Even 18 years after the shocking incident, the death of rapper extraordinaire, Tupac Shakur, continues to haunt the entertainment industry and his loyal fans. On the night of September 7, 1996, Tupac and his friends were driving back from a Mike Tyson boxing match in Las Vegas. After stopping at a red light, a white Cadillac pulled up to the right of their car, a BMW. Boxed in with other cars at the stop light, three to four men began firing bullets into the car and a total of 13 bullets entered the BMW. Tupac was shot three times, with bullets in his chest, right hand and right hip.
Police arrived on the scene almost immediately and called paramedics to the scene. Tupac and his co-passengers were rushed to a hospital in an ambulance. He spent a total of six days in the hospital and doctors made numerous attempts to revive the famous rapper. On September 13, at the young age of 25, his mother ordered the doctors to cease attempts to revive him.
The tensions between Tupac and Biggie
This shocking incident brought the ongoing violence between East Coast and West Coast rappers into the spotlight. In addition to numerous public altercations, the rappers on both sides often put each other down in their rap songs. The rap rivalry seemed to have resulted in the deaths of both Tupac Shakur and his rival Notorious B.I.G., who was shot six months later in a similar drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
To date, both cases remain unsolved and are often subject to wild speculations and conspiracy theories from inside and outside the industry. The tension between the two rival gangs began with a shooting and robbing incident that occurred in 1994. Tupac directly blamed the East Coast rap gang for the incident, causing major clashes between the two groups. The rivalry between Tupac and Biggie reached new heights in 1996 with the release of a ‘diss’ track called “Hit ‘Em Up’ where Tupac took digs at Sean Puffy Combs and Wallace as well as Mobb Deep. The shooting incident was believed to be tied directly to members of the East Coast rappers, and the killing of Notorious B.I.G. was believed to be in retaliation of Tupac’s death.
The beginnings of Tupac Shakur
Born as Tupac Amaru Shakur in 1971, he was known by his stage name 2Pac in New York City. Having sold over 75 million copies all over the world, Tupac was one of the biggest names in rap history. Dealing with subjects like racism, violence, hardships in the ghetto, social conflicts, and the infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry, Tupac’s rap albums were widely acclaimed. As a teenager, he attended a local art school and even took a deep interest in ballet. He was also known to show his love for literature and particularly favored Shakespeare, making him one of the most well-read hip hop artists at the time.
The sudden death of Tupac was never forgotten and he was even revived recently – with a hologram. Delivering huge hits like California Love, Life Goes On, Me Against the World, and Keep Ya Head Up, the image of Tupac as a rap artist and a hip hop legend remains.
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