One of the longest-running conspiracy theories in Hip-Hop is the life and/or death of rapper Tupac Shakur, who passed from a deadly drive-by shooting in September of 1996. Whether it is that fans cannot accept that the rapper is no longer on this earth, or believe there are discrepancies within the case (i.e. the case has never been solved), one thing is for sure: the world isn’t ready to let Tupac go.
Writer John Leland wrote a piece for the New York Times published in October of 2002, and in the article he asks passerbys in front the Fulton Street Mall (located in Downtown Brooklyn) there thoughts on the rapper’s passing, or whereabouts. Nineteen-year-old Jose Reyes (at press time) expressed that ”Tupac is alive and in Cuba,” a theory he assessed due to the rapper’s posthumous releases. Another man, Arnold Evans, believed ”Tupac was killed by the government,’’ while others drew other theories.
While the details surrounding Shakur’s death have been shaky, with evidence being called “inconclusive”, others have continued to perpetuate rumors. Suge Knight Jr., the namesake of the famous Death Row Records founder, came to social media “refusing to be silenced by the ‘Illuminati’ to claim the rapper is indeed alive and living in Malaysia, insisting that “the truth will be out.”
However, Knight Jr. switched his tune in a later interview with Los Angeles radio station Real 92.3. The rapper spoke on lessons he learned from his father, and then began to address his previous claims based on Shakur’s whereabouts. He expressed that he no longer believes the rapper is living in Malaysia, that he did die on that night, and also that another album of unreleased music would be released.
In a new twist on the conspiracies thanks to “newly unearthed footage”, a fan believes that Shakur is in fact alive based on the CCTV evidence from the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel lobby. Footage of the fateful night has been analyzed over and over by fans throughout the years, and now there are claims of a “body double” sighting.
As explained by one of the rapper’s Youtube fan accounts, they say: “You know on this footage of Tupac walking into the MGM lobby, I don’t know if anyone ever noticed but he walks right past his body double. It’s an orange shirt under different lights it looks darker in the darker and under bright lights, it almost looks yellow,” the theorist says. “Tupac walks in and there’s a guy standing in the middle right with his back to Tupac.”
They continue, “Tupac walks right past him. He’s standing in exactly the same way as Tupac, got the cigarette right in his hand, he’s got Tupac’s complete outfit on but it looks different because of the light… He’s got the same chain on, you can see it’s the same chain because it’s hanging out, you can see the back of the chain out of the back of his shirt… Look at it, it’s right here, this is the body double.”
While there has been no proof of this theory, fans still grasp on to the hope that the mystery surrounding his death will one day be solved, once and for all.