R.I.P. Tupac Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996)
On September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur tragically passed away after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. At around 4:03 p.m., Tupac was declared dead after his body started hemorrhaging blood and doctors were unable to stop the internal bleeding. His mother, Afeni, ordered the doctors to stop after blood loss became too severe and ‘Pac was soon declared dead after living seven days in a medically-induced coma. The official cause of death was noted after an autopsy as respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds. Shakur’s mother positively identified her son at the hospital after his death, the Clark County Coroner’s office certified the death certificate and, most disturbing, a photo from Shakur’s autopsy leaked out of the coroner’s office, showing the rapper laying with his upper chest sliced open and the first word of his “Thug Life” tattoo visible on his stomach. His remains were cremated at his mother’s request. During his brief life, Tupac was arguably the most revered and celebrated rapper to ever do it. In a career that stretched from his days as a background dancer for the Oakland-based hip-hop collective, Digital Underground, to acting in films and his celebrated run at Death Row Records, Tupac Shakur’s life and music touched the lives of millions of fans across the planet. Due to having one of the most extensive and exhaustive catalogs of music, Tupac has sold over 75 million records worldwide making him one of the most commercially successful musicians of all-time. His discography features some of hip-hop’s most enduring records including “California Love”, “I Get Around,” “Hail Mary,” “Dear Mama” and countless others. Stories that Shakur is still alive persist today, The details surrounding Tupac Shakur’s death have been recounted dozens of times in the nearly 18 years since the night he was shot in Las Vegas. Newspaper and magazine articles, books, documentaries and websites have recapped, analyzed, scrutinized and commodified the rapper and actor’s unsolved murder, ranging from sober accounts to wild-eyed conspiracy theories. There are even those who still hold onto the belief that Shakur is not really dead, with reports over the years having him living in Cuba, New Zealand, Tasmania or rural Pennsylvania.