There was speculation that Shakur's killing marked another chapter in the US east/west coast rap feud, which was fuelled further by Notorious B.I.G.'s own murder in Los Angeles in March 1997.
In November 1993 Shakur was charged over the alleged sexual assault of a nineteen-year-old fan, but before his trial began he completed another film role in Above the Rim. At trial in November 1994 Shakur was convicted of sexual assault and given a sentence of between eighteen months and four-and-a-half years.
On the evening of September 7, 1996, Shakur was leaving a Las Vegas casino, where he had just attended a prizefight featuring heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, when he was shot by an unknown assailant. The incident, believed by many to be the result of an ongoing rivalry between the East Coast and West Coast rap communities, shocked the entertainment world.
With increased fame and success came greater scrutiny of Shakur’s gangsta lifestyle. A string of arrests culminated with a conviction for sexual assault in 1994; he was incarcerated when his third album, Me Against the World, was released in 1995.
In 1996, the music scene changed when Tupac Shakur became the first rapper to release a double album, All Eyez On Me; it reached number one on rhythm and blues and Pop charts and was certified seven times platinum within ten months. In the late 1990s, All Eyez On Me remained the best selling rap album of all time.
Critics who labeled Tupac Shakur a "gangsta rapper" and called him controversial and confused failed to see that his music always contained two sides: a tough side bristling with the realities of the ghetto life and a didactic side endowed with positive messages.
In prison, Shakur abandoned his violent philosophy, saying, “If Thug Life is real, then let somebody else represent it, because I’m tired of it. I represented it too much.” In October 1995 Death Row Records executive Marion “Suge” Knight paid a $1.4 million bond to release Shakur from prison.
In 1991, Shakur emerged as a solo artist—using the name 2Pac—with his debut album 2Pacalypse Now. The track "Brenda's Got a Baby" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. His second album, Strictly 4 My N. I. G. G. A. Z., crossed over to the pop charts, with singles "I Get Around" and "Keep Ya Head Up."
Born in New York City in 1971, Tupac Shakur, known by his stage name 2Pac, was an American rapper. Shakur has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world.
There were narratives about teen pregnancy, gang banging, selling drugs, and about being cooped up too long in someone else’s dream. It was the voice of truth to restless and oppressed African American men at the end of the twentieth century.