It’s Tupac Shakur’s Birthday today, and he would have been 46 years old. With the new movie All Eyez On Me in theaters, lots of people have been talking about the late and great artist. And there still is a lot of speculation about his untimely death.
Die-hard Tupac fans have always wanted his murder solved; 21 years later, we still don’t have concrete answers.
Here are the facts:
On September 7, 1996, Tupac was the victim of several gunshot wounds from a passing vehicle as he rode as a passenger.
Earlier that night, he had attended the Bruce Sheldon vs. Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After leaving the fight, one guy in Suge’s entourage spotted Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, an alleged gang member from Compton. Earlier that year, Anderson had robbed another member of Death Row’s associates.
Tupac and Suge, followed by their entourage, decided they would settle the beef that night and jump Anderson. After beating him up, they fled the MGM.
At 11 p.m., they were stopped by a Las Vegas bike cop for having their music on too loud, and for not having plates. Suge produced the plates from his trunk and they were let go without penalty.
At 11:10 p.m., Suge and Tupac were stopped at a light and started flirting with some women who pulled up on their left. Shakur was standing up through the sunroof and invited them to a club.
At 11:15 p.m., a white four-door cadillac pulled up to the right side of Suge’s sedan, rolled down a window and rapidly fired gunshots at Shakur. He was hit four times, twice in the chest, once in the arm, and once in the thigh. The fatal bullet went into Tupac’s right lung. Meanwhile, Suge was hit in the head by a bullet fragment.
According to CNN, Tupac refused to speak to Las Vegas police on the scene and reported that his last words were “f*uck you.”
Shakur was rushed to the hospital, heavily sedated, and placed on life support machines. Las Vegas Sun Reporter, Ed Koch, wrote that Tupac had to be put into a medically induced coma after he repeatedly tried to get out of his hospital bed.
On September 13, 1996, at 4:03 p.m., Tupac was pronounced dead. He died from internal bleeding that doctors were unable to stop.
His mother cremated his remains the next day.
His sudden and tragic passing hit the rap and hip hop community hard, and many were unable to accept that he was gone. Conspiracy theories popped up everywhere.
- He faked his own death. This is by far the most popular. Tupac faked his death and was still alive, living with his aunt in Cuba. Fans came to this unlikely conclusion by reading into Tupac’s respect for the philosopher Niccolo Machicavelli, who he used as an inspiration for pen name Makaveli. Machiavelli talks about the power one could have to manipulate enemies if they think you’re dead.
- Suge Knight connection. Although Suge himself was inside the car targeted by the assailants, some claim that Suge called for his death because he was threatened by the success that Tupac was attaining.
- East Coast vs. West Coast. Tupac and Biggie Smalls personified beef between artists, and the east coast vs. west coast rap battle had been on for years. Some say that Biggie and his team were somehow responsible for Tupac’s death.
- Gang retaliation Shooting. Although this hasn’t been proven, an un named LAPD officer, reported to People, that this was a run of the mill gang retaliation hit. Claiming that the incident earlier on the night of the 1996 shooting, where Tupac and entourage attacked Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson. This anonymous LAPD source claims that the LA Crips gang leader had taken responsibility for this.
But the fact remains that Tupac’s murder is still an unsolved mystery.
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