Sept. 13 marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of Tupac Shakur, one of the most iconic yet complex rap stars to ever grace the earth. He sold over 75 million records throughout his career, was arrested six times and miraculously survived after he was shot five times. Tupac was a force to be reckoned with. The world-renowned rapper-actor-activist’s lyrics, poetry and cautionary tales have dominated the entertainment industry for the past two decades following his death in 1996. While 20 years later, fans still yearn for answers for the mysterious circumstances that lead to ‘Pac’s death six days after being gunned down in Las Vegas, his legacy forever lives on, growing each day.
Over the past two decades, XXL has been one of the premiere outlets to uncover the stories that linger around Tupac Shakur’s legacy. Tupac has covered many XXL issues throughout the brand’s existence. In October of 2003, Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s beloved mother, who passed away at 69 in May of 2016, gave us an exclusive tour of her North Carolina ranch, where ‘Pac’s ashes lay. In 2011, Bill Garland, ‘Pac’s biological father whom the rapper first met at 23, also sat down for an interview to rehash the trials and tribulations of the fallen icon.
Even though XXL wasn’t established yet when Tupac passed, our publication and web site has documented ‘Pac’s life with countless stories and interviews throughout the past 20 years. In honor of the 20th anniversary of his death, we’ve created a special hub to reflect on it all. With his name meaning “Warrior, Messenger,” it’s unlikely that Tupac Shakur’s spirit will ever die. — Miranda Johnson