Section of Oakland street to be renamed in honor of Tupac Shakur
A section of an Oakland street will be partially renamed to commemorate the life of the late legendary rapper Tupac Shakur amid hip-hop’s 50th anniversary.
The Oakland City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to rename a portion of MacArthur Boulevard between Grand and Van Buren avenues — where he once lived — as “Tupac Shakur Way.” The initiative was introduced by District 3 Councilmember Carroll Fife.
“When [hip-hop] first started people didn't think it was a valid art form,” Fife said during the meeting. “Now it's taken hold all across the world. Tupac Amaru Shakur is a name that is known all across the world for not only his only political influence but his influence on music.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, a musical genre and culture that emerged in the early 1970s.
Fife said the city plans to install a plaque on June 16, which would have been Shakur’s 52nd birthday. He died in 1996 after being shot in Las Vegas in a case that remains officially unsolved.
Although Shakur was born in Harlem in 1971, he lived in the Bay Area for a few years in the late 1980s and early ’90s. There, he met the Oakland-based rap group Digital Underground and became their roadie and backup dancer. Shakur released his 1991 solo debut album “2Pacalypse Now,” which was recorded and mixed in San Francisco and Richmond, Calif.
Shakur joins notable public figures such as Huey P. Newton, Dorothy King, Joe Morgan and Too Short as people who have received commemorative street names in Oakland.
Oakland declared June 16 as Tupac Shakur Day in 2016 for his contributions to the community. According to the proclamation by former Mayor Libby Schaaf, “he cherished his time in Oakland as his home, stating that he got his 'Game' [there].
“Tupac once said: 'I give all my love to Oakland, if I’ma claim somewhere I’ma claim Oakland.’”
Shakur sued the Oakland Police Department in 1991 for $10 million, alleging that officers beat him for jaywalking.
He is one of the most influential rap artists of all time, selling more than 75 million albums worldwide.
“Tupac Shakur’s legacy will continue through his contributions in art and social outreach, through his family and fans, touching countless lives of children and elders over the years while alive and after his death, taken too young by gun violence,” according to the street-renaming resolution.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.