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Who Was Tupac Shakur?

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Tupac Shakur was an American rapper and actor who came to embody the 1990s gangsta-rap aesthetic, and who in death became an icon symbolizing noble struggle. He has sold 75 million albums to date, making him one of the top-selling artists of all time.

A sensitive, precociously talented and troubled soul, Tupac was gunned down in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996 and died six days later. His murder has never been solved.

Tupac began his music career as a rebel with a cause to articulate the travails and injustices endured by many African Americans. His skill in doing so made him a spokesperson not just for his own generation but for subsequent ones who continue to face the same struggle for equality.

In life, his biggest battle was sometimes with himself. As fate drove him towards the nihilism of gangsta rap, and into the arms of the controversial Death Row Records impresario Suge Knight the boundaries between Shakur’s art and his life became increasingly blurred — with tragic consequences. 

Early Life

Tupac was born on June 16, 1971, in Harlem, New York. His mother, Afeni, was raising two children on her own and struggled for money. The family moved homes often, sometimes staying in shelters.

They moved to Baltimore, where Tupac enrolled at the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts, at which he felt “the freest I ever felt.

Tupac’s Mom, Father and Sister

Tupac was named Lesane Parish Crooks at birth. After joining the Black Panther party, his mother changed his first name to Tupac Amaru, a Peruvian revolutionary who was killed by the Spanish. Tupac later took his surname from his sister’s Sekiya’s father, another Panther called Mutulu Shakur.

Tupac’s mother, Alice Faye Williams, was the daughter of a North Carolina maid and a high-school dropout. She became pregnant with Tupac in 1970 while on bail after being charged with conspiring to set off a race war. Afeni was acquitted the following year after successfully defending herself in court, displaying a gift for oration that her son would inherit.

She changed her name to Afeni Shakur after becoming actively involved with the Black Panther Party. Afeni died in May 2016 at the age of 69.

Tupac’s father, Billy Garland, was also a Panther but lost contact with Afeni when Tupac was five years old. The rapper would not see his father again until he was 23. “I thought my father was dead all my life,” he told the writer Kevin Powell during an interview with Vibe magazine in 1996. “I felt I needed a daddy to show me the ropes and I didn’t have one.”

Afeni gave birth to a daughter, Sekiya, two years after Tupac. However, Sekiya’s father, Mutulu Shakur, did not stick around, either.

Move to California and Rise to Fame

Tupac’s Baltimore neighborhood was riven by crime, so the family moved to Marin City, California. It turned out to be a “mean little ghetto,” according to Robert Sam Anison’s comprehensive posthumous feature on Tupac for Vanity Fair in 1997. It was in Marin City that Afeni succumbed to crack addiction — a drug her son, Tupac, would sell on the same streets where his mother bought her supply.

By the time they met, Tupac was obsessively writing poetry and convinced Steinberg, who had no music industry experience, to become his manager.

Steinberg was eventually able to get Tupac in front of music manager Atron Gregory, who secured a gig for him in 1990 as a roadie and dancer for the hip hop group Digital Underground. He soon stepped up to the mic, making his recording debut in 1991 on Same Song, which soundtracked the Dan Aykroyd comedy Nothing but Trouble. Tupac also appeared on Digital Underground’s album Sons of the P in October that year.

After the band’s manager, Gregory, took over from Steinberg, he landed Tupac a deal with Interscope Records. A month after Sons of the P hit the stores came 2Pacalypse Now, Tupac’s debut album as a solo artist.

Legal Drama and Serving Jail Time

In August 1992, Tupac was attacked by jealous youths in Marin City. He drew his pistol but dropped it in the melee. Someone picked it up, the gun fired, and a 6-year-old bystander, Qa’id Walker-Teal, fell down dead.

While Tupac was not charged for Walker-Teal’s death, he was reportedly inconsolable. (In 1995, Walker-Teal’s family brought a civil case against Tupac, but settled out of court after an unnamed record company — thought to have been Death Row — offered compensation of between $300,000 to $500,000.)

Tupac Shakur was embroiled in a feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers and was murdered in a drive-by shooting in 1996, leaving behind an influential musical legacy at the age of 25.

Who Was Tupac Shakur?

Tupac Shakur was an American rapper and actor who came to embody the 1990s gangsta-rap aesthetic, and who in death became an icon symbolizing noble struggle. He has sold 75 million albums to date, making him one of the top-selling artists of all time.

