22 years ago Tupac Shakur was slain in a Las Vegas drive by shooting… or was he?
On September 7th 1996 2Pac was taken to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada after being shot four times. The gunshots were the result of a drive by shooting that took place on the corner of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane when a white Cadillac pulled up alongside his and Death Row Records founder Suge Knight’s car and opened fire.
He died six days later on September 13th. To this day the killer has still never been apprehended.
In what went on to become one of the most talked about conspiracy theories in pop culture history, many believe that 2Pac wasn’t actually killed and instead faked his own death.
I used to be one of those people – or at least I thought I was. Turns out I didn’t really believe it, I was just a 16-year-old grieving fan who didn’t want to believe that the artist whose music changed his life was gone. I even went on the Big Breakfast 19 years ago to talk about it…
Now let me be clear. My views and opinions on the subject have changed. The reality of the situation is that 2Pac is no longer of this earth in the physical form. He’s gone. He died on September 13th 1996 and I cried for weeks. It’s something that still rocks me to my core to this day.
However, there are still conspiracy theorists out there who believe, and will forever believe, that Tupac Amaru Shakur (formerly Lesane Parish Crooks) is alive.
There are even those with a direct connection to 2Pac who say the rapper isn’t dead. Just this week, Suge J Knight, son of Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight, spoke out on 2Pac and claimed the former Death Row rapper was still alive and well and living in Malaysia.
So why is 2Pac definitely still alive according to conspiracy theorists?
We thought we’d give you 10 reasons…
Towards the end of his career 2Pac performed under the alias Makaveli – this was the name he went by when he released the last album of his career whilst alive, 1996’s The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.
The inspiration for the name came from political playwright, politician and Italian war strategist Niccolò Machiavelli, whose books The Prince and The Art of War (not to be confused with Sun Tzu’s book of the same name) were reading material for 2Pac while incarcerated prior to signing to Death Row Records.
One of Machiavelli’s ideas on how to “fool” your enemies was to fake your own death and come back when they least expected it. “A prince who wishes to achieve great things must learn to deceive,” he wrote.
That’s not all though, if you rearrange the letters in the name Makaveli it can spell “Am Alive K,” or, “Mak Alive.”
On the cover of the album it displays the words “Exit 2Pac, Enter Makaveli”. The artwork featured 2Pac as Jesus Christ – who we know, supposedly came back to life after seven days – so was he trying to tell us something?
The album also inspired another train of thought relating to 2Pac’s death.
In the opening seconds of the very first track, “Bomb First (My Second Reply)”, you can hear someone clearly say the words, “Suge shot me.” Why is that in there? Is it a message? Did ‘Pac put it in there to let people know that it was Suge Knight who set him up and he had to fake his own death to get away from the dangerous Death Row Records head honcho?
Apparently Tupac was cremated the day after he died – so on September 14th – but why so quickly? Suge Knight said he paid for the cremation and claims it cost him $3 million – that’s a lot of money for a cremation.
Then the cremator disappeared off the face of the planet and has never been seen or heard from since. Why? Did he take the money and run? Was he asked to leave and stay quiet about 2Pac still being alive? Was he killed?
There’s also the autopsy photograph that many believe to be fake because it was reported at the time that there was no autopsy.
The picture of ‘Pac on the table is missing tattoos and it resembles a still from the “California Love” video. Some even think that 2Pac posed for his autopsy photograph and the makeup that was used was the same makeup used for his death scene in the movie Bullet with Mickey Rourke.
THE 7 DAY THEORY
Going back to 2Pac’s album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, there are several conspiracy theories that point to the number seven alluding to the fact that ‘Pac is in fact still alive.
The number seven is regarded as a holy number and it is said that it took seven days for God to create the world. 2Pac’s depiction of himself as Christ on the cross and hinting at the fact that he would in fact rise again could have been his way of shining a light on his own reincarnation from one life to another, taking seven days to undergo the transformation.
So aside from his final album featuring the number seven in the title, where else does it appear?
2Pac was shot on September 7th.
He died 7 days later on the September 13th (if you include September 7th as day one).
He died at 4:03pm. 4 + 3 = 7.
He was 25 when he died. 2 + 5 = 7.
He died exactly 7 months to the day after his most successful album, All Eyez On Me, was released.
How do you explain that? There’s no way all of the above is a coincidence.
There have been so many sightings of 2Pac over the past 22 years. The butt of so many jokes – Dave Chappelle’s sketch from Chappelle’s Show is hilarious – anyone that looks even remotely close to what ‘Pac looked like will have had their pic snapped and put on the internet with the caption “2Pac sighting”.
So, where has 2Pac been spotted?
He’s been spotted posing for photographs with the likes of Beyoncé (above) and 50 Cent. He’s been spotted at a basketball game, the 2014 BET Awards, and even a Lil Wayne concert in 2009.
But the most significant sightings that could be considered real include when ‘Pac was spotted hidden away in the “Thug Life 2013” video by his crew Tha Outlawz:
Then he was spotted backing drinks in New Orleans in 2009:
He was also seen kicking it with some friends in 2004:
And then there’s the Cuba photographs and the theory that he sought refuge in the country after faking his death to be with his godmother, Assata Shakur.
A former member of the Black Liberation Army, Assata was convicted of the first-degree murder of State Trooper Werner Foerster during a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973 but has always claimed she was innocent and so fled to Cuba and was granted political asylum.
HE PREDICTED HIS OWN DEATH TOO MANY TIMES
There are so many times 2Pac predicated his own death on record.
