10 things that you may not know about Tupac Amaru Shakur


1) Tupac Amaru Shakur was named after an Inca Indian chief: “Tupac Amaru” means “Shining Serpent” and “Shakur” means “Thankful to God” in Arabic.

2) Tupac planned on being an actor before he ever thought of being a rapper. He studied drama at Baltimore’s School For The Arts, where he rapped under the name MC New York.

3) As an established poet, he was inspired by a wide range of writers, including William Shakespeare, Niccolò Machiavelli, Donald Goines, Sun Tzu, Kurt Vonnegut, Mikhail Bakunin, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Khalil Gibran

4) In 1993, Tupac received a letter from the parents of a dying boy, named Joshua. They said it was Joshua’s last wish to meet Tupac. Tupac flew to Maryland to meet Joshua and took him to a basketball game. Soon after Joshua’s death Tupac renamed his publishing company from Ghetto Gospel Music to Joshua’s Dream.

5) Tupac put together a benefit concert to help a growing non-profit organization, A Place Called Home, raise money for a new building. Founded in 1993, A Place Called Home is a safe haven in South Central LA where at risk youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education.

6) Through his bodyguard, Tupac heard about a 14-year old girl who was paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair after a terrible car accident. Tupac called the Make-A-Wish Foundation to inquire about this little girl. During the phone call, Pac learned the girl was scheduled to meet her celebrity idol, but the celebrity canceled just before the meeting date. Tupac stepped in and flew the girl and her aunt to California to join him on the set of “Gridlock’d.”
Afterwards he took them to the recording studio and later hosted a personal BBQ cookout at his house in honor of her.
Tupac later donated a brand new audio system to her school.

7) During a promo tour stop in Washington, DC, as Tupac was on his way back to the airport, he heard on the radio about a young girl who was in the emergency room after being attacked and mauled by a dog. Tupac told the driver to turn around and take him to the hospital where the young girl was located. He stayed with her and her family until she fully recovered.

8) The seat of the Catholic Church released a list of 12 songs onto the social networking Web site’s streaming music service. Among the artists included are Mozart, Muse and Dame Shirley Bassey; the list also includes Tupac’s song “Changes.”

9) His hit song “Dear Mama” is one of 25 songs that was added to the National Recording Registry in 2010. The Library of Congress has called Tupac’s song “a moving and eloquent homage to both the murdered rapper’s own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference.”

10) In his early teens, Tupac solicited people to sign a petition to keep a community recreation center open. After accumulating a significant number of signatures the building was torn down anyway in spite of his efforts. This experience helped cultivate Tupac’s vision for a center that would provide a positive environment where young people could learn skills and performing arts. He wanted to call the center Thug Mansion. After his early death, his mother maintained the vision by opening the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

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