Legendary hip-hop star, actor and poet Tupac ShakurWednesday, honoring his many contributions to the arts, as well as his activism for racial equality.
The artist’s sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur received the star on Hollywood Boulevard, alongside radio host Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander, who emceed the event, and director Allen Hughes, who recently worked on a docuseries about Tupac’s life.
“Tupac knew deep down that he was always meant for something great,” Sekyiwa said at the unveiling event. “And as his little sister, I had the privilege to watch that greatness unfold.”
Sekyiwa spoke about Shakur’s goals, including his teenage dream of one day having his own star on the Walk of Fame.
“Today, we’re not just honoring a star on the ground, but we are honoring the work and the passion that he’s put into making his dreams come true,” she said, getting emotional. “His heavenly star will shine a little brighter today. And once again, he has made us all extremely proud. We love you, Tupac.”
The rapper, who was murdered in 1996 at 25 years old, influenced the hip-hop genre and amassed a global fan base, selling over 75 million records worldwide and winning six Grammy Award nominations during his short five-year recording career.
Hughes, the docuseries director, spoke about Shakur’s impact on hip-hop music, noting a major milestone for the genre.
“How fitting, in the year of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, that the art form’s most transcendent star is finally being placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” Hughes said.
Shakur is one of only 12 rap artists, including Queen Latifah and Ice-T, who have received a star on the Walk of Fame — likely a result of Americans misunderstanding the hip-hop genre, hip-hop historian Kevin Powell told CBS News.
Powell added that it has taken so long for Shakur to receive this honor because people still do not understand who Shakur was as a person and an artist, especially due to the nature of his death.
“He’s the most important hip-hop icon we’ve ever had in the 50 years of hip-hop,” Powell said, explaining why Shakur deserves a star.
The rapper also found great success in acting, receiving critical acclaim for starring in movies like, “Juice,” “Poetic Justice,” “Above The Rim,” “Gridlock’d,” and “Gang Related.”
Powell, who is currently writing a biography about the artist, said Shakur was an even better actor than rapper, arguing that the multi-talented star would have been in the ranks of Denzel Washington and Robert De Niro, had he lived and continued to act.
“Hip-hop, rapping was his way to get out, but his real passion — as he was training as an actor in Harlem as a child, and then at Baltimore at the School [For The] Arts with Jada Pinkett — [acting] was his calling I believe,” he said. “But rapping was the faster money.”
In addition to his artistic abilities, Shakur has been applauded for his advocacy work for Black Americans, which he often discussed in his songs and movies.
In May, Shakur was honored by Oakland, California, whose city council voted to“Tupac Shakur Way.”
Source : Cbs News