Okay, so it’s likely some of the lyrical content relates to his experience of being shot the first time around – 2Pac was shot in New York as part of an alleged robbery in 1994 – but some of his lyrics really do make it sound like he wrote a script for his demise.
On Richie Rich’s “Niggaz Done Changed” he rapped: “I’ve been shot and murdered, can’t tell you how it happened word for word/ But best believe that niggaz’ gonna get what they deserve.”
On “Aint’ Hard 2 Find” he spits: “I heard rumours that I died murdered in cold blood, traumatised/ Pictures of me in my final states – you know mama cried/ But that was fiction, some coward got the story twisted.”
Then there’s the “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” music video. Shot a few weeks before he was gunned down, it’s one of ‘Pac’s most haunting visuals. The video documents his death (at the hands of a gun like in real life) and the messages he would send to friends and family from heaven. In it, ‘Pac is seen rapping from heaven while his friend (played by actor Bokeem Woodbine, who went on to star in Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.) grieves his passing.
He had songs titled “Death Around the Corner”, “I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto”, and “If I Die Tonight”, that before you even got into them already gave you the impression ‘Pac was readying himself for the afterlife.
There were so many other occasions that ‘Pac spoke on his forthcoming death that it felt like he was either super paranoid or like he had rehearsed it over and over again in preparation for faking his death.
THE TIME TRAVELLER
In an episode of conspiracy Youtube channel Apex TV, there’s a guy by the name of Noah – he claims to be from the year 2030 – who while answering questions during a live stream was asked if any celebrities had faked their death and come out later, and of course 2Pac’s name came up.
Starting off by explaining that he once made contact with a secret society that is the equivalent to the Illuminati, he said, “I’ve had an experience with the Illuminati, although it doesn’t exist, there is something similar. It isn’t called the Illuminati and it doesn’t have a symbol with the eye. But what we do have is a different version of the Illuminati in the government, the actual symbol is an owl.”
Then getting onto the subject of 2Pac and tying it in to the secret society, he said:
“When I was in the future I was able to figure out that 2Pac isn’t dead but he was in a critical state for about a year after his ‘death’. People affiliated with 2Pac told me this. And the reason why this happened is because his friends that were rapping were involved with the Illuminati.
“They got him involved in the Illuminati, or secret society, they tried getting 2Pac in there but he refused. He didn’t tell them if he was going to say anything about it or not, but they take things to the extreme.”
Noah went on to claim the secret society didn’t intend to kill him but just keep him away from the public.
So, if a time traveller says 2Pac is still alive and a secret society is the reason he was shot because ‘Pac didn’t want to join them then it must be true, right?
SUGE KNIGHT IMPLIED 2PAC MIGHT STILL ALIVE
Marion “Suge” Knight was in the car with 2Pac the night he was shot in the drive by shooting. Only picking up a graze on the back of his neck, this is another reason many have claimed ‘Pac’s death was faked, all those shots and Suge only gets a grazed by a few bullet fragments?
But then in 2017 Suge floated an idea to Ice-T and Soledad O’Brien as he spoke to them via a call from prison for the Who Shot Biggie and Tupac? TV series.
“When ‘Pac died … if he really did, you know?” Suge began.
“I mean, when I left that hospital, me and ‘Pac were laughing and joking,” the former Death Row Records label boss continued. “So I don’t see how somebody can turn from doing well to doing bad.”
“So you seriously think that he might still be alive,” a skeptical Soledad responded.
“I’m gonna tell you that with Pac, you never know,” Suge replied.
On trial for murder at the time, did Suge feel like it was time to start drip feeding the truth being that he knew his days were numbered and he had nothing to lose?
In the videos for both “To Live & Die In L.A.” and “Toss It Up”, which featured on the Makaveli album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 2Pac is seen wearing sneakers that weren’t released before the rapper was ‘killed’.
Not sold by Nike until November 1996 – two months after his death in September – ‘Pac was spotted rocking the newest edition of the Nike Air Jordans in the “To Live & Die In L.A.” video. He was also seen wearing a pair of Penny Hardaway sneakers in the video for “Toss It Up”, which weren’t available until after his fatal shooting.
Sure, athletes and musicians get sent sneakers early by labels and brands all the time, but two in two videos? A little too coincidental, don’t you think? Sounds more like ‘Pac shot those videos after his supposed death and felt like sporting the newest Nikes.
DRIVING LICENCE & CORONER’S REPORT
The official coroner’s report had 2Pac’s weight listed as 215lbs. However, his driving licence says that he is 168lbs. Now I understand that people can put weight on – that’s obvious – but 47lbs heavier in the space of four months (the licence was issued May 11th)? Did you see how physically well kept 2Pac was? So why would the coroner’s report say that he was 47 lbs heavier than he actually was?
He was also listed at being 72 inches tall (6ft) on the coroner’s report yet his driving licence said that he was 5’10”. So he grew two inches in four months at the age of 25?
THE LAST PIC
The supposed last picture of 2Pac has always raised eyebrows.
The now infamous image of 2Pac and Suge Knight riding together in the car they were shot in while stationary at a red light is haunting every time you look at it. But was it really taken on the night of September 7th after ‘Pac had gotten changed at his hotel following the Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon fight to then head out to Club 662?
If you look closely at it there are several things wrong with it.
The date stamp on the photograph reads September 8th, not 7th.
There are no keys in the car’s ignition.
There’s no red tint on the windscreen where the reflection of the red light would be.
So, was this all a ploy in order for 2Pac to sneak out of the country undetected? If so they could have thought about the execution of this photograph a little better.