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It’s been almost 20 years since Tupac Shakur was murdered, but the rapper has hardly been able to rest in peace. This week, a retired cop supposedly claimed that he helped the beloved star fake his own death. This isn’t the first time fans have revisited his death based on real or imagined events. Rumors about Tupac secretly being alive—and living on an island somewhere-- have circulated for years. Like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, fans refuse to believe that the “California Love” rapper is actually dead. 2Pac back? Maybe so, according to these conspiracy theories.
1. Where’s the Body?
After 2Pac was shot and killed in 1996, he was cremated. Problem is, no one saw the body. In 2012, Death Row honcho Suge Knight (who was with Pac in the car when he died) said, “The person who supposedly cremated Tupac ... this guy got about $3 million.. personally from me ... cash ... and next thing I know I never heard from the guy or seen him again ... he retired and left." Suge fanned the conspiracy flames by throwing in, “"Maybe the question is ... Pac's not really dead ... Pac's somewhere else.”
2. A Photo’s Worth 1000 Words
2Pac was shot on September 7, 1996 in Las Vegas. But the last known photo of him, riding alongside Suge Knight, is dated September 8, 1996! This is before Photoshop, folks.
2Pac himself loved to fuel rumors about his death. The posthumous album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was released under the stage name of Makaveli (named after Niccolò Machiavelli, the Italian thinker who believed in faking one’s death as a tool against enemies). The album artwork features the rapper as Jesus Christ, who was believed to have resurrected seven days after his death. Plus, rearranging the letters of “Makaveli” spells out “Am alive. K.”
4. Hidden Messages In His Lyrics
2Pac’s music often touched upon his death…or presumed death. On 1996’s “Ain’t Hard 2 Find” for instance, he raps, “I heard a rumor that I died, murdered in cold blood traumatized/ Pictures of me in my final states — you know Mama cried. But that was fiction, some coward got the story twisted.”
5. The Endless Posthumous Releases
2Pac has released nine albums since he’s been dead. In fact, his star power has only grown after death—creating something called “The 2Pac Effect” in entertainment. So, when did he have time to create and record all of these songs?
6. Ask the Feds
According to some conspiracy theorists, Pac “knew too much” and is being hidden by none other than Uncle Sam. No wonder we can’t find him. The CIA dispelled the rumor in 2014 but let’s be honest, that information is too classified to Twitter.
7. Viva La Cuba
If 2Pac is alive and well, he’s probably on an island surrounded by beautiful women. Enter: the theory that the rapper is living in Cuba. Pac was close to political activist and fighter Assata Shakur, who fled to Cuba in the 80s, so it’s no surprise that he would want to leave the drama and spotlight of hip hop and join her. Until President Obama opened up US-Cuba relations, it looked like Pac could relax in peace.