Tupac Shakur was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in La Vegas, Nevada on September 7, 1996, but over 20 years on, some still believe the rapper to be alive and well.
Call them eternal optimists or simply conspiracy theorists, but the enduring appeal of Tupac; rapper, actor, poet, and activist has seen an Elvis-like cult of followers emerge over the years with claims concerning his demise and potential escape.
With new movie, All Eyez On Me shedding light on Tupac life and career loaded thought it was the perfect time to revisit some of the biggest conspiracy theories concerning Tupac’s possible fate.
Tupac Faked His Own Death
Some fans claim Tupac actually faked his death after growing tired of the constant press and fan intrusion into his private life.
Believers point to a plethora of evidence, including his stage name Makaveli, which was inspired by Italian historian and philosopher Machiavelli, who was famous for advocating the theory of faking your death in order to hide from your enemies.
The 1996 album The Don Killuminati is supposed to back the theory up – the cover features the words: “Exit 2Pac, Enter Makaveli,” – the name Makaveli is also an anagram for Am Alive K.
There is photographic evidence too. The famous picture of Tupac sat in a car alongside producer in Suge Knight just prior to his fatal shooting is time stamped the day after the attack actually happened.
He’s also supposedly been spotted at rallies with celebrities like 50 Cent and Beyonce while a photo of the rapper alongside Rihanna has also emerged – she would have been eight when he died.
Tupac Left Clues In His Lyrics
In the wake of Tupac’s death, fans examined pretty much every song he’s ever written for potential clues to his fate and found some interesting clues.
On Richie Rich’s N***** Done Change Tupac rapped: “I’ve been shot and murdered, can’t tell you how it happened word for word but best believe that n*****’ gonna get what they deserve.”
On another track Tupac is heard to say: “all for the street fame on how to be managed, to plan s***, 6 months in advance to what we plotted, approved to go on swole and now I got it.”
Arguably the most compelling clue comes on Aint’ Hard 2 Find and the lyics:
“I heard rumors that I died murdered in cold blood, traumatized pictures of me in my final states — you know mama cried. But that was fiction, some coward got the story twisted.”
Tupac’s Ashes Disappeared
Tupac Shakur was supposedly cremated on September 14 – the day after he died – in a ceremony that Suge Knight claims cost $3 million.
But there are some strange anomalies concerning Shakur’s ashes. For starters, the guy who is meant to have cremated his remains pretty much disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Then there is the whole debacle involving The Outlawz. The hip hop group, founded by Tupac, initially claimed to have smoked his ashes with cannabis.
However, in 2014 band member E.D.I Mean reveaked the ashes weren’t actually Tupac’s. So where are the ashes?
Tupac Is Hiding In Cuba
There have been several supposed sightings of Tupac alive and well in Cuba.
Arguably the most famous centres on a video from 2004 showing Suge Knight talking to a man that looks a whole lot like Tupac. The clip’s detractors are quick to point out the man has none of Tupac’s tattoos.
However, it’s worth noting that Tupac’s aunt, Assata Shakur lives in Cuba. A staunch figure in the Black Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Assata sought political asylum in Cuba in the 1980s after escaping prison in the 1980s following a murder conviction.
It would, therefore, make sense for Tupac to reach out to here for sanctuary.
The Whole Things Is An FBI Plot
Author John Potash first floated the idea of an FBI conspiracy in the book The FBI War On Tupac And Black Leaders, which was released in January 2008.
It hypothesized that the FBI were behind the killing of not only Tupac but also rival Biggie Smalls. Potash spent 12 years writing to book, before coming to the conclusion the pair were killed to put an end to violent rap culture.
Potash told All Hip Hop: “He [Tupac] had very close relationships with his extended Black Panther Party family, who acted as his mentors, not to mention that he was trying to do more positive things. [The government] orchestrated his assassination.”
Biggie Smalls was behind it all
The infamous feud between the two rappers supposedly prompted the Notorious B.I.G. to take action. According to an anonymous source who spoke to LA Times reporter Chuck Philips, Biggie Smalls offers members of the Crips $1 million to kill Tupac.
It’s worth noting that the story, published in 2008, was latter retracted by Philips due to the inclusion of falsified FBI reports. Even so, some still believe Biggie was involved.
Suge Knight was the mastermind
“Tupac Shakur was becoming a very outstanding actor. And it came to Suge Knight’s attention that Tupac was going to leave Death Row Records – and the evidence shows you just don’t leave Death Row Records and get away with it.”
The words of LAPD Detective Russell Poole, who blew the lid off years of collusion between the LAPD and death row. There were cover-ups, acts of brutality and any number of scandals, which were chronicled in the book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan.
The book claims Shakur was looking to launch his own label, meaning Knight would have made no money from Tupac’s new recordings.
As for the shooting itself, Labyrinth author Sullivan points to the odd trajectory of the shots fired:
“If you look at the police report, the shooter’s car pulled up and shot at an angle that could really only hit Tupac. No shot really came close to hitting Suge.”
All Eyez On Me is in cinemas now.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.