As we acknowledge the 40th Birthday of Tupac “2Pac” Shakur, we have compiled a list of 40 facts about the legendary rapper, poet and actor who still continues to captivate and inspire even to this day. Born on this day (June 16) in 1971, 2Pac’s status as one of the greats in the pantheon of Hip-Hop has long been cemented as we offer this salute to the lasting legacy of the fiery and complex rapper.
1) Tupac was named after Tupac Amaru II who was an Emperor of the Inca Empire in Peru and led an uprising against Spanish soldiers in his country in 1780.
2) The track “Something Wicked” from 2Pac’s debut 2pacalypse Now album was a direct quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth (i.e. “Something Wicked This Way Comes”)
3) Tupac was engaged to Quincy Jones’ daughter Kidada at the time of his passing.
4) Tupac had to take an HIV test before kissing Janet Jackson in “Poetic Justice,” where he played opposite of the singer in the role of post office worker Lucky.
5) Tupac’s last video before his death was “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” and featured actor Bokeem Woodbine. The video also shouted out Mutulu Shakur and Geronimo Pratt, his stepfather and godfather respectively.
6) The acronym of his 2nd album title Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z. stood for “Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished.”
7) In High School, 2Pac and Jada Pinkett performed her future husband Will Smith’s (then known as Fresh Prince) song “Girls of the World Ain’t Nothing But Trouble” at the Baltimore School of the Arts talent show where they both attended.
8 ) In Africa, Tupac is considered an iconic figure and is thought to be the greatest rapper that ever lived by many on the continent.
9) Tupac recorded The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory album over the course of seven days in August 1996. It was released posthumously.
10) While in jail, 2Pac became pen pals with popular Who’s the Boss sitcom actor Tony Danza.
Be sure to check back for the continuation of our 40 on 40 Tupac series.