A sensitive, precociously talented and troubled soul, Tupac was gunned down in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996 and died six days later. His murder has never been solved.

Tupac began his music career as a rebel with a cause to articulate the travails and injustices endured by many African Americans. His skill in doing so made him a spokesperson not just for his own generation but for subsequent ones who continue to face the same struggle for equality.

In life, his biggest battle was sometimes with himself. As fate drove him towards the nihilism of gangsta rap, and into the arms of the controversial Death Row Records impresario Suge Knight the boundaries between Shakur’s art and his life became increasingly blurred — with tragic consequences. 

Early Life

Tupac was born on June 16, 1971, in Harlem, New York. His mother, Afeni, was raising two children on her own and struggled for money. The family moved homes often, sometimes staying in shelters.

They moved to Baltimore, where Tupac enrolled at the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts, at which he felt “the freest I ever felt.”https://www.biography.com/player/13042755789?autoplay=true

Tupac’s Mom, Father and Sister

Tupac was named Lesane Parish Crooks at birth. After joining the Black Panther party, his mother changed his first name to Tupac Amaru, a Peruvian revolutionary who was killed by the Spanish. Tupac later took his surname from his sister’s Sekiya’s father, another Panther called Mutulu Shakur.

Tupac’s mother, Alice Faye Williams, was the daughter of a North Carolina maid and a high-school dropout. She became pregnant with Tupac in 1970 while on bail after being charged with conspiring to set off a race war. Afeni was acquitted the following year after successfully defending herself in court, displaying a gift for oration that her son would inherit.

She changed her name to Afeni Shakur after becoming actively involved with the Black Panther Party. Afeni died in May 2016 at the age of 69.

Tupac’s father, Billy Garland, was also a Panther but lost contact with Afeni when Tupac was five years old. The rapper would not see his father again until he was 23. “I thought my father was dead all my life,” he told the writer Kevin Powell during an interview with Vibe magazine in 1996. “I felt I needed a daddy to show me the ropes and I didn’t have one.”

Afeni gave birth to a daughter, Sekiya, two years after Tupac. However, Sekiya’s father, Mutulu Shakur, did not stick around, either.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac’s Friendship

Tupac met actress Jada Pinket -Smith in high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts in Maryland. She had a cameo in his music video for ‘Strictly 4 My Niggaz.’

Pinkett-Smith was featured in the 2017 movie on Tupac All Eyez on Me. She later told reporters that she was a drug dealer when she met Tupac and that she found the “reimagining” of their relationship in the film “very hurtful.”

“It wasn’t just about, oh, you have this cute girl, and this cool guy, they must have been in this — nah, it wasn’t that at all. It was about survival, and it had always been about survival between us,” she said.

Move to California and Rise to Fame

Tupac’s Baltimore neighborhood was riven by crime, so the family moved to Marin City, California. It turned out to be a “mean little ghetto,” according to Robert Sam Anison’s comprehensive posthumous feature on Tupac for Vanity Fair in 1997. It was in Marin City that Afeni succumbed to crack addiction — a drug her son, Tupac, would sell on the same streets where his mother bought her supply.

Tupac’s love for hip hop would steer him away from a life of crime (for a while, at least). At 17, in the spring of 1989, he met an older white woman, Leila Steinberg, in a park. They struck up a conversation about Winnie Mandela. Steinberg would later recall “a young man with fan-like eyelashes, overflowing charisma, and the most infectious laugh.”

By the time they met, Tupac was obsessively writing poetry and convinced Steinberg, who had no music-industry experience, to become his manager.

Steinberg was eventually able to get Tupac in front of music manager Atron Gregory, who secured a gig for him in 1990 as a roadie and dancer for the hip hop group Digital Underground. He soon stepped up to the mic, making his recording debut in 1991 on Same Song, which soundtracked the Dan Aykroyd comedy Nothing but Trouble. Tupac also appeared on Digital Underground’s album Sons of the P in October that year.

After the band’s manager, Gregory, took over from Steinberg, he landed Tupac a deal with Interscope Records. A month after Sons of the P hit the stores came 2Pacalypse Now, Tupac’s debut album as a solo artist.

