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By M. Dion Thompson and M. Dion Thompson,SUN STAFF | September 21, 1996
Before gangsta raps there were raps about libraries and teen-age pregnancy; before Dannemora State Prison and the killing bullets, there were pillow fights and the exuberance of youth.Tupac Amaru Shakur did not grow up in Baltimore. He was not a finished product when he left. But his years here encompassed that crucial time when childhood ends and self-discovery begins.He was 14 when he and his mother moved here from the Bronx in 1985. He called himself MC New York and won a rap contest sponsored by the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
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By Jill Rosen and The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2012
In 1994, Baltimore's own Tupac Shakur was shot in a New York ambush and a decade later, the intrigue persists. The Village Voice earlier this month reported that a drug lord named James Rosemond, Jimmy Henchman on the street, long implicated in the crime, had admitted to it. The publication pointed to transcripts where Rosemond admitted to involvement in the rapper's ambush. Rosemond was talking with federal prosecutors under an agreement that the information wouldn't be used against him. Rosemond is already in jail on a drug conviction and won't be charged with the attack on Shakur.
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By GREGORY KANE | September 18, 1996
Back in elementary I thrived on misery/Left me alone I grew up amongst a dying breed/ Inside my mind I couldn't find a place to rest/Until I got that "Thug Life" tattooed on my chest .../Is there a heaven for a G?/Remember me/So many homeys in the cemetery/I shed so many tears/I've suffered through the years and shed so many tears .../ **** the world cuz I'm cursed/I'm having visions of leaving here in a hearse.Thus spake Tupac Shakur, on his 1995 release "So Many Tears." This past Sept. 7, Shakur left the Mike Tyson bludgeoning of Bruce Seldon in Las Vegas and was driving with Death Row/Interscope executive Suge Knight when they stopped at a red light.
NEWS
By James Rainey and James Rainey,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 28, 2008
A Los Angeles Times article about a brutal 1994 attack on rap superstar Tupac Shakur was partially based on documents that appear to have been fabricated, the reporter and editor responsible for the article said Wednesday. Reporter Chuck Philips and his supervisor, Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, issued statements of apology Wednesday afternoon. The statements came after the Times took withering criticism for the Shakur article, which appeared on latimes.com last week and two days later in the newspaper.
NEWS
By James Rainey and James Rainey,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 28, 2008
A Los Angeles Times article about a brutal 1994 attack on rap superstar Tupac Shakur was partially based on documents that appear to have been fabricated, the reporter and editor responsible for the article said Wednesday. Reporter Chuck Philips and his supervisor, Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, issued statements of apology Wednesday afternoon. The statements came after the Times took withering criticism for the Shakur article, which appeared on latimes.com last week and two days later in the newspaper.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | September 21, 1996
Originally, gangsta rap was all about attitude. It was about acting tough and living large, playing off ghetto stereotypes to come on like the baddest mothers ever to walk into a recording studio.Sure, some gangsta rappers originally were gangbangers. Eric "Eazy-E" Wright admitted to having pimped and dealt drugs before turning to the music business, and Ice-T has alluded to even darker doings during his gang period. But gang life wasn't a part of their rap career; it was just an image, and an attractive one at that.
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By Special to the Los Angeles Times | October 19, 1994
The debate over the social impact of gangsta rap music moves to a Milwaukee courtroom today, when two Wisconsin minors will be charged with murder in the country's second case of rap allegedly inspiring the killing of a police officer.The case involves two teens who told authorities they plotted a Sept. 7 sniper attack on a police van "because of a Tupac Shakur record that talks about killing the police." The assault resulted in the shooting death of 31-year-old Milwaukee Police tTC Officer William A. Robertson.
NEWS
March 17, 1997
THE SLAYING of Christopher Wallace, the rap music star known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G., has record stores everywhere increasing orders for his new album. Mr. Wallace was killed by a drive-by gunman a week ago in Los Angeles. Given the similarity of his death to his song lyrics, it is expected that the new CD with the eerily prescient title, "Life after death," will eclipse his 1994 million-seller, "Ready to die."And that is the shame of it. Even as rap music fans lament the death of Mr. Wallace and plead for the violence associated with "gangsta rap" to end, it is clear that his death will, for a time, reinvigorate the genre's popularity.
NEWS
By Lisa Respers | March 16, 1997
MY LITTLE BROTHER wants to be a rapper.Lured by the promise of big money and adoring fans, my 22-year-old brother Gary has been exhaustively pursuing his dream of becoming a rap artist for the past two years. He spends hours locked in his room listening to compact discs and composing rhymes.His most precious possessions, a rhyming dictionary and a stack of hip-hop magazines, lie next to his bed. He works two jobs to help pay for studio time as he and a partner work on demo tapes to shop around to record labels.
NEWS
By James Bock and James Bock,SUN STAFF | March 19, 1997
In a new attempt to reach the hip-hop generation, the NAACP has scheduled a series of "Stop the Violence -- Start the Love" rallies in the wake of the slayings of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.The first of three rallies is to be held Friday in Brooklyn, N.Y., the home of rapper Smalls, whose real name was Christopher Wallace.Smalls, also known as Notorious B.I.G., was killed March 9 in a Los Angeles drive-by shooting.Subsequent rallies are scheduled for Los Angeles and Hollywood, Fla., the latter on April 4, the 29th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.The Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, NAACP youth director, called the slayings "the harvest of the violent culture that America has put together."
