Entries in Tupac Shakur (2)


Tupac Biographer Reflects on 15th Anniversary of Icon’s Death

Ron Galella/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Kevin Powell still remembers being in the Las Vegas hospital where Tupac Shakur died 15 years ago Tuesday.

“Given that he had survived the first shooting in 1994, a lot of us just believed it wasn’t that bad.  When we got the word he passed, we convened at the hospital,” Powell said.  “It was sad. It seems like yesterday. It was the beginning of the end of what we call the golden era of hip hop.”

Powell  is writing a biography of Shakur with the blessing of Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mother.

“He’s more relevant than ever not just here in America, but all over the globe,” Powell said.  “He really is the most significant icon that hip hop has ever produced. Like a John Lennon or a Bob Marley or an Elvis Presley, it’s the same type of cultural impact.”

Facebook and Twitter have been buzzing with posts commemorating the slain rapper.  Shakur, 25, died six days after being gunned down in Las Vegas.

The man who once rapped about never seeing a black president in his lifetime and snubbed his nose at authority would be 40 years old today if he was still alive.  His reach is so broad in death that his music has been part of the pope’s official playlist and he’s sold millions in posthumous record releases.

Shakur, while prolific in the recording studio, also made headlines for his arrests, drug use and the infamous battle between East Coast and West Coast rappers in the early 1990s.

Powell debunked the rumors that have surged over the last 15 years that Shakur is alive and in hiding.

“I’ve stayed at Afeni Shakur’s property in North Carolina and Pac is dead,” he said.  “The reality is he’s gone, he’s never coming back and I think he the lessons I take from Tupac is that in 25 short years, he did more than some people would do in a 100 years.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Inmate Confesses to 1994 Robbery of Tupac Shakur

Ron Galella/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- A convicted murderer serving a life sentence in a Brooklyn, N.Y., prison claims he robbed Tupac Shakur in a 1994 incident where the late rapper was shot five times, insisting that a hip hop mogul hired him for the job.

Dexter Isaac is listed as the author of a confessional letter to in which he claims that he was hired by entertainment mogul James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond to carry out the November 1994 robbery in front of New York's Quad Studio. Isaac is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated crime.

During the robbery, Tupac was shot, but Isaac didn't indicate who actually pulled the trigger.

"He gave me $2,500, plus all the jewelry I took, except for one ring, which he wanted for himself. It was the biggest of the two diamond rings that we took. He said he wanted to put the stone in a new setting for his girlfriend at the time, Cynthia Ried. I still have as proof the chain that we took that night in the robbery," Isaac wrote in the statement.

Isaac's allegations against Rosemond -- who manages the careers of Mike Tyson and Sean Kingston through his Czar Entertainment -- come after Rosemond accused him of being a government informant.

Claiming that he has kept Rosemond's secret for years, Isaac accuses Rosemond of being the actual informant, stating that he has documents proving that Rosemond aided the government to arrest his friends in order to keep himself out of prison.

In the letter, Isaac also insinuates that he has further information regarding Shakur's unsolved 1996 murder and the death or rapper Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G., in 1997. He also implies that Sean "P Diddy" Combs is in cahoots with Rosemond in some capacity.

"Now I'm not going to talk about my friend Biggie's death or 2Pac's death, but I would like to give their mothers some closure," it reads. "It's about time that some one did, and I will do so at a different time," Isaac says in the letter. "Jimmy, you and Puffy like to come off all innocent-like, but as the saying goes: You can't fool some of the people of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."

The 1994 robbery and shooting – in which Shakur was shot five times, twice in the head -- is widely cited as an instigating event in the long-running rivalry between Shakur and Wallace throughout the mid- 1990s. Shakur recovered from the 1994 shooting.

In an interview with Vibe magazine in April of 1995, Shakur stated that he believed that Uptown Records' founder Andre Harrell, Sean Combs, and Wallace -- who were all inside the Quad Studio building at the time -- had prior knowledge of the robbery.

Rosemond's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, said Isaac's confession is merely a ploy to get out of a life sentence for a crime unrelated to the Tupac incident.

"All of a sudden, 17 years later, he's not looking to clear his conscience," Lichtman told ABC News. "He's looking to get out of a life sentence for a murder he committed that has nothing to do with this."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio