Pour Out a Little Liquor” produced by Johnny “J” Jackson, who went on to produce a large part of Shakur’s album All Eyez on Me. The group usually performed their concerts without Shakur

On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur attended the Mike Tyson – Bruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After leaving the match, one of Suge’s associates spotted 21-year-old Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, a member of the Southside Crips, in the MGM Grand lobby and informed Shakur, who then attacked Anderson. Shakur’s entourage, as well as Suge and his followers, assisted in assaulting Anderson. The fight was captured on the hotel’s video surveillance. Earlier that year, Anderson and a group of Crips had robbed a member of Death Row’s entourage in a Foot Locker store, precipitating Shakur’s attack. After the brawl, Shakur went to rendezvous with Suge to go to Death Row-owned Club 662 (now known as restaurant/club Seven). He rode in Suge’s 1996 black BMW 750iL sedan as part of a larger convoy including many in Shakur’s entourage.

At 10:55 p.m., while paused at a red light, Shakur rolled down his window and a photographer took his photograph. At around 11:00–11:05 p.m., they were halted on Las Vegas Blvd. by Metro bicycle police for playing the car stereo too loud and not having license plates. The plates were then found in the trunk of Suge’s car; they were released without being fined a few minutes later. At about 11:10 p.m., while stopped at a red light at Flamingo Road near the intersection of Koval Lane in front of the Maxim Hotel, a vehicle occupied by two women pulled up on their right side. Shakur, who was standing up through the sunroof, exchanged words with the two women, and invited them to go to Club 662. At approximately 11:15 p.m., a white, four-door, late-model Cadillac with an unknown number of occupants pulled up to the sedan’s right side, rolled down one of the windows, and rapidly fired a volley of gunshots at Shakur; bullets hit him in the chest, pelvis, and his right hand and thigh. One of the rounds apparently ricocheted into Shakur’s right lung. Suge was hit in the head by fragmentation, though it is thought that a bullet grazed him. According to Suge, a bullet from the gunfire had been lodged in his skull, but medical reports later contradicted this statement.

At the time of the drive-by Shakur’s bodyguard was following behind in a vehicle belonging to Kidada Jones, Shakur’s then-fiancée. The bodyguard, Frank Alexander, stated that when he was about to ride along with the rapper in Suge’s car, Shakur asked him to drive Kidada Jones’ car instead just in case they were too drunk and needed additional vehicles from Club 662 back to the hotel. Shortly after the assault, the bodyguard reported in his documentary, Before I Wake, that one of the convoy’s cars drove off after the assailant but he never heard back from the occupants.

After arriving on the scene, police and paramedics took Suge and a mortally wounded Shakur to the University Medical Center. According to an interview with one of Shakur’s closest friends the music video director Gobi, while at the hospital, he received news from a Death Row marketing employee that the shooters had called the record label and were sending death threats aimed at Shakur, claiming that they were going there to “finish him off”. Upon hearing this, Gobi immediately alerted the Las Vegas police, but the police claimed they were understaffed and no one could be sent. Nonetheless, the shooters never arrived.At the hospital, Shakur was in and out of consciousness, was heavily sedated, breathed through a ventilator and respirator, was placed on life support machines, and was ultimately put under a barbiturate-induced coma after repeatedly trying to get out of the bed.

Despite having been resuscitated in a trauma center and surviving a multitude of surgeries (as well as the removal of a failed right lung), Shakur had gotten through the critical phase of the medical therapy and was given a 50% chance of pulling through. Gobi left the medical center after being informed that Shakur made a 13% recovery on the sixth night. While in the critical care unit on the afternoon of September 13, 1996, Shakur died of internal bleeding; doctors attempted to revive him but could not impede his hemorrhaging. His mother, Afeni, made the decision to tell the doctors to stop. He was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m. (PDT) The official cause of death was noted as respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds. Shakur’s body was cremated and some of his ashes were later mixed with marijuana and smoked by members of Outlawz

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