Tupac Shakur, better known by his stage name 2Pac, was one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Since his death, he has been inducted into the Hip Hop Hall of Fame and names by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. But while the American rapper had a successful career, his work saw him become heavily involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry – which ultimately led to his death. Express.co.uk explores what happened.
When did Tupac Shakur die?
Tupac Shakur was only 25-years-old when he was killed.
On September 7, 1996, Tupac and Marion “Suge” Knight, the head of Death Row Records, had attended the Bruce Seldon vs Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After the bout, Tupac found himself in a brawl in the hotel’s lobby with Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson – a member of the rival gang who had attempted to rob one of Knight’s associates Travon “Tray” Lane earlier that year.
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Both Tupac and Knight’s entourage piled in for the fight, which eventually broken up by hotel security.
The pair then set off for Club 662, which was owned by Knight. But the pair never made it.
At 11.15pm that evening, the car was stopped at a red light when Tupac was shot at by an unknown assailant in a white Cadillac.
The shooter, who was seated at the back of the Cadillac, rolled down the window and rapidly fired rounds at the vehicle, with Tupac being hit by four 0.40 caliber rounds, fired from a Glock.
He was shot once in the arm, once in the thigh, and twice in the chest, with one of the bullets hitting his lung.
Despite Knight’s injuries, he was able to drive Shakur and himself a mile away from the scene until Bike Patrol pulled him over and alerted the paramedics.
Tupac was raced to hospital where he was placed on life support machines, and eventually put under a medically-induced coma after trying to get out of bed.
Tupac died of respiratory failure that led to cardiac arrest following the removal of his right lung six days later, on September 13.
His last words, according to a police officer stationed at his bedside, were “F*** you” after the officer asked if he saw who shot him.
This was not the first time Tupac had been shot at, however, with another incident taking place on November 30, 1994.
On this evening, Tupac was asked to record at Quad Studios in Times Square in Manhattan, New York.
On arriving, he was shot five times during an attempted robbery and spent three hours in surgery.
He said at the time he had left the studio when two men met him in a lift and told him to hand over his jewellery, which he refused to do, at which point shots were fired.
Ron G, who was with Tupac before this took place, told XXL magazine in 2011: “He kept getting phone calls, pages. It kept throwing him off, here and there.
“He felt uncomfortable before he left.”
Following the shoot out, prisoner Dexter Isaac claimed responsibility – saying he had been paid by Jimmy Henchman, a music manager, to rob the star at the studio.
James Rosemond, AKA Jimmy Henchman, has denied any involvement for this off the back of Dexter’s claims, which were written in a confession letter in 2011.
While this shooting would have likely concerned Tupac, it was not until 1996 when he finally met his maker in Las Vegas.
He did not leave a will, but much of his recording rights were owned by his label, meaning they could make posthumous releases.
Tupac’s estate is estimated to be worth around $40million (£31.8million) as of 2019, though on Tupac’s death, it has been reported the rapper actually owed money to his record label, having signed a three-album deal in exchange for bail money.
The money would have been made back quickly with posthumous album sales, of which there were six studio albums and one compilation album.
Just six months after Tupac’s death, another big name in the scene – Notorious B.I.G – was shot as the East vs West Coast rivalry came to a head in violent scenes.