Posthumous popularity: Did premature death bless hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur with pop-culture immortality?

Part of Shakur's staying power is because his murder investigation stayed open longer than he lived, allowing fans to offer up theories about what may have happened.

Posthumous popularity: Did premature death bless hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur with pop-culture immortality?


Shakur's posthumous work extends far beyond his albums. The Coachella 2012 festival was remembered for a holographic Shakur image. Kendrick lamar and Shakur engaged in a conversation about his influential album To Pimp a Butterfly' using excerpts from a 1994 Shakur interview. Shakur was awarded a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June. Anthony Mackie, Demetrius S. Shipp Jr. and others have played him in movies.



He has been dead longer than he was alive. He rose to stardom during his lifetime that was unmatched by any other rapper, going from being a Digital Underground back-up dancer to becoming a chart topper and movie star. All the while, he courted controversy with both law enforcement and president administrations. Since his 1996 murder in Las Vegas he has remained a defining figure in the hip-hop genre, in part due to the mystery surrounding the death. Duane Keith Davies' arrest on Friday in relation to Shakur's murder - he had been indicted for murder - marks a significant step towards solving one of hip hop's longest and most tragic mysteries. Shakur was ambushed in New York nearly two years prior to his death. Shakur's death sparked a violent feud with Notorious B.I.G. a New York rapper, who was killed six months later. The attack forever linked the rivals to the coastal feud which hung over hip-hop in the '90s. Shakur was a prolific rapper who wrote enduring songs like "Dear Mama," "Keep Ya Head Up," and "California Love" as well as misogynistic and revenge-filled songs. His music is still as powerful today as it was in the 1990s because he rapped with passion about social activism, the oppression and racism of Black Americans. Greg Mack, who was a West Coast radio DJ and helped to bring hip-hop into the mainstream, said that his death made people magnify the music he created. "We didn’t know that was who we had." Shakur's popularity is partly due to the fact that his murder investigation was open for longer than he did, which allowed fans to come up with theories. After his death on Sept. 13, 1996 was announced, rumors began to circulate that Shakur, who was believed dead, was in fact alive and recording alone on a far-off island. Over the years, these wild theories have continued to be repeated. Hackers gained access to PBS's website in 2011 and claimed that Shakur was the Notorious B.I.G. They were living in a small New Zealand village. The story quickly spread on

Social media

Shakur predicted an early death many times in interviews and lyrics. He recorded an enormous amount of music in his lifetime. Much of it was released after his death. Shakur's estate has released several albums over the past decade. The culmination was 2006's "Pac's Life". The posthumous work of Shakur goes beyond his albums. At the Coachella 2012 festival, a holographic Shakur image was performed. Kendrick lamar and Shakur used quotes from a 1994 interview to discuss his influential album To Pimp a Butterfly'. Shakur was awarded a star in June.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Anthony Mackie, Demetrius S. Shipp Jr. and others have played him in movies. Over a dozen documentary films, plays, and books were shot, acted, and written in order to show and analyze Shakur's brief life. This includes 2003's "Tupac: Resurrection," which received an Academy Award nomination as best documentary feature.

Allen Hughes' five-part documentary series 'Dear Mama' examines Shakur’s relationship with Afeni Shakur. Tupac Shakur assaulted Hughes once for dismissing him from the film 'Menace II Society'. Staci Robinson will be speaking next month about Shakur, a high school friend of hers.

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She worked for over 20 years on the book, which was approved by Shakur's estate.

Neil Strauss, The The

New York Times

In 2001, I wrote. Soon he will not belong to Afeni. He will be the property of playwrights and filmmakers as well as novelists, TV executives, and television executives. This prediction has mostly come true.