June 16 would have been the iconic rapper Tupac Shakur’s 44th birthday. Even almost 20 years after his death, his music is still relevant and is able to touch so many lives.
Tupac, who also went by stage name 2Pac, was murdered when he was merely 25 in a drive-by shooting incident on September 13, 1996. Nevertheless, he departed as an inspiration to several people.
Fans showed their love by posting birthday blessings for Shakur on Twitter.
Happy Birthday Tupac. You truly are missed
— Man$a Mu$a (@NaijaMane) June 16, 2015
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST RAPPER TUPAC 👼💎✅
— Tashaira Johnson (@classicshaira) June 16, 2015
Singer and songwriter Jhené Aiko, who was only 8 when the rapper was killed, said her life changed forever after she watched the 2003 documentary “Tupac: Resurrection.”
“I remember getting home from watching that and just feeling so inspired and I wrote this long journal entry about how inspired I was and motivated,” she said in an interview with MTV. “I was so in awe of his story that I just dove in. I got books and I tried to find everything about Tupac. I started watching all the interviews, I started becoming obsessed and it wasn’t about the music at that point. It was about him as a person and what he did as far as aside from music.”
For his birthday, Aiko recreated three pictures of Tupac with photographer Danny Williams as an ode to the man who she says was “so contradictory to people, but to me he was just human and not afraid to express himself.”
“He’s so great to me that I don’t even compare myself to him, like I’m trying to be Tupac,” she said. “That’s not what it is. It’s just that my love for him, I really wanted to do the pictures justice.”
She added, “I wasn’t worried about what people were going to think, because it’s just a personal thing for me. I’m not doing it for people to be like, “Oh, wow.” For me, it’s just about expressing my gratitude towards him and his legacy.”
“I never felt there were a lot of people I could relate to as far as wanting to do so many things with my life that don’t necessarily have to do with the other. He was so contradictory to people, but to me he was just human and not afraid to express himself. I could relate to that a lot… How dancing turned into music, turned into acting, turned into all of the things that he did. And he still had this passion and this purpose about him. That spoke to me so much.”
During his extremely short career, Tupac’s music reached people far and wide. The rapper has sold in excess of 75 million albums internationally, according to Hollywood Life. His album “All Eyez on Me” is one of the most selling albums in the United States.
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