Tupac Shakur’s legacy lives on. On what would have been his 40th birthday, the late rap icon is remembered around the world as one of the greatest who ever did it. Born on June 16, 1971 in Harlem, Tupac Amaru Shakur would go on to become one of hip-hop’s preeminent figures with a storied career that began in 1991 with his debut 2Pacalypse Now, and classic albums that followed including Me Against the World, the groundbreaking All Eyez on Me, and his first posthumous release The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.
We look back at some of the West Coast hero’s moments in the spotlight—from attending the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards with actress Rosie Perez to his close friendship with high school classmate Jada Pinkett Smith and rarely seen photos of him with KISS, MC Hammer, Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, and Mickey Rourke, culminating with his final public appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards before he was fatally shot.
Pour out a little liquor and celebrate the life of the legendary rapper, poet, and actor in 18 photos.