He was born Lesane Parish Crooks in Brooklyn, New York. His parents, were active members of the Black Panther Party in New York and the following year little Lesane was renamed by the political organization Tupac Shakur. "Tupac" came from the 18th-century Peruvian revolutionary Túpac Amaru II, whose name meant Shining Serpent. Túpac Amaru II led the largest rebellion in Spanish Colonial history. Though the indigenous uprising was unsuccessful and he was executed as a consequence, the revolutionary became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence, as well as an inspiration to causes in Spanish America and beyond. His last name Shakur means "Thankful," in Arabic.
Tupac was not involved in rap until he moved to Baltimore, Maryland were he attended The Baltimore School For Performing Arts. There he took the name MC New York.
Tupac started writing poems and began writing lyrics. He quit school in 1988 when he moved to Marin City, California near the Oakland area. There Tupac learned about street life and began to sell drugs. In Marin City, he joined a gang and became friends with Shock G, a leading underground rapper. In November of 1991, Tupac released his first album 2Pacalypse.
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