Tupac Shakur

The rapper Tupac Shakur sold over 75 million records worldwide, and was also a noted social activist, growing up around several members of the Black Panther Party. He is often hailed as one of the most influental rappers of all time, and The Rolling Stone magazine included him in their list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Examples of common themes in Skakur’s music are racism, police brutality, black on black crime, and social issues pertaining to the hardship of poverty-stricken inner city life.

Shakur died in 1996, after being fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, USA.

Examples of awards and achievements

  • Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame in 2002.
  • Shakur was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 (his first year of eligibility).
  • #1 on MTV’s list of 22 Greatest MCs (voted by viewers).
  • Crowned “The Greatest Rapper of All Time” as voted by fans in a Vibe magazine poll in 2004.
  • After releasing his album Me Against the World in February 1995, Shakur became the first artist to have an album at number on on the Billboard 200 while serving a prison sentence.
  • The album Me Against the World sold 240,000 copies in its first week, a record-breaking number for a solo male rap artist at the time.
  • Shakur’s song Dear Mama was added to the Librady of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2010. Shakur thus became the third rap act to have a song in this registry (outside the copyright office); with the two others being Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy.
  • In 2014, the double album All Eyez on Me was certified 10x Platinum by RIAA. It is one of the best-selling rap albumbs of all time.


Lesane Parish Crooks was born in East Harlem, New York City, on 16 June, 1971.

Stage names:

  • Tupac Shakur
  • Tupac Amaru Shakur
  • 2Pac
  • Makaveli
  • MC New York


Years active: 1987-1996


  • Interscope (1991–96)
  • Death Row (1995–96)
  • Makaveli (1996)

First single

“Brenda’s Got a Baby” is Tupac Shakur’s solo debut single. It is the tenth track on his solo debut album 2Pacalypse Now.

The song features Dave Hollister.

Released October 20, 1991
Recorded 1991
Genre Hip hop
Format 12″ single
Length 3:55
Label Interscope
Songwriters Tupac Shakur

Deion Evans (Big D)

Producers Deion Evans (Big D)
The Underground Railroad

Brenda’s Got a Baby tells the story of a 12-year old girl who lives in a ghetto and despite her young age is already the mother of a child. Shakur was inspired to write the lyrics after reading a newspaper article about a 12-year-old girl who gave birth and threw the baby into a trash compactor.

Commercial success

  • Peaked at #7 on US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)
  • Peaked at #23 on US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)

First album

2Pacalypse Now is 2Pac’s debut studio album.

Released 12 November, 1991
Recorded 1990-1991
Studio Starlight Sound Studios, Richmond, California
  • Hip hop
  • Political hip hop
  • Gangsta rap
  • Interscope
  • EastWest America
  • Atron Gregory (exec.)
  • Big D the Impossible
  • Jeremy
  • Live Squad
  • Pee-Wee
  • Raw Fusion
  • Shock G
  • The Underground Railroad
Length 55:07

2Pacalypse is generally described as less polished than his later works.

One of its main themes is police brutality, which generated some controversy when Ronald Hay Howard’s defense attorney claimed that his client had been influenced by 2Pacalypse when killing a Texas state trooper. U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle publicly stated that “There’s no reason for a record like this to be released. It has no place in our society.

Other examples of themes included in the lyrics are racism, poverty, teenage pregnancy, and black on black crime.

Commercial success

  • The album peaked at #64 on the Bullboard 200.
  • The album peaked at #13 on the Top R&B / Hip-Hop Albums.
  • The album was certified Gold by RIAA in April 1995.

25th anniversary

In November 2016, the album was relased on vinyl and cassette to celebrate its 25th anniversary.


Studio albums

  • 2Pacalypse Now (1991)
  • Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… (1993)
  • Me Against the World (1995)
  • All Eyez on Me (1996)
  • The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (1996) (under the stage name Makaveli)

Posthumous studio albums

  • R U Still Down? (Remember Me) (1997)
  • Until the End of Time (2001)
  • Better Dayz (2002)
  • Loyal to the Game (2004)
  • Pac’s Life (2006)

Collaboration albums

  • Thug Life: Volume 1 (with Thug Life) (1994)

Posthumous collaboration albums

  • Still I Rise (with Outlawz) (1999)