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By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | March 11, 2005
It was a bright moment in hip-hop, a day that undoubtedly will go down in a future chapter of the culture's history. Two of the genre's most visible and successful acts, 50 Cent and the Game, decided to stop acting out gangsta fantasies and squash the feud between them. After years of cartoonishly violent images pervading hip-hop, this truce is welcome relief. "I'm so proud of them," author Afeni Shakur, mother of celebrated rapper-actor Tupac Shakur, said in an interview. Since the still-unsolved 1996 murder of her son, who attended Baltimore's School for the Arts, Shakur has become an outspoken anti-violence activist.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Jurgensen and John Jurgensen,HARTFORD COURANT | December 12, 2004
Despite lingering rumors to the contrary, it's safe to say that Tupac Shakur is dead. So why does he keep putting out records? The rapper's latest posthumous release, Loyal to the Game, shows up in stores this week in time for the holidays. It's the seventh 2Pac record (not including greatest-hits and remix collections) to emerge since he was shot down in Las Vegas eight years ago. Shakur's output in death can be explained by how prolific he was in life. The man who helped canonize the West Coast gangsta sound committed loads of unreleased material to tape before his unsolved murder.
NEWS
By Sandy Alexander and Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF | September 26, 2004
Given the chance to reach more than 1,400 young people at the Baltimore Convention Center yesterday, organizers of the Youth Explosion 2004 leadership conference tried to impart as many positive messages as they could. Workshops focused on business skills, college preparation, spirituality, dating violence and hip-hop music. Speakers encouraged the almost completely African-American crowd to love, respect themselves, take care of and think for themselves. Keynote speaker Afeni Shakur, mother of slain rapper Tupac Shakur -- who attended the School for the Arts in Baltimore in the late '80s.
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By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | March 11, 2004
Reading the book is like eavesdropping on two close girlfriends. As they talk over greens, yams and fried chicken, you inhale the aromas. You hear laughter and sobs; you feel the warmth and love. Throughout Evolution of a Revolutionary, Afeni Shakur shares her history with Jasmine Guy. The memoir, written by the former star of the '90s TV series A Different World, traces the spiritual and political journey of the mother of slain rap superstar Tupac Shakur. On March 19, Afeni Shakur will discuss her book at the Baltimore School for the Arts, a significant stop on her national publicity tour.
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By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | November 13, 2003
In the mercurial world of pop, a young artist's tragic death intrigues us. We suddenly want to study every nuance of his art to figure out what made him so great. We evaluate (or magnify) various aspects of his life: his accomplishments, his relationships, what should have been, what could have been. Always thinking about that almighty dollar, record companies flood the market with collections of outtakes and remixes. Book publishers rush-release biographies and journals. Film studios search for scripts based on the life of ... Buddy Holly.
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By LOS ANGELES TIMES | September 7, 2002
Tupac Shakur, a product of New York and Baltimore streets who was once the world's most famous rap star, has been dead six years, and still his murder remains officially unsolved. But a yearlong investigation by the Los Angeles Times suggests Shakur was killed by members of a California gang, just hours after the rapper attacked one of their own, in a hit paid for by Shakur's rival, Notorious B.I.G. Investigators at the Times uncovered evidence that the shooting was carried out by a Compton, Calif.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 5, 1995
If nothing else, give Tabitha Soren credit for not beating around the bush in her new prime-time show, "The MTV Interview," which premieres at 10 tonight."
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By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | March 11, 2005
It was a bright moment in hip-hop, a day that undoubtedly will go down in a future chapter of the culture's history. Two of the genre's most visible and successful acts, 50 Cent and the Game, decided to stop acting out gangsta fantasies and squash the feud between them. After years of cartoonishly violent images pervading hip-hop, this truce is welcome relief. "I'm so proud of them," author Afeni Shakur, mother of celebrated rapper-actor Tupac Shakur, said in an interview. Since the still-unsolved 1996 murder of her son, who attended Baltimore's School for the Arts, Shakur has become an outspoken anti-violence activist.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Neil Strauss and Neil Strauss,NEW YORK TIMES | April 15, 2001
NEW YORK -- On a recent Monday afternoon, Adam Gassman, 14, stood amid a gaggle of teenybopper girls outside MTV's Times Square studios, as he does almost every day after school. While the schoolgirls begged producers to let them into the studio for the day's taping of "Total Request Live," Adam looked on dour-faced. In his hand was a large white sign with two words sloppily scrawled in thin black marker: "Tupac lives." At the same time in the East Village, at the New York Theater Workshop, tickets were on sale for "Up Against the Wind," a play about Tupac Shakur's life and 1996 death in a drive-by shooting.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | November 24, 1998
It's easy to be cynical about the ways in which an untimely demise can alter an artist's reputation. "Death is a great career move," is an old recording industry joke, but it's true -- many mediocre musicians have earned lasting fame merely by virtue of having died too young.Hip-hop has been particularly vulnerable to the gone-too-soon syndrome. After the violent and unexpected deaths of Tupac Shakur (after a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996) and Notorious B.I.G. (after a drive-by in Los Angeles the following year)
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