The legendary 2Pac Shakur would have turned 50 today.
2Pac Shakur continues to influence hip-hop to this day, to the point where he remains an inspiring figure for young rappers. Even those unfamiliar with Pac's discography have come to appreciate his attitude and perspectives on life, art, and culture. A poetic and imposing figure who, prior to his death at twenty-five, recorded and released four studio albums -- including undeniable classics Me Against The World and All Eyes On Me.
Were he alive today, it's impossible to fathom how much hip-hop might have changed. Think about how many key events he would have impacted. Would Snoop Dogg have signed with No Limit? Would he have rolled with Death Row and Murder Ink against Shady-Aftermath, a feud in which his name and music were directly invoked? Some of his contemporaries of the time -- Snoop, Nas, Ghostface Killah -- have built up double-digit catalogs. Provided he didn't retire or commit further to film, it's fair to speculate that Pac would still be releasing music to this day.
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Seeing as today would have been a milestone occasion for the late rapper, we'd like to extend our thoughts, prayers, and birthday love to one of hip-hop's undeniable greats. Though it's entirely possible that casual newcomers to hip-hop will gloss over Pac's discography, opting to admire him from afar without doing due diligence, his impact is so great that anyone with a sincere passion for the culture will familiarize themselves without a second thought.
Happy birthday to the one and only 2Pac Shakur, one of the greatest to ever do it. May he rest in peace. What's your favorite 2Pac song, moment, or album?