10 Facts About Tupac Shakur You May Not Have Known
Tupac Amaru Shakur is known as the world’s best rapper by many and left behind quite a legacy after he was fatally shot on September 7th in 1996 at the young age of 25. He died on the 13th of September and the world still mourns the loss of such musical icon. In order to pay tribute to 2Pac or Makaveli as he was known on stage, here are 10 surprising facts you may not have known about him:
1. Shakur’s real name was Lesane Parish Crooks.
Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mother, renamed him Tupac Amaru Shakur a little under a year after Tupac was born.
2. Shakur was named after the South American revolutionary Túpac Amaru.
Túpac Amaru was a South American revolutionary who led the indigenous revolt against Spanish rule. The revolutionary would be executed by his oppressors. “Tupac Amaru” means “shining serpent.” “Shakur” means “thankful to God” in Arabic.
3. His mother, Afeni Shakur was an active member of the Black Panther party.
Tupac Shakur was born one month and three days after Afeni had been acquitted of charges of “Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks.”
4. He took ballet classes.
He attended Baltimore School for the Arts. He also played the role of The Mouse King in the Nutcracker.
5. Jada Pinkett’s friendship.
Jada Pinkett, wife of Will Smith, had a very deep platonic relationship with Tupac. The poem “Tears in the Cupid’s Eyes” from his poetry book The Rose That Grew From Concrete is dedicated to her.
6. He started his career as a backup dancer.
In 1990, Tupac started his entertainment career by being a backup dancer for The Digital Underground.
7. The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Shakur, under his new stage name Makaveli, completed The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory in seven days, using three days to write and record the songs and four days to mix the album.
8. He loved Shakespeare.
Talking about Romeo and Juliet: “That’s some serious ghetto shit. You got this guy Romeo from the Bloods who falls for Juliet, a female from the Crips, and everybody in both gangs are against them. So they have to sneak out and they end up dead for nothing. Real tragic stuff.”
9. Notorious B.I.G.
Before the whole East Coast vs. West Coast beef, Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. were actually friends.
10. Influenced by Niccolò Machiavelli.
While in prison, Shakur was heavily influenced by the written works of Niccolò Machiavelli, especially The Prince. Hence the change in his stage name from 2Pac to Makaveli.