Snapped Notorious: Tupac Shakur airs Sunday, September 10 at 6/5c.
Rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in Las Vegas in 1996 in a drive-by shooting. Snapped: Notorious 'Tupac and Biggie Special' delves into the murder that shook hip-hop to its core with commentary by the rapper's friends and industry insiders. Tupac died at the age of 25 but in his career, he seemed to already plan for it. In song lyrics, music videos and interviews, here's five times that the legend predicted his own demise.
Shot just weeks before he was gunned down, "I Ain't Mad at Cha" is one of Tupac's most haunting visuals. The music video documents his death and the messages he would send to friends and family from heaven. In it, Tupac is seen rapping from heaven while his friend grieves his passing.
Tupac opened up to Vibe magazine in 1995 while incarcerated at Rikers Island. In a revealing interview with veteran journalist Kevin Powell, the rapper spoke about his plans for the future and the coastal feud plaguing hip-hop. "This is my last interview. If I get killed, I want people to have the real story" he says. Poignant words, which would ring too true.
Tupac's last studio album was recorded under the alias Makaveli and called The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Fans obsessed over hidden messages in the album they believe predicted Tupac's death. His stage name is a nod to Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian thinker who conspiracy theorists believe wrote about faking his own death. The album's artwork features the rapper mounted to a cross like Jesus, who is believed in Christianity to have been murdered and resurrected in seven days. The title could hint at his involvement in the so-called secret society of the Illuminati.
Few people think about death at the age of 25 but Tupac was very matter-of-fact about it. Journalist AJ Benza interviewed Tupac after he survived the 1994 shooting at Quad Studios. “Tupac told me he was going to die young," he says of their hospital chat. "He said ‘not this time, but it’s coming.'”
Death is a recurring theme in Tupac's body of music. Several songs are about, or contain lyrics about, the young man foreshadowing his own demise. From "Death Around the Corner" ("I see death around the corner, gotta stay high while I survive") to "So Many Tears" ("Is there heaven for a G? Remember me...I'm having visions. Of leaving here in a hearse/God can you feel me?") and "Only Fear of Death" ("They wanna bury me, I'm worried/ I'm losin' my mind"), death was at the top of the rapper's mind.
[Photo: Getty Images, Vibe, Amazon]