One of the most iconic faces and lyricists in hip hop, rapper Tupac Shakur died on Sept. 13, 1996, of gunshot wounds in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A drive-by shooting led to the 25-year-old’s still-unsolved murder, but the story of the rapper’s death stems back two years earlier.
Shakur was shot and seriously injured in November 1994 during an armed robbery in a Manhattan recording studio while he was working on his third album, Me Against the World. Deciding that New York City producer Sean “Diddy” Combs and rival rapper Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G” Wallace were behind the attack, Shakur’s allegations contributed to the East Coast vs. West Coast feud that defined the world of hip hop in the mid-1990s.
Two years later, on Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur and members of his entourage were involved in a small fight in the lobby of the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, where they had traveled for the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon boxing match.
Several hours later, as Shakur and the head of Death Row Records, Marian “Suge” Knight, were riding to the Death Row-owned Club 662 when a white Cadillac pulled up alongside them at a stop light on Flamingo Road and fired gunshots at the vehicle.
Four shots struck Shakur, while one shot grazed Knight's head. The rapper was rushed to the University Medical Center where emergency surgery managed to save his life. Doctors announced that the rapper’s chances of recovery had improved in the following days, yet Shakur ultimately died of internal bleeding.
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(Photo: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)