Twenty-one years ago today, the world lost an icon.
Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on June 13, 1971 and passed away on September 13, 1996 at the age of 25, but not before he left a lasting impression on hip-hop culture as a rapper, actor, and outspoken activist.
From brutal diss tracks and criminal charges, to uplifting poetry and inspirational speeches, Pac embodied all the contradictions of being a young Black man in America, and his fans still love him for it. Born the son of a Black Panther, Pac was an avid reader who was wise beyond his years and highly intelligent. When he spoke, it was so deep and so real that everyone paid attention.
What Pac was able to accomplish in 25 years is more than most people could dream of in a lifetime. His music and his spirit continue to inspire millions of people around the world, even if they weren't alive to witness his greatness. As we look back and celebrate his life, we thank him (and his mother, the late Afeni Shakur) for everything. RIP Pac!