Tupac Shakur was one of the most influential and controversial rappers of the twentieth century. He developed a high status through music by revolutionizing rap. He is also the subject of one of the largest conspiracies in the industry. The rapper died at the age of twenty-five on September 13, 1996 by several gunshots. The conspiracy of Tupac Shakur, even though he is still alive, asserts that he faked his own death. The supporters of this conspiracy utilize many of his lyrics and the title of one his albums as support for this argument. Other evidence includes references to the number 7 which relates to the 7 Day Theory. Some also point to another man that may have influenced him to falsify his own death. Photo images showing Tupac in public areas circulated in attempt to prove that he is still living. A feat such as faking one's own death can be considered nearly impossible by someone of Tupac's stature. People who believe the conspiracy also blame Tupac’s record label CEO, Suge Knight, because was driving the car in which Tupac was shot in. Some also feel that another rap group participated in the faking of his death. Substantial evidence and key information produced provide debatable support for this conspiracy.
At the root of this conspiracy theory, it would be helpful to address the father of modern political philosophy, was Niccolo Machiavelli. With attention to correct detail, one can make an effective connection from Machiavelli to Tupac’s conspiracy theory. Machiavelli was an Italian political philosopher during the Renaissance. In 1521, he wrote a book called “Art of War,” which combined military theories with politics (Machiavelli, 2003). In “Art of War,” Machiavelli developed a strategy that one could fake his own death in order to deceive the enemies (Machiavelli, 2003). Therefore, it would allow that person to plot against his or her enemies from behind the scenes. Tupac read this book and studied Machiavelli while in prison leading many people to believe that Machiavelli was a primary influence in Tupac faking his own death. Later on in his career, Tupac started calling himself “Makaveli.” He also included it in the title of one of his albums. This connection is huge evidence to the conspiracy.
Another major component to look back on is the Illuminati. The Killuminati theory is the theory that the Illuminati killed Tupac (KilluminatiAFF, 2009). Do not confuse the Killuminati as another Illuminati-like organization. It is simply the title placed on the Illuminati's suspected plot to kill Tupac. Various conspiracy theorists throughout the public believed that the Illuminati killed Tupac because he was exposing them and also not promoting the ideals that they desired. Before going to prison, Tupac was conveying the ideals such as “thug life,” drinking, having sex, and other ideals that the people wanted to hear. In 1995, Tupac came out of prison as a changed man. He was more of a Christian, which was against the Illuminati’s concepts also. Tupac started promoting more positive ideas very effectively due to the amount of respect he gained. He was then considered a threat to the Illuminati leading people to believe that this may have lead to the Illuminati plotting his death.
The major proponent of Tupac’s conspiracy is mostly the followers of his music. The various people that believe Tupac faked his death are the conspirators that attempt to persuade others to believe that Tupac is still alive. They look with significant detail at Tupac's lyrics in order to find clues or hints that support the conspiracy. These people also try to connect details such as the multiple occurrences of 7 and the connection with Machiavelli. (Examples of some attempted connections are provided in the following sections) Mainly, the public, with their own opinions, are the fuel behind the conspiracy. The evidence they provide is used to get others to support the conspiracy.
The major people linked to Tupac’s conspiracy are Tupac, Suge Knight, and Bone Thugs N’ Harmony.
Tupac is the primary subject because he is the one suspected behind the whole plot to fake his own death. He is believed to be influenced by the great Niccolo Machiavelli. It is also claimed by conspirators who try to interpret his music that he foretold his death in many of his lyrics leading to great suspicion.
Death Row Records former CEO, Suge Knight, is also another major figure in the conspiracy. Many questions arouse suspicion upon him. Knight was driving the vehicle at the time Tupac was shot (Scott, 1997). Many wonder why Knight was only grazed by a bullet when his vehicle was shot 12 times. Due to this fact, many believe Knight had Tupac set up.
In an ABC Prime Time investigation, Afeni Shakur, mother of Tupac, describes Suge Knight as a man of lies. She believes he kept most of the money that Tupac had deserved. Tupac had aparently asked his record company repeatedly for an account of the monies he deserved, but never got a real answer. Instead, they would give him luxuries, which it turns out he never actually owned. Afeni recalls, "I discovered that the home that he had thought he had just bought was not his..." Tupac thought of Suge as friend, but it seems he kept most of the millions that Tupac made to himself.
Conspiracists point towards Suge Knight as a potential suspect in Tupac's murder. In order to keep the millions that was owed to Pac, he would have to be taken out of the picture altogether. In an interview with ABC, Suge, in jail at the time, was asked if he would tell the police who the shooter if he knew who. He replied, "Absolutely... (pause) not."
