Happy Birthday Tupac! Today marks the rap legends 47th birthday. As we celebrate the man and the myth, here are a few facts you might not have known about him.
1. Although his “California Love” indicated otherwise, Shakur was born in East Harlem, New York, on June 16, 1971.
He first moved to the west coast at age 17 in 1988 to Marin County.
3. Shakur was named after the South American revolutionary Túpac Amaru.
4. Afeni Shakur was an active member of the Black Panther party. Tupac Shakur was born one month and three days after Afeni had been cleared of charges of “Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks.”
5. When he was 13, he played Travis Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, which was performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to raise funds for Jessie Jackson’s presidential campaign.
6. He attended Baltimore School for the Arts, where he took ballet classes. He also played the role of The Mouse King in the Nutcracker.
7. Shakur first started rapping in Baltimore, going by the name MC New York.
8. Jada Pinkett had a very deep platonic relationship with Tupac.
9. While attending school in Baltimore, he joined the Young Communist League USA.
10. In 1990, Shakur started his entertainment career as a backup dancer for The Digital Underground.
11. Shakur, under his new stage name Makaveli, completed The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory in seven days, using three days to write and record the songs and four days to mix the album.
12. Ex-wife Keisha Morris says Shakur auditioned for the role of Bubba in Forrest Gump, but didn’t get the part.
13. Shakur was supposed to play a lead role in Menace II Society, but after falling out with co-director Allen Hughes, he was replaced with Larenz Tate.
14. According to Shakur, while filming Poetic Justice, he was asked to take an HIV test before he could film a love scene with Janet Jackson.
15. He dated Madonna
16. He loved Shakespeare.
17. As a teenager, he liked English and Irish pop musicians like Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, Culture Club, and U2.
18. In 1993, Rashida Jones, then 17, wrote a letter going off on Shakur after he criticized her father, Quincy Jones, for having relationships with white women.
19. Before the whole East Coast vs. West Coast beef, Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. were good friends.
20. Me Against the World hit number one on the Billboard 200, making Shakur the first artist to accomplish this feat while in prison.
21. Tupac and Ice-T sang a duet once.
22. While in prison, Shakur was influenced heavily by the written works of Niccolò Machiavelli, especially The Prince.
23. After Shakur was cremated, members of the Outlawz mixed some of his ashes with marijuana and smoked it.
24. In 2010, “Dear Mama” was the third rap song in history to enter the national Recording Registry .
25. Shakur renamed his publishing company from Ghetto Gospel to Joshua’s dream after 11-year-old Joshua Torres.
26. Shakur shot two off-duty police officers. However, charges were dropped when it was discovered that the officers were drunk, in possession of stolen weapons, and lied to police officers.
27. 2pac cried after having a conversation with Maya Angelou on the set of Poetic Justice.
So, yes, Tupac was a controversial figure on what would have been his 47th birthday we pour out alittle liquor and wish Pac and happy birthday in heaven: