Late hip-hop star Tupac Shakur has been dead for 18 years now, but no arrests have been made in his murder — sparking widespread speculation from fans and media regarding the circumstances surrounding his shooting in Las Vegas back in September of 1996. Over the years, numerous conspiracy theories have arisen about his murder; with many pointing the finger at his associates, the government and his rivals. But in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Mike D of the Beastie Boys blamed Pac’s death on one thing:
2Pac’s own commitment to authenticity.
“Yeah, he was ‘Thug Life’ and everything, but he was more of an artistic kid,” Mike D says. “But basically he was so determined to be authentic, it ultimately killed him, which is a sad and tragic thing.”
During his brief career, 2Pac became notorious for confrontation and speaking his mind. The young rapper made quite a few enemies and his “realness” brought him many fans. As “Thug Life” became his mantra, it also brought him unwanted attention — which culminated on that fateful night in 1996.
Mike D also touched on another infamous hip-hop murder during his interview, and shared his memories of the Notorious B.I.G.’s death. Biggie was killed about six months after Tupac, his longtime rival and nemesis.
“It was super surreal,” Mike D recalled of Biggie’s killing in March 1997. “It was like, ‘What? Biggie got shot?’ It just seemed like it couldn’t be true.”