Some say in the few first seconds of the song Intro/Bomb First you can hear Tupac saying “Suge shot me”.
Having been in the driver's seat of the car Tupac was shot in, there is a substantial chance that he caught a glimpse of the assailant. Lieutenant Wayne Peterson of the Las Vegas Police Department said Suge has been very uncooperative throughout the case. He feels, "...the gang, gangster rap, mentality that they don't want to talk to the police is definitely hurting this case."  
Bone Thugs N’ Harmony
Bone Thugs N’ Harmony is another suspected group. This Ohio-native rap group is believed to have helped Tupac fake his death . Some try to relate the title of one the Bone Thugs’ albums to Tupac’s conspiracy. The title of the album is Art of War, which is corresponds to Niccolo Machiavelli’s book Art of War, the book that is claimed was read by Tupac while he was in prison that influenced him to fake his own death.
Orlando Anderson, also known as Baby Lando, is the convicted killer of Tupac Shakur. Orlando was a member of the Southside Crips gang in Los Angeles, California (Scott, 1997). Anderson was the main suspect, because he was previously beaten up by Tupac and Suge Knight. Shortly after Tupac’s death, Anderson was shot and killed in Compton, California. No other people were accused or identified afterwards as Tupac’s possible killer.
These are the time line of events on September 7th, 1996, that resulted in Tupac Shakur’s death on September 13th, 1996.
- 2:30 p.m. - Tupac arrives in Las Vegas.
- 8: 00 p.m. - The boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon begins. Tupac was in attendance.
- 8: 30 p.m. - People began leaving the MGM Grand Hotel after Tyson knocks out Seldon in 109 seconds.
- 8: 45 p.m. - Tupac was seen involved in an altercation with a man later identified as Orlando Anderson, member of a rival street gang.
- 9: 30 – 10:30 p.m. - Tupac and his business partner Suge Knight stopped at Knight’s home at around this time. It is most likely that they were changing clothes after the boxing event for a charitable event they were supposed to attend. The event was at Club 662, 1700 E. Flamingo Road, and was supposed to raise money to keep children away from violence.
- 11: 00 p.m. - Suge Knight was stopped by the Metro police for playing his car stereo too loudly and not having a license plate on his car. He was released in minutes without being cited.
- 11: 15 p.m. - Knight and Tupac were shot at on the corner of Flamingo and Koval. Tupac was hit three times in the chest, while Knight was grazed once in the head. It was later found that 13 shots were fired by 3-4 African American men in a white Cadillac. No one has been arrested or held responsible for the crime, but it is believed that Orlando Anderson was a shooter in the event.
- 11:25 p.m.- Police are able to pick up Shakur and Knight and bring them to the hospital.
- September 8th, 1996 - Suge Knight is released from the hospital.
- September 13th, 1996 - Tupac Shakur dies from the injuries suffered by the gunshots.
One of the major components of the conspiracy theories are the lyrics of Tupac’s songs. Many believe that Pac left us clues about, and even foretelling, his death. By examining bits and pieces of his music, conspiracists hope to extract a deeper meaning to them as a whole.
Ambitionz az a Ridah
- “Blast me but they didn't finish, didn't diminish my powers so now I'm back to be a muthaf*&kin' menace, they cowards that’s why they tried to set me up, had b*tch a*s niggas on my team so indeed they wet me up, but I’m back reincarnated."
Many believers take this statement to suggest Tupac was reincarnated as Makaveli.
- “I'm contemplating thoughts, wondering the thought to go, Brotha getting shot coming back resurrected.”
Here, a direct statement about coming back is made.
Only Fear of Death
- “Never will I die, I'll be back.”
Here is a third instance in which Tupac implies his resurrection. On multiple accounts, he mentions a plot but never specifies his plan of action.
Life of an Outlaw
- “To plan sh*t, 6 months in advance to what we plotted. Approved to go on swole, now we got it”
These lines can be seen as implying that Tupac planned his own death in advance, and is now reaping in the benefits.
Thugs Cry ft. Tupac
- Bone Thugs N Harmony member, Bizzy Bone: “Nigga we represent the planet get schizophrenic and maybe the past would understand if they'd get off their ass and mash. How do you manage? Paranoid, don't even trust my boyz watch for the plot and deploys envoy scopin like a dope feind.”
Many believe the plot mentioned here is a reference to Tupac’s plot.
- Listeners often mistake the low-voiced “Cleveland, Clevand” of Bizzy Bone to be saying, “He’s alive, he’s alive.” Of course, Bone Thugs N Harmony members are from Cleveland, allowing this lyrical debate to lean towards the former interpretation.
