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“You said don’t go to war unless I got my money behind me. Aight, I got my money right here, now I want war.” — Tupac Shakur (1971-1996).
Those familiar with late rapper Tupac Shakur’s music will recognize the quote as being from his final song, “Against All Odds” on the album, “Makaveli: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.”
Throughout the years, Tupac has become known for more than just his music. He’s perhaps most synonymous with his prophetic final songs alluding to him being gunned down and killed.
His vision became a reality on the Las Vegas Strip on Sept. 6, 1996, when he was shot several times. He had just attended a boxing match at the MGM Grand. He died seven days later on Sept. 13.
To further fuel the rumors that the rapper staged his own murder, many of his albums were released posthumously.
It was known that he was facing financial and legal issues at the time of his death, thus giving him a motive to make an exit. Seventeen years after Tupac’s death, his 1996 effort — and rap’s first double album, “All Eyez On Me,” still reigns as the best-selling rap album of all time.
Following his release from prison in 1995, after an alleged sex abuse charge, all eyes were on Tupac.
“California Love,” Tupac’s first single from “All Eyez On Me” instantly became a club hit and rose to number one on the music charts with the help of then-Death Row Rapper/Producer Dr. Dre (Andre Young, formerly of NWA). Only two months after its release in April 1996, “All Eyez On Me” was certified five-times platinum.
The album as a whole was greatly composed with very few filler songs. Throughout the album’s entirety, Tupac effortlessly raps over the complementary beats in a way that is transcendent of his time.
Rhymes such as, “My adversaries cry like hoes/fully eradicate my foes/my lyrics explode on contact,” still remains some of the best that rap music, as a whole, has to offer.
In 1998, the album was certified nine-times Platinum, which is a feat for any musical artist. As of 2011, “All Eyez On Me” has sold 5,887,630 copies in the U.S with numbers still growing every day, proving it’s been nearly two decades since his death, Tupac’s music and message will continue to influence future generations long after his mic fell silent.