Tupac often complained that he was misunderstood. “Everything in life is not all beautiful,” he told journalist Chuck Phillips. “There is lots of killing and drugs. To me a perfect album talks about the hard stuff and the fun and caring stuff. … The thing that bothers me is that it seems like a lot of the sensitive stuff I write just goes unnoticed.”

Tupac Shakur Young Photo

Legal Drama and Serving Jail Time

In August 1992, Tupac was attacked by jealous youths in Marin City. He drew his pistol but dropped it in the melee. Someone picked it up, the gun fired, and a 6-year-old bystander, Qa’id Walker-Teal, fell down dead.

While Tupac was not charged for Walker-Teal’s death, he was reportedly inconsolable. (In 1995, Walker-Teal’s family brought a civil case against Tupac, but settled out of court after an unnamed record company — thought to have been Death Row — offered compensation of between $300,000 to $500,000.)

In October 1993, Tupac shot and wounded two white off-duty cops in Atlanta — one in the abdomen and one in the buttocks — after an altercation. However, the charges were dropped after it emerged in court that the policemen had been drinking, had initiated the incident and that one of the officers had threatened Tupac with a stolen gun.

The case illustrated the misrepresentation of African American males, and the attitude of some police toward them, which Tupac had been talking about in his music. What was portrayed as gun-toting “gangster” behavior by a lawless individual turned out to be an act of self-defense by a young man in fear of his life. All the while, Tupac’s star continued to rise.

Tupac did go to jail for 15 days in 1994 for assaulting the director Allen Hughes, who had fired him from the set of the movie Menace II Society for being disruptive.

Joining Death Row Records

While Tupac was in prison on rape charges, he was visited by Suge Knight, the notorious label boss of Death Row records. Knight offered to post the $1.3 million dollar bail Tupac needed to be released pending his appeal. The condition was that Tupac sign on to Death Row. Tupac duly signed. He was released from the high-security Dannemora facility in New York in October 1995.

At the same time as he was glorifying an outlaw lifestyle for Death Row, Tupac was financing an at-risk youth center, bankrolling South Central sports teams, setting up a telephone helpline for young people with problems — all noted in Robert Sam Anson’s Vanity Fair article, published after Tupac’s death.

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Who has Kim Kardashian dated before Kanye West?

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 Kim Kardashian‘s personal life has been in the spotlight for decades, no matter who she’s dated or married.

Kim Kardashian is reportedly dating Pete Davidson, after filing for divorce from Kanye West after six years of marriage.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has had quite the ride down relationship road, and we’re taking you on a trip back to where it all started.

1. Damon Thomas

2000 to 2003, 19-year-old Kim married music producer Damon Thomas, who was ten years her senior.

She has since revealed she was high on ecstasy during the ceremony.

Thomas filed for divorce four years later, with Kardashian later blaming their split on his alleged abusive behaviour, which Thomas denied.

2. Ray J

Kim dated R&B singer Ray J, Brandy Norwood’s younger brother, from 2003 to 2006, as her divorce from Damon Thomas was being finalised.

A year after their split, a sex tape of Kim and Ray J titled Kim Kardashian Superstar leaked online, which catapulted Kim into the limelight.

They were together for about three years, which were “highlighted” by a sex tape that was leaked and released by Vivid Entertainment.

Kim denied any involvement with the tape’s distribution. She sued and settled with Vivid Entertainment, who reportedly paid millions for the footage, for $5 million.

That same year, Kim and her family – sisters Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie, brother Rob, mother Kris and stepfather Bruce, now Caitlyn – began starring in their era-defining E!

3. Nick Cannon

After her three-year relationship with Ray J broke down, Kim began dating rapper and television host Nick Cannon in late 2006.

They split in January 2007, one month before Kim’s infamous sex tape with Ray J leaked. Years after their split, Cannon explained how their relationship broke down after she lied to him about the existence of the tape.

4. Reggie Bush

Kim dated NFL player Reggie Bush from 2007 to 2010, her first relationship documented on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

The couple briefly split in 2009, but later reconciled before finally breaking up a year later.

 There was scuttlebutt about the two reuniting, and apparently, up until her August 2011 wedding to Kris Humphries

5. Kris Humphries

In October 2010, Kim began dating NBA player Kris Humphries, who was playing for the New Jersey Jets at the time. Seven months later, the pair were engaged.

Their whirlwind wedding was the centre of a two-part television special and reportedly cost around $10 million.