- At the beginning of the song, a faint voice can barely be heard. Though not exactly comprehendible, some believe that the voice says "Suge shot me." The song is cited as evidence that Suge conspired to kill Tupac his royalties.
7 Day Theory
The 7 Day Theory is an idea pushed by the proponents that attempt to find the smallest details of any situation in order to provide more support for the conspiracy. This evidence is very disputable, because some will slightly alter details in order to gain the evidence needed. Deep personal research is suggested when inspecting the details of the 7 Day Theory. The repetition of an occurrence of numbers can happen anytime. The Number 23, a movie from New Line Cinema, mentioned multiple occurrences of the number 23. Using these occurrences of numbers for support is weak and quite silly.
Some believers of the conspiracy favor to point out the 7 Day Theory. A main focus of that is the title of one of his albums, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Many parts of his life and death bring about suspicion that focuses on the number 7. It is noticed that Tupac survived 7 days after he was shot. He was shot on the 7th of September and managed to stay alive until the 13th. That is seven days if you include the day he was shot. Others also notice that he was officially announced dead at 4:03 p.m. As we know, four plus three equals seven. Tupac, aka Makaveli, died at the age 25. His age of death is another key factor that relates two numbers adding up to 7. Two plus five happens to equal seven. Another coincidence that is suspect to this significance of 7 is the release date of All Eyez on Me. Tupac died exactly seven months after the release of the album, which was released on February 13, 1996. Tupac died on September 13, 1996 (Scott, 1997).
Exit 2Pac, Enter Makaveli
Another detail to pay attention to is “Exit 2Pac, Enter Makaveli.” This text is found on the album sleeve of his album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Many believe this is the main influence from Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli was the philosopher who wrote about faking one’s death in order to gain advantage over enemies. This idea was expressed throughout the album leading others to believe Tupac would have faked his death and to return . People are suspicious, because no where does it say R.I.P. Tupac. Instead, they find “Exit 2Pac, Enter Makaveli.”
This conspiracy is greatly forced with mass evidence that can be debated. There are some details that lead to believe the conspiracy is not true due to over-analyzing evidence. Mainly this would be misinterpreting lyrics. The main misinterpretation is the verse in Tupac’s song, "Ambitionz az a Ridah," where the focus is on the line, “Blast me but they didn't finish, didn't diminish my powers so now I'm back to be a muthaf*&kin' menace, they cowards thats why they tried to set me up, had bitch ass niggas on my team so indeed they wet me up, but I’m back reincarnated." This piece of evidence fails to mention the very next line. The next line states, “incarcerated at the time I contemplate the way that God made it.” With more knowledge of background information, people would know he was in prison for a while. This line is saying he found faith in God while in prison and once he gets out; he will be a new man with a new faith in God. Indeed, many of his songs and the ideas promoted by Tupac after prison had more attention to God. Tupac was clearly a new person.
Many conspirators believe that his plot mentioned in many songs gave out hints that he would fake his death. Most people fail to realize that Tupac was on a mission. Tupac was trying to encourage change in communities and encouraging people to obtain as much knowledge as possible. One has to question, why someone with so much influence would fake their own death and abort a mission that could be considered as powerful as Martin Luther King’s movement. Tupac was nearly that powerful and influential because he gained support of the black community through his lyrics and life. Would Martin Luther King plan his own assassination? Would Malcolm X do the same? NO! These people were on a mission. They were killed by others who felt threatened by their massive influence in society.
This conspiracy provides a lot of disputable evidence and only relates subjects that support it. Plenty of other background knowledge of Tupac’s life and certain situations that were going on are not exposed as the ones that support the conspiracy. A conspiracy such as Tupac's death is nothing new. It is very possible to occur whenever a young, controversial star dies. A conspiracy of Elvis' Death was also developed. The major problem with such conspiracies is the strength of the counter arguments. The counter evidence provided to disprove the evidence produces stronger arguments. Jordan Pelaez, someone who does not believe in the conspiracy, provides strong evidence that disproves many parts of the conspiracy . Pelaez denies the fact that there was no autopsy and tells how the autopsy was confirmed by MTV and America's Most Wanted. He addresses the issue of Tupac's multiple releases after his death by telling about Versace who had two completed clothing lines that were not released at the time of his death. These conspirators seem to forget that artists do not release every piece of music as soon as it is created. Pelaez also addresses the question of why Suge Knight was not shot also. It is extremely possible that the gunman was ONLY out for Tupac. Therefore, he would not have aimed his gun towards Suge.
The Tupac conspiracy has too many holes in it to ever be proven true.
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