Tupac Amaru Shakur, better known as 2Pac, is one of the most iconic characters of hip hop culture. What he achieved in his short life, spanning only 25 years, and his untimely death in 1996 are still the subject of much interest and controversy. And this continues more than two decades later.
On the 13th of September 1996, the rapper was fatally wounded in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting. New York-based hip-hop artist Notorious B.I.G. was linked to the murder but he staunchly denied all accusations. B.I.G. himself was killed in March 1997 in Los Angeles in another drive-by. Both homicides remain officially unsolved to this day and have since become the centerpiece of the legend about the East Coast – West Coast rap conflict.
In the intervening two decades, rumors about Shakur actually being alive have never stopped re-surfacing. Similarly to Elvis and other celebrities from the past, some fans believe the hip-hopper who was fatally shot after attending the Mike Tyson vs Bruce Seldon heavyweight title match faked his own death and has been living abroad ever since.
The latest item attempting to give credence to such rumors has been shared by Rihanna, who posted a selfie of her and a man looking very alike Tupac Shakur reportedly taken in Cuba.
Now, an obscure documentary titled 2 Pac – Assassination III: Battle For Compton which came out in the fall of 2016 is claiming to have finally set the record straight.
One of its participants is Suge Knight, a former CEO of Death Row Records, the company who helped numerous hip-hop artists including Shakur and Dr. Dre reach international stardom. Knight, who was a professional football player before becoming a music executive is himself behind bars awaiting a separate murder trial. He was with Tupac the night he was killed and claims it was actually him who was the target that fateful day.
Documentary makers Richard Bond and Michael Douglas Carlin, claim to have a signed statement from Knight’s criminal attorney reaffirming the authenticity of all the claims put forward in the film.
2 Pac – Assassination III: Battle For Compton retraces the investigation into the death of the rapper who sold over 75 million records and probes the evidence for a possible cover-up.
A spokesperson for the film said: “not only did Knight confirm the events portrayed in Compton, which portray Knight was the intended target and Shakur as collateral damage, as true, but also goes on to allege that these 1996 events may have been the first in a history of attempts on Knight’s life.”
It remains to be seen whether this latest documentary in a series of films on the Tupac mystery sheds any new light on these mid-90s events, or will it prove to be simply a publicity stunt of a former NFL football player and record executive who has fallen on hard times.