“All Eyez on Me”

Published: 2021-07-01 10:50:06
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When you think about the 90’s Hip-Hop industry, who are among the first names that come to mind? For me like millions of others it’s Tupac Amaru Shakur. When considering Tupac, many may think of a “thug” rapper who was always in trouble with the law, but Tupac was more than just a troubled rapper. There was so much more to his life history than him rapping and his court controversies. Tupac was very conscious and positively affected by society something you can hear be portrayed in a lot of his music, but it wasn’t just about rapping to him. It was more like raw poetry and his life encounters reporting what he’s witnessed through his lyrics. Tragically on the night of September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur was assassinated. Since his death there have been many conspiracy theories, but the real question remains as to who murdered Tupac Shakur?Afeni Shakur joined the Black Panther Party in 1968 a political organization whose main goal was to patrol and protect African American neighborhoods from acts of police brutality. Afeni, along with twenty-one other Black Panther members were arrested in New York City in 1968. They were charged with several felonies, some included conspiracy to bomb public places in New York and had bail set at $100,000.00 for each one of the accused Panthers. She was released on bail in 1970 not realizing they would revoke her bail and send her to prison. Pregnant while on trial and facing up to 300 years Afeni beat the odds along with the other twenty-one members in May 1971.One month after the eight-month trial on June 16, 1971 Afeni gave birth to Lesane Parish Crooks whom a year later she renamed Tupac Amaru Shakur after an Incan warrior. He spent the majority of his childhood moving. In 1986, they finally settled in Baltimore, Maryland. During his last high school years, he attended the Baltimore School of Arts. He was a very distinguished student who was both creative and academically smart however he wasn’t able to graduate from the Baltimore School of Arts because his family quickly packed up and moved across the country to Marin City, California.It was their move to Marin City when Tupac really took initiative having seen his mother become a crack addict and not being able to provide for his family slinging drugs he turned back to his artistic roots. Although he had met a few people in the industry Tupac’s career didn’t take off until he had the opportunity to record with the Digital Underground rap group and collaborated on their hit “Same Song”. Tupac changed up the culture of hip-hop and gained massive following with his debut solo album in 1991. This got him a certified gold of 500,000 copies, but what established him as a hip-hop and rap sensation was his commentary on songs like “Brenda’s Got a Baby”. He starred in his first role in a crime thriller called “Juice” in 1992 and acted with other well-known actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah. He made a major breakthrough as a solo artist in 1993 when he released his second album. His album went platinum and made two major hits with “I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up”. Shakur starred in a romantic drama film “Poetic Justice” later that same year.Even though Tupac’s music career kicked off fairly quickly, it seemed trouble always followed him. During this year of 1993, He spent a week in a Michigan prison for attempting to beat a rapper with a baseball bat. He was arrested in 1993 along with a few others for allegedly sexually assaulting a nineteen-year old woman at a New York hotel. He was charged with sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse which the judge sentenced him to 1 ?? – 4 ?? years in prison. Due to considerable legal fees Tupac couldn’t raise the $1.4 million bail which he ended up serving nine months until being released from Clinton Correctional Facility on October 12,1995. Suge Knight CEO of Death Row Records had posted the $1.4 million bail in exchange for three albums releasing under the Death Row records label. Only six months later on April 5, 1996 a judge ordered Tupac to serve 120 days for violating the terms of his release.Tupac’s short amount of time with Death Row Records, he put together two albums. One which was a double disc album, “All Eyez on Me” and the other “The Don Kiluminati: The 7 Day Theory”. “All Eyez on Me” was certified platinum five times after only two months in 1996 from it’s release date. It made history as the first double full linked hip-hop solo studio album. “The 7 Day Theory” album was named this way because it only took Tupac seven days to create. This album was the first studio album that was released under his studio name, “Makaveli”. His lyrics were written in three days and mixing took an additional four days. Former head of publicity for Death Row Records, George Pryce, stated that he album was meant to be an underground record and was not intended to come out to the public and after Tupac’s murder it did and went to be certified platinum of June 15, 1999.Along with all the success that Tupac brought Death Row Records it also unfortunately brought consequences and new enemies. Due to Suge’s newfound closeness with Tupac it manifested new rivalries within the music industry and on the streets as Suge Knight had close ties with the Piru gang based out of Compton, California. One rivalry which became famous for creating an East coast/ West coast war between Death Row Records in the west and Bad Boys Records in the east with record producer Sean “P.Diddy” Combs and The Notorious B.I.G. Along the way inside relationships were also broken as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg had their differences with the label and Tupac himself many of these new “beefs” were the result of what many claim were differences between Suge Knight and his artist but had Tupac doing all his dirty work through his music. Not too long after his successful days with Death Row, Tupac had begun to reveal his unhappiness and his hardships with the label. As more pressure came about Tupac wanted out of the record label. Suge Knight found his solution in offering Tupac his own record label named “Death Row East”, with options for Tupac to bring in his own artists and flow to that specific record label.Still with death row records, like many occasions, Tupac along with Suge Knight and other members of the record label flew out to Las Vegas to attend a Mike Tyson boxing event at the MGM Grand. Not knowing hours before his fatal shooting, Tupac and his entourage got into an altercation with a southside Compton Crip, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson. Tupac had previously encountered issues with Anderson, due to Anderson robbing Tupac for his famous gold death row chain.After their altercation with Anderson, Suge made it an effort to get Tupac out of the MGM Grand hotel room to celebrate with the record label at Suge Knight’s 662 Club. After leaving the hotel, Suge Knight and Tupac only made it a few blocks down and stopped at a red light on East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane. When at approximately 11:15 pm, they were approached by a white Cadillac with a gun pointing and firing fourteen shots at Knights’ BMW. Frank, a body guard of Tupac, stated Tupac asked him to drive his vehicle behind them. Frank also mentioned that while stopped in the Vegas strip traffic he noticed a bicycle cop that approached Knight’s vehicle. He observed that Knight got out of his car and opened his truck for the cop and then sent them on their way.Which takes us back to the question of topic, who really killed Tupac? Was it ultimately Orlando Anderson retaliating for that night’s previous altercation? Did “P. Diddy” and “Biggie” know about Tupac’s whereabouts and sent out a hit? Or was this an inside job set up by no other than Suge Knight himself?After being shot the first time, Tupac made a habit of always wearing a bulletproof vest. According to different sources, Knight suggested he take off the bulletproof vest the night he was murdered. During several interviews with Suge Knight, the Las Vegas police could not get him to cooperate. When interviewed by ABC, Suge was asked if he knew who the shooter was and if he would speak on that matter. He stated that he would never tell. Tupac’s vehicle got shot at a dozen times with half of them hitting him and only one grazing Suge Knight. Many speculate that those shots were meant to be for Suge Knight but were never proven. If the bullets were meant to be for Knight, what were the odds that half the shots were fired hit Tupac but only one bullet only grazes Suge Knight. What was the big pay off and what was in it for Suge Knight? Being the payoff city Las Vegas is known to be makes it a big factor for Suge Knight to have paid people off to kill Tupac.Did Tupac’s eagerness to leave Death Row Records upset and cause jealousy knowing Knight would no longer have his cash cow and would lose his all of his profits? Being the businessman Knight was and how he dealt with those type of matters, did he intentionally plot Tupac’s murder knowing he would make more money off of a notoriously famous dead rapper’s music? Because coincidently Knight would end up with all of his unreleased material plus it would have helped him get rid of any competition they would have received from Tupac’s future record sales. All in all, the iconic and short life of Tupac became Suge’s ultimate scam to the biggest pay out with Tupac’s death, ending his career short.

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