Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

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Remembering Tupac Shakur 15 years later

September 13, 2011 | 12:02 pm

Fifteen years ago today, prolific rapper Tupac Shakur died at age 25 due to complications after a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.

His slaying, like that of peer Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G.), remains unsolved. Over the last 15 years, theories about who gunned down the two have been debated by everyone from law enforcement and scholars to journalists and fans.

The circumstances of Shakur's death notwithstanding, there isn't much to pen about his life, his many troubles with the law or his indelible sonic contributions to rap that hasn't already been written. A robust posthumous catalog has cemented Shakur's musical legacy and continued to inspire new generations of rappers who hold his "thug life" brand of wayward teaching close to their chests as they hope to glean an ounce of Shakur's swag.

A great number of his fans and theorists hold on to the hope that Shakur has been among us all along  and that he will one day rise again. We here at Pop & Hiss know his music is at least ever present, and while there are plenty of hits to choose from to remember Shakur on this day, here are a few favorites:

"Keep Ya Head Up"

"How Do U Want It"

"I Get Around"

"Dear Mama"


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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy


Photo: Tupac Shakur in the documentary movie "Tupac: Resurrection." Photo by Albert Watson /Courtesy Paramount Pictures.