Has there been a more cherished rapper in history than Tupac Shakur? From the release of his album 2Pacalyspe in 1991, to his death in September 1996 at just 25 years old, Tupac's career was only a short-lived five years. But his spirit and memory certainly live on - many of the world's biggest hip-hop artists today credit Tupac as their inspiration. Of course, he also lives on in the many conspiracy theories surrounding his death, which took place 21 years ago. The latest news? He's living in Cuba!
The Night It All Went Down
On 7 September, 1996, Tupac, along with record producer and CEO of Death Row Records, Suge Knight, attended a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon in Las Vegas. After the match, Tupac started a brawl with Crips gang member, Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, in the lobby of the MGM Grand Casino.
Then It All Went Horribly Wrong
Later that night, at around 11:15pm, Tupac was riding as a passenger in Knight's car, when a white Cadillac pulled up to the right side of their car and started firing gunshots. Despite suffering from fragmentation injuries, Knight was able to drive about a mile from the site, where they were discovered by police. Paramedics were soon at the scene.
East Coast Vs. West Coast
Though Tupac's murder remains unsolved, it is generally thought he was killed as a result of the East Coast vs. West Coast feud. Tupac's biggest enemy was ex-friend, Notorious B.I.G., who was also shot and killed just six months after Tupac's death. Others have suggested Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, but there is no proof, besides the impromptu brawl earlier in the evening.
Or Was It Suge Knight?
A whole bunch of theories started turning up regarding who killed Tupac, and one of them accused Suge Knight of arranging the murder. The theory goes that Knight wanted Tupac dead after finding out he wanted to start his own music label. Supporters of this theory also find it suspicious that Knight was in the car, but somehow managed to avoid getting shot.
He Took 4 Bullets
While sitting in the passenger seat of Knight's black BMW, Tupac was shot four times by the mystery white Cadillac driver, who rolled down his window and didn't hold back. He took one shot to the arm, one to the thigh, and two to the chest - one of which entered his right lung. There's no denying that whoever did this meant to kill.
But He Didn't Die At The Scene
Despite all the carnage, including two bullets to the chest, Tupac miraculously didn't die at the scene. He was attended to by paramedics and taken to the University Medical Center of South Nevada. When the police asked Tupac who had shot him, he yelled, "F*ck you!" Sadly, six days later, he succumbed to his bullet wounds in hospital.
Tupac And Makaveli
Since Tupac's murder, fans have not been able to get past the idea that he faked his own death and is still out there somewhere. Tupac's alter ego was Makaveli, inspired by the true story of Niccolo Machiavelli, an Italian writer and philosopher. Machiavelli faked his own death and shocked everyone by turning up again 18 years later.
Is The Photo Evidence Real?
Accounts of Tupac "sightings" and some very believable photos have been making the rounds for many years. One of the most famous shots is of Beyoncé cozying up to the rapper. In all of the photos, he still looks 25, not the 46 years that he would be if he was still alive, which proves that these are all probably Photoshop jobs.
Conspiracy Theories Live On
Greg Kading, a detective who investigated the murders of Tupac and Biggie, says he understands why fans won't let the conspiracy theories go. "We never really got to see his full potential and I think all those aspects merged to create the perfect storm which has helped to keep this story alive," he has said. Now, the most recent theory has everybody talking again...
Is Tupac Living It Up In Cuba?
Fuzzy video footage supposedly shows Tupac and Suge Knight in Cuba, circa 2004, about eight years after his death. The video got more than 2 million views on YouTube, but you can barely see Tupac's face, so identifying him is impossible. One thing that fans keep holding onto is that Tupac is said to have worn a bullet proof vest since being shot in 1994. If this is true, he couldn't have died, they theorize.
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