She later explained that she felt pressured to marry Humphries , Kardashian added, “I knew on the honeymoon it wasn’t going to work out.”

However, after just 72 days of marriage, Kim filed for divorce from Humphries, citing irreconcilable differences , which was finalised in 2013.

6. Kanye West

In 2012, Kim began dating longtime friend Kanye West while still legally married to NBA player Kris Humphries, and the rest is history.

A year later, West proposed to Kim inside a baseball stadium in San Francisco, and the pair married at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy in 2014.

Kim and Kanye have four children; daughter North (born June 15, 2013), son Saint (born December 5, 2015), daughter Chicago (born January 15, 2018), and son Psalm (born May 9, 2019).

They share a mansion in Calabasas, California worth around $60 million, as well as various other properties including West’s $14 million ranch in Wyoming.

Kardashian officially filed for divorce from West in February 2021 after 6 years of marriage and a judge declared her legally single in March 2022.

7. Pete Davidson

While West admitted he still wanted to be with “wife” Kardashian despite their split, the makeup mogul was wooed by comedian Pete Davidson following her “SNL” hosting gig in October 2021.

They were later spotted holding hands on a rollercoaster at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.

By November, she was seen in his native Staten Island, where they enjoyed back-to-back dinners.

It was  confirmed on Nov. 18 that Davidson and Kardashian are officially a couple and are still together till date .

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Sauti Sol loses 2K YouTube subscribers over Azimio la Umoja drama

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Award-winning Kenyan Boy band Sauti Sol have continued to lose YouTube subscribers since threatening to take legal action against Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party over claims of using their song without permission.

By Tuesday night, Sauti Sol had 905,000 YouTube subscribers but were at 903,000 subscribers on Wednesday morning.

On Monday, May 16, 2022 Sauti Sol threatened to sue Azimio for using their song Extravaganza during an event that saw the Alliance unveil Martha Karua as Raila Odinga’s running.

The group pointed out that the act of Azimio using their tune without consent is blatant copyright infringement as directed by Section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya.

However, Raila Odinga through his party – the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) – argued that playing the song was show of love to the music group.

ODM’s statement elicited mixed reactions with everyone picking sides and some chose to understand what the law says about copyright infringement. However, Sauti stood firm and said they will always fight for their rights.

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“Y’all are crazy. I’m reading comments on Twitter. Our education system is failing us. Too many ignorant keyboard warriors. The same guys stealing from us will steal from you,” wrote Bien.

Bien added that they will never back down from doing what is right saying, ‘intellectual property will and should be respected.

On Wednesday, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO Ezekiel Mutua issued a statement explaining that Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition party is free to use Sauti Sol and other artiste’s sound recording during their political events.

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Sauti Sol Threatens to Sue Azimio Coalition Over Copyright Infringement

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Award-winning Kenyan band Sauti Sol has threatened to sue Raila Odinga and the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance for copyright infringement.

Through a statement, Sauti Sol said that the act of Azimio using their song ‘Extravaganza’ without their consent is blatant copyright infringement as directed by section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya.

“It has come to our attention that the Azimio la Umoja campaign through its flagbearer and presidential candidate, the Right Hon.

former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) have without license nor authority used one of our more popular original compositions, “Extravaganza,” as a soundtrack to the announcement post of the running mate,” their statement read in part.

“We did not license this song to the Azimio la Umoja Campaign neither did we give any consents for its use in the announcement of their Vice-Presidential Candidate”

They accused the Raila Odinga-led coalition of using one of their songs as a soundtrack during the unveiling of Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua as the coalition’s running mate.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has answered Sauti Sol after the band threatened to sue Azimio la Umoja for outright disregarding the country’s copyright laws.

“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team, Sauti Sol, that we love them & appreciate their music so much.

The group has carried our country’s flag so high in international fora and every Kenyan appreciates this. Playing their song yesterday was a show of love for their work,” ODM stated

Trending top in the country, netizens have rallied and called out the Extravaganza hitmakers for chasing clout and having double standards.

They were shortly after trolled with netizens pointing out that the Raila-led team had already paid for copyright and got the greenlight from MCSK to play music for campaigns.

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Notably, earlier this month, Winnie Odinga, Raila’s representative had paid Sh526,000 to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) to play local/international music during the presidential campaigns. This was confirmed by Senior Licensing Officer David Kiragu.

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