2Pac Amaru Shakur still lives in the hearts of his numerous fans, 21 years after his brutal murder on the Las Vegas strip.
Wednesday marks his 21st death anniversary, a celebration of the African-American music icon who struggled against hardship and injustice until he shot to limelight but was shot dead on 13 September, 1996.
The hip-hop legend often rapped about themes of death in songs such as “How Long Will They Mourn Me?”, “God Bless the Dead” and “To Live and Die in L.A.”
In an eerie example of life imitating art, the music video Shakur did for “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,” which was completed just weeks before his death, shows him being gunned down and rapping from heaven.
After attending a Mike Tyson/Bruce Seldon title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas 0n September 7, 1996, Tupac and Suge Knight, the founder of Death Row Records, started driving to a party at Club 662 around 11:15 p.m.
While they were stopped at a red light, someone in a white Cadillac pulled up next to their black BMW and fired 14 shots at them.
Four bullets hit Shakur, who was in the passenger’s seat. One bullet punctured his right lung; he lost consciousness at the scene and never woke again.
Six days later, on Friday, September 13, 1996, his mother, Afeni Shakur, made the painful decision to take him off the life support system in the intensive care unit of the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. He was only 25 years old.
His murder has yet to be solved. A recent statement from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reads, “The case is still open and under investigation. At this time, we have no additional updates to provide.”
As popular and controversial a figure he was in life, he has become even more so after his death. In fact, at this point, Shakur has sold more music posthumously than he did when he was alive.
Lack of official facts has only fueled the numerous rumors and rampant speculation surrounding Shakur and deepened his mystique.