”I’ll live eternal, who shall I fear, Don’t shed a tear for me nigga, I ain’t happy here”
In the aftermath of the events on September 7th 1996, a drive by shooting in Las Vegas, Tupac was left fighting for his life. There were mixed emotions of anger and hurt. Questions needed to be answered as to how, why and who did this to one of the biggest artists on the planet.
A mere matter of hours after the shooting, the media were camped outside of the hospital, sending any news and updates of the star around the globe. With most media outlets opting to pounce on the gangsta image and lyrics of Tupac, his friends and people who knew him came out and spoke highly of him.
Russell Simmons said “All this gangsta stuff, I’ve never seen it. I remember him dancing with this woman in a wheelchair for four hours when everybody else was drinking and partying. That’s how I knew the man. He’s a total sophisticate: intelligent, articulate”.
In the days following the shooting, Tupac was operated on and had his punctured lung removed entirely. He remained in the ICU, where friends and family visited him.
Kidada Jones, the daughter of music icon, Quincy Jones, was engaged to Tupac at the time of the shooting. In 2001, her father released his autobiography, ‘Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones’, where Kidada remembers arriving at the hospital and was given a bag of Tupac’s bloody clothes and jewellery. She grabbed a blanket from the hospital and circled the hospital’s parking lot for hours in shock.
In March 1997, Vanity Fair revealed that Tupac regained consciousness once when Kidada played Don McLean’s ‘Vincent’ on the CD player next to his bed. Tupac’s label mate at Death Row, singer Danny Boy, was asked by Afeni to sing ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ to Pac’, as it was one of his favourite songs. Danny Boy revealed as he was singing the song to him, a tear rolled out of his eye into his ear.
Outside of the hospital, fans held a candle lit vigil for Tupac, some crying, some talking to the media defending his character against them and others just quiet, hoping and praying that Tupac Shakur would pull through.
Ready For War
The Outlawz were outside the hospital too, not only because they were concerned about their friend, but they acted as security, surrounding the hospital making sure Tupac was fully protected, not allowing any harm come to him whilst in the hospital. As emotions ran high, an argument broke out outside the hospital involving Outlawz member Yaki Kadafi, which would see him get handcuffed by police. They release him shortly after.
Watch the video below to here how The Outlawz was ready to go to war for Tupac.
Six days after Tupac was shot, on September 13th 1996, his mother Afeni Shakur, had to make the heart breaking decision to turn his life support machine off. Tupac Amaru Shakur was pronounced dead at 4.03 pm.
Reaction to the death of Tupac Shakur
Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mother, talks to hip hop journalist Davey D one week before the one year anniversary of untimely death
“I have faith in Tupac’s legend. I really believe in the divinity of legends. I believe that God choose Tupac and I believe that no human being can destroy his image, his legend, his life, his music or his work. So in reality I don’t care what people say, because I truly believe that God sent him here. He sent him with a mission. He fulfilled his mission and he went back where he came from”
Afeni goes on to speak on how she wants fans to remember her son
“Remember the words of my son.. Remember to Keep Your Head up.. Remember Against All Odds.. Nobody Can Judge You.. that’s God’s job.. Remember, the things 2Pac said..I just really ask people to really study his music and to listen to his music with an open heart and soothed mind.. Thank you very much.. Peace”
Tupac’s Aunt Glo
Eminem, who never met Tupac but was inspired by him and produced Tupac’s 2004 album ‘Loyal to the Game’ alongside Afeni Shakur.
“The day we found out that he didn’t make it we literally cried. We went into the cleaning closet and Kon Artis (D12) said a prayer and we all just hugged and shed a couple of tears. We couldn’t believe it. When Tupac died, the world lost an icon. A soldier. A poet. I lost an idol.”
Treach, from hip hop group Naughty by Nature, was a very close friend of Tupac. He also wrote a dedication song for his long time friend called ‘Mourn You ‘Til I Join You’
“We spoke many a time, and he was like, ‘I don’t see myself growing old. He was one of the realest niggas that lived. He said whatever was on his mind, he never bit his tongue for nuthin. He was a baby Panther. He was a soldier. He was a poet. He was a visionary. He was a thug. He was a poppet. We got robbed of someone who was gonna take us where we needed to be”
Tupac appeared in E-40’s video ‘Rapper’s Ball’
“Pac was hated by few but loved by many and those who hated him didn’t even know him. I truly believe that there will never be another rapper
who can uplift spirits and explain the ups and downs of everyday life through rap music like ‘Pac”
Omar appeared in the 1993 film Juice alongside Tupac
“Pac was just the truth. He always brought it from the heart. Sometimes the truth hurts or the truth can set you free. In his case, it did both. Some said he was the rappin’ Nostradamus, like he could prophesy. But he was just saying that ill shit that niggas be thinking and no one wanted to say. The thing was, he lived his life in a way that the lyrics had to come true. He just went all out. Everyday was his first and last.”
Janet starred in the 1993 film Poetic Justice, alongside Tupac.
“I feel very fortunate to have seen another side of Tupac, someone who was very caring and loving, a contrast to his public image. He will be missed by many.”
Tupac Shakur had 9 Platinum albums, 7 Posthumous Albums, 75 million albums sold worldwide, 713 songs, 7 movies, all by the age of 25. Thug In Peace, Tupac, your legacy will never die.