Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), better known by his stage name 2Pac and, later, by his alias Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He is widely considered one of the most influential rappers of all time. Much of Shakur's work has been noted for addressing contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, and he is considered a symbol of activism against inequality.
Shakur was born in Manhattan, New York City, but relocated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1984 and then the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. He moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to further pursue his music career. By the time he released his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991, he had become a central figure in West Coast hip hop, introducing social issues to the genre at a time when gangsta rap was dominant in the mainstream. Shakur achieved further critical and commercial success with his follow-up albums Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z... (1993) and Me Against the World (1995).
In 1995, Shakur served eight months in prison on sexual assault charges, but was released after agreeing to sign with Marion "Suge" Knight's label Death Row Records in exchange for Knight posting his bail. Following his release, Shakur became heavily involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry. His double-disc album All Eyez on Me (1996), abandoning introspective lyrics for volatile gangsta rap, was certified Diamond by the RIAA. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada; he died six days later and the gunman was never captured. Shakur's friend-turned-rival, the Notorious B.I.G., was at first considered a suspect due to the pair's public feud, but was also murdered in another drive-by shooting six months later in March 1997 while visiting Los Angeles, California. Five more albums have been released since Shakur's death, all of which have been certified Platinum in the United States.
Shakur is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. In 2002, he was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone named Shakur in its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Outside music, Shakur also found considerable success as an actor, with his starring roles as Bishop in Juice (1992), Lucky in Poetic Justice (1993) where he starred alongside Janet Jackson, Ezekiel in Gridlock'd (1997), and Jake in Gang Related (1997), all of which garnered praise from critics.