A bonafide folk hero to millions of hip-hop fans around the world, musician-actor Tupac Shakur's brief life and legacy saw him rise to the top of his profession through his lyrics, which embraced both the profane and the spiritual, before his untimely murder in 1996. The son of radicals, Shakur brought political awareness and emotional depth to his best work, which included fiery tracks like "Keep Ya Head Up" and "Dear Mama," and brought credibility to the gangsta rap field. While climbing the music charts, he also established himself as a talented actor in features like "Juice" (1993) and "Poetic Justice" (1993). But violence seemed to shadow his every move, and after a brief incarceration in 1995, he emerged a changed man, obsessed with his apparent persecution and lusting for vengeance against perceived enemies. In the months before his death, he attempted to again embrace his earlier visions, but was gunned down in Las Vegas before he could fully invest in his new direction. In death, Shakur became a symbol for perseverance, honesty and dedication to justice in all its forms, and continued to inspire and entertain new audiences who came to hear the legend for themselves.