Tupac Shakur is back in the headlines. Two weeks ago, the PBS website claimed the late rapper—who lived in Baltimore, for awhile, and attended School for the Arts—was spotted in New Zealand. The report, which looked legit, lit up the blogosphere and brought to mind Elvis sightings of yore. As it turned out, the PBS site had been hacked, and the report was false. Shakur was, of course, shot and killed in Las Vegas in 1996.
Now, there’s a report circulating that some knucklehead claims to have shot Shakur in 1994. That shooting didn’t kill Shakur, but, according to many observers, it did set off a chain of events that led to his murder, which has never been solved.
Today would have been Shakur’s 40th birthday.
At some point, it would be great if the city better acknowledged its ties to Shakur. He is, after all, an American icon, and even though he sometimes spoke disparagingly of Baltimore, the city helped shape him (for better, not worse). He won a Pratt Library writing contest and befriended Jada Pinkett at School for the Arts, where he developed an interest in theater and ballet.
Maybe somebody should look into turning the house where he lived (on Greenmount Avenue, right?) into some sort of museum.