Vintage 2Pac Memorial T-shirt, Tupac Amaru Shakur, better known by his stage name 2Pac. He is widely considered one of the most influential rappers of all time. Much of Shakur's music 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.