Tupac: Is he dead?

According to police reports, rap icon Tupac A. Shakur passed away in Las Vegas on September 13, 1996 from bullet wounds received six days prior. Many theories have surfaced due to the strange circumstances of his death, however the events leading up to the September shooting are well understood.

Soon after leaving a Mike Tyson fight, Tupac and fellow rapper Suge got into a physical altercation with a local and returned to their hotel after a quick resolution. Police have stated this interaction was not related to the murder, though many question that statement. Sometime after 10:00, Tupac and Suge left their hotel in a black BMW Sedan headed for Club 662. An hour later their Sedan was stopped by Las Vegas police for playing music too loud but the pair was let go without a ticket. Within minutes, 13 rounds were shot into their car. Tupac suffered from four bullet wounds but remained conscious as Suge, who was only grazed in the head, drove him to the nearest hospital, University Medical Center. Tupac underwent two operations and one exploratory surgery before being taken to his room in intensive care around 8pm the next day. This is what we know for sure, but the lack of overall knowledge of who was involved has led many to theorize.

Many believe the police stop was planned to track the rapper in order to assassinate him. Tupac had had several run-ins with the police throughout his life, even in the womb. His parents were heavily connected the civil rights group the Black Liberation Party, who were frequently targeted by police. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was in prison during much of her pregnancy for bombing charges of which she was acquitted. Tupac himself was arrested several times, once in 1993 for shooting two off-duty police men he felt were harassing a black kid. Neither of the officers were killed and both were intoxicated, so Pac was only held for one day. In 1991, Tupac was stopped by police for jaywalking, reportedly getting slammed to the ground while authorities arrested him. He later sued the Oakland police department and planned to build a Boys Home and Stop Police Brutality center with the lawsuit money, but won much less than expected.

Another perhaps more popular theory is that Tupac was killed by The Notorious B.I.G., a rapper commonly known as Biggie Smalls. The two started out like brothers, but after a gang of muggers tried to kill Tupac in 1994, Tupac became convinced that Biggie was behind it. This incident solidified the growing schism between East Coast and West Coast rap, and gave us the time-honored classic Hit Em Up, in which Tupac takes shots at Biggie. Many theorize that Biggie put the hit on Tupac to prove his and the East Coasts superiority.

Biggie would face the same fate as Pac just 6 months later, also from four gunshots. Some believe he was killed by the same group as Pac, while others say he was killed as revenge for Tupacs death.

Instead of focusing on who shot Tupac, some wonder if he died at all. The most popular theory suggests that Tupac knew his life was in danger and so fled to Cuba to live with his Aunt Assata, a prominent member of the Black Liberation Party, and currently on the FBIs most wanted list. Assata fled to Cuba, where she was given political asylum by then president Fidel Castro. The activist remains an icon for rappers and revolutionaries, just like her nephew, wherever he may lie.

If you ask me, the most convincing theory by far is that he’s in Cuba. Tupac was a revolutionary both in rap itself and how it empowered black people. Considering Tupacs upbringing, his family in and out of jail, his mother addicted to the cocaine he was convinced the government had planted in his neighborhood, seeing black men brutalized and killed by authorities, even if the police had no malintent you can understand why Tupac would be paranoid. But regardless of what you think happened or who you think pulled the trigger, we can all agree that Tupac lives on through his powerful lyrics and inspirational story.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.