Music Mysteries: The Unsolved Death of Tupac Shakur


The unsolved death of west coast rapper Tupac Shakur is one of the most widely debated deaths in music. There are many theories to how he was killed, but we’re going to focus on the theory where he lived. That’s right, Tupac possibly survived being shot in this theory.

First, lets get a little backstory into the night Tupac was shot in Las Vegas. On Sept. 7, 1996 Tupac and then CEO of Death Row Records, Suge Knight, attended a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Tupac got into an altercation with a known crip gang member, Orlando Anderson, in the lobby of the casino. The fight was eventually broken up and everybody left the casino. Shakur and Knight left the casino and headed towards a nightclub Knight owned. Shakur and Knight were at a stoplight when a white cadillac pulled up on the passenger side and fired 14 shots into the car. Shakur was hit four times and Knight was only grazed in the head by bullet fragments. Shakur was then taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors were able to keep him alive for six days. On Sept. 13, Shakur’s mother decided to stop treatment and let her son die. Shakur died at 4:03 p.m. due to cardiac arrest.

Now, this is where this theory starts to gain some ground. The 10 car entourage following Shakur and Knight claimed Orlando Anderson was the one who pulled the trigger. Anderson was later killed in an unrelated gang shooting that night so he was never brought in for questioning. But, was it really an unrelated gang shooting?

Other people claim east coast rapper Biggie Smalls was responsible for the hit on Shakur. Shakur and Smalls had been feuding for sometime, so it made sense to think he did it. Smalls denied the claims, however. Another suspect was Shakur’s producer, Knight. It was said Shakur wanted to leave Death Row Records to start his own label. Knight, however, was not happy with Shakur’s decision and decided killing the rapper was a better idea. Knight as well has denied these claims.

The final theory surrounding Shakur’s death is that he faked the whole thing. There are many claims and hidden messages embedded in the music Shakur left behind that suggest he faked his own death. While in prison, Shakur got into the works of Renaissance Philosopher, Niccolò Machiavelli. Machiavelli wrote about faking his own death to confuse his enemies. This has led many people to believe Shakur used Machiavelli’s own tactics in his life.

It makes sense considering after Shakur got out of prison, he referred to himself as Makaveli. Shakur only released one album under the alias Makaveli. The album “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” was released two months after the death of Shakur. There’s no mention of Shakur’s death on the album, but just the words “Exit Tupac Enter Makaveli.” This has made many people believe Shakur died on Sept. 13th, 1996, but Makaveli was resurrected. The album cover is also suggestive that Shakur would be resurrected because Shakur is depicted as Jesus on the cross. On the album credits, the accredited producer was just “Simon.” In the Bible, Simon Peter was the first person to see Jesus was resurrected from the dead.

Then also in Richie Rich’s album “Seasoned Veteran,” which was released after Shakur’s death, Shakur is featured on a song where he has a line that mentions he had been shot and murdered. It seems Shakur had known he would be dead by the time this song was released.

Also, the investigation surround his death is pretty sketchy. It appears his murder wasn’t a big priority for law enforcement to find his killer. There were hardly any witnesses, they never found the white cadillac and ballistic tests were never performed. Also, there were 14 shots fired at the car and Knight was only grazed by a single bullet fragment — seems fishy.

There have been many reports over the years from people saying they’ve seen Shakur. They’re similar to how people claim they’ve seen Elvis alive, but that’s another story for another time. There have been claims Shakur has been living in Cuba waiting for the right time to come back into the world. Whether Shakur is dead or not, the stories surrounding his death are interesting to discuss. We may never know exactly what happened to Tupac Shakur that night in Las Vegas on.