By D.L. Chandler
As we acknowledge the 40th Birthday of Tupac “2Pac” Shakur, our friends at RapFix have compiled a list of 40 facts about the legendary rapper, poet and actor who still continues to captivate and inspire even to this day. Born on this day (June 16) in 1971, 2Pac’s status as one of the greats in the pantheon of hip-hop has long been cemented as we offer this salute to the lasting legacy of the fiery and complex rapper.
1) Tupac was named after Tupac Amaru II who was an Emperor of the Inca Empire in Peru and led an uprising against Spanish soldiers in his country in 1780.
2) The track "Something Wicked" from 2Pac’s debut 2pacalypse Now album was a direct quote from Shakespeare's Macbeth (i.e. "Something Wicked This Way Comes").
3) Tupac was engaged to Quincy Jones’ daughter Kidada at the time of his passing.
4) Tupac had to take an HIV test before kissing Janet Jackson in "Poetic Justice," where he played opposite of the singer in the role of post office worker Lucky.
5) Tupac’s last video before his death was “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” and featured actor Bokeem Woodbine. The video also shouted out Mutulu Shakur and Geronimo Pratt, his stepfather and godfather respectively.
For the complete list, visit RapFix.
It was bad enough on Wednesday when TMZ tried to convince us that someone had snapped a picture of a very lively looking Tupac Shakur — who was gunned down in Las Vegas in September 1996. Granted, the unidentified dude hanging out and looking very mellow after downing a few hand grenades at a bar in New Orleans does kinda resemble 'Pac, down to the small stud in his left nostril, the bushy eyebrows and goatee-with-unattached-mustache.
Then they went and confused us today when they posted a second set of pictures of an alleged Tupac, who they're not even sure is the same 'Pac from the day before. To be honest, the second undead Tupac doesn't look as much like the rapper as the first one, though the picture is pretty blurry. And if you look at the additional image of him, he sort of resembles Tim Meadows. Read More...
What does it take to own the assets of one of the most notorious gangsta-rap labels of all time? About $24 million, actually.
That may sound like a lot of coin for a label that hasn't had a hit record in more than a decade, but clearly Nashville, Tennessee-based Global Music Group President Susan Berg saw some potential dollar signs in the former rap powerhouse started by oft-imprisoned boss Suge Knight. The assets include hit records by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Berg won the rights to the label during an auction on Wednesday, with the proceeds going to help Knight pay off his considerable debts, which include a $107 million judgment awarded to a former partner in the label that forced Knight into bankruptcy. Oh, and even though you might think the bottom of the 'Pac barrel had been scraped, chiseled, gouged, ground up and rehydrated more times than anyone could imagine, did we mention that the sale comes with the rights to 20 unreleased Tupac tracks?
After all the ruckus -- the false allegations, the apologies, the hemming and hawing, and finally the retraction -- Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times journalist Chuck Philips will be keeping his job. Hmm.
So after a story accuses Diddy and Biggie of abetting Tupac's murder -- basically hanging one of hip-hop's most infamous slayings on two of its biggest stars -- the journalist responsible is still in business. Never mind that he took his cues from known forger James Sabatino, who's currently in prison.
Then again, these old-school publications are known for firing people the old-fashioned way: moving you to the grandpa beat. Like when they gave McNulty boat duty on “The Wire.” Maybe Phillips is headed for the water?
Actually, speaking of “The Wire,” doesn't this remind you a bit of the final season -- that kid at The Baltimore Sun...?
While Philips defended his methods to MTV News, it seems as if further investigation is called for. After all, as Smoking Gun editor William Bastone pointed out, “In the recent history of journalism, when stories go really bad, the publication often does an explanation of how it happened…I’d like to know: How did [Sabatino] pull this off from behind bars?”
The story's out. Chuck Philips' Los Angeles Times bombshell tying Diddy and Biggie to Tupac's 1994 shooting relied on fake FBI reports, which lead back to a man currently incarcerated for felony fraud and identity theft. Despite the reports' numerous spelling errors (and the fact that they were written on a typewriter), Philips says he was "duped" by the forged documents. Ouch.
The reporter's situation has some of us making comparisons to The Wire, while others think the poor guy was Dan Rather'd.
What do you think? Was Philips just the unwitting target of a (possibly delusional) conman? Did he see signs of forgery and go ahead with the story anyway? And do you agree with Jimmy Rosemond that Philips should lose his job?
Sound off below!