Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur's passing. It coincided with what would have been the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl, so I decided to put something up about Dahl yesterday and 2Pac today.
And there's a reason why. September 14th is the day I found out that he had died.
Back in 1996 when all this went down, I knew Pac had been shot in Las Vegas and was in intensive care but part of me didn't believe he would die from it. At that point, I had been a fan of his for two to three years and reminded myself of the time he survived a shooting in New York. He wasn't going to die.
Or so I thought.
On the day following his death, I was looking all over the city for a WWF Magazine that had sold out. I ended up in a different part of town on my own searching for this mag. As a last resort, I went to a petrol station on the hunt for the title and came across one of my good friends at the time who was on a lunch break. It was he who told me the news.
I was absolutely shocked. After returning home, I slipped a whole load of 2Pac tunes into the CD player.
At the time, All Eyez On Me was my favourite 2Pac album as it had just been released earlier in the year. It was given to me as a birthday present by my mother. Plus I was a huge fan of the Death Row Records label. It was his first album with the company.
When Pac passed away, he had just finished work on a new album that took seven days to put together. It was due for release in March of 1997, but was put out in November of 1996.
The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory became my overall favourite album from Shakur - or rather 'Makaveli' as he had named himself for this album.
The Makaveli name came from him reading Machiavelli's The Prince while in prison. The Italian philosopher struck a chord with 2Pac.
In the days following the release of the album, many people started claiming to have found clues within its content to try and make a case that Shakur wasn't really dead. One of Machiavelli's teachings included advice to feign death in order to overthrow an enemy. To be fair, the seventeen year old me did buy into the conspiracy. Now, twenty years on, I must admit, I don't feel that much of a fool. It made me enjoy the album more.
The album was successful and is at the top of many lists of great hip hop records. It's also near the top of many 'Greatest Posthumous Album Of All Time' rankings. That should indicate just how well it was, and maybe still is, received.
I'm sure I've written about it on here before. I probably closed by telling anyone who hasn't read it, and is into that kind of music, to seek it out. I'l do the same here.
Go find the Makaveli tunes and listen!