Six Misconceptions About 2pac

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This week marks the 21st anniversary since legendary rapper and icon, Tupac Shakur, left us. An artist, who, for many epitomised everything good and bad about hip hop. He was loud, he was controversial, but beneath it all deep and well-meaning. For a 25 year old, he achieved so much, and was only really just getting started in life.

He made such an impression on Highlight Nation, that we decided to use him as the poster boy for our upcoming 2pac – Changes art exhibition.

So as to dispel any myths you might have about the rapper, here are seven misconceptions which might take you by surprise:

He hailed from the West Coast

While the vast majority of his music was made on Californian soil, the rapper himself was actually born in Harlem, New York.

He was purely a gangster rapper

2Pac was an artist of beautiful contradictions. He made soft, as well as hard music. More a poet than a rapper, he addressed topics as wide ranging as friendship, motherhood, bereavement, vulnerability and faith. Dear Mama, for example, is anything but gangster.

He was religious

Few rappers have spoken more about death and the afterlife than 2pac. From Only God Can Judge Me to Ghetto Gospel, there’s everything to suggest that he was a man of faith. He himself never professed to this, however.

He had a privileged upbringing

Yes he went to art school, yes he studied ballet and yes he performed in Shakespeare plays, but Tupac was far from a rich kid. He grew up in crime-ridden neighbourhoods and often had to go without as a child.

His real name was Tupac Shakur

Wrong. His birth name was Lesane Parish Crooks. Afeni, his mother, renamed him Tupac shortly after he was born.

Tupac and Biggie were life-long enemies

Prior to the whole East Coast – West Coast war, ‘Pac and Big were actually friends. The pair first met at Big’s house in 1993 during a house party and hit it off from there. They drank, ate and partied together. Biggie even slept on Pac’s couch on occasion.

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