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Life In The East Village

Source: Jonathan Elderfield / Getty

Can you believe that today is the 21st anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s death? Where were you when you found out that Tupac was murdered? It’s still shocking and it’s still surprised that no one has been arrested for his murder. Hummm. Well to celebrate the anniversary, here are 10 things you might not know about Tupac!

10. In 1990, Shakur started his entertainment career as a backup dancer for The Digital Underground.

9. While attending school in Baltimore, he joined the Young Communist League USA.

8. Jada Pinkett had a very deep platonic relationship with Tupac. The poem “Tears in the Cupid’s Eyes” from his poetry book The Rose That Grew From Concrete is dedicated to her. Now do you get why she was upset about the movie?

7. Shakur first started rapping in Baltimore, going by the name MC New York.

6. He attended Baltimore School for the Arts, where he took ballet classes. He also played the role of The Mouse King in the Nutcracker.

5. When he was 13, he played Travis Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, which was performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to raise funds for Jessie Jackson’s presidential campaign.

4. Afeni Shakur was an active member of the Black Panther party. Tupac Shakur was born one month and three days after Afeni had been acquitted of charges of “Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks.”

3. Shakur was named after the South American revolutionary Túpac Amaru. Túpac Amaru was a South American revolutionary who led the indigenous revolt against Spanish rule. The revolutionary would be executed by his oppressors. “Tupac Amaru” means “shining serpent.” “Shakur” means “thankful to God” in Arabic.

2. Shakur’s real name was Lesane Parish Crooks, but his mom, renamed him Tupac Amaru Shakur a little under a year after Tupac was born.

1. Although his West Coast appreciation indicated otherwise, Shakur was born in East Harlem, New York, on June 16, 1971. He first moved to the West coast (Marin County) in 1988, at the age of 17.

Want to know more about Tupac? Click here to learn more!

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