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Tupac Shakur's Murder Still Resonates 20 Years Later

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Everett Collection / Rex USA

Tupac Shakur on the set of Poetic Justice.

(Editor's Note: this story originally ran in November, 2014)

20 years ago this month, hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur was heading east on Flamingo Road, likely to a gig he had a Club 662, when a car pulled up and shot into his BMW. He died six days later.

Suge  Knight was in the BMW, too. He took a bullet in the back of the head and survived.

Knight, then owner of Death Row Records, has been in the news ever since in a variety of legal scrapes. And just a few weeks ago, police arrested him on charges of stealing a camera belonging to a celebrity photographer.

Knight’s arrest stirred up old memories of Shakur and his unsolved murder. Though their numbers have dwindled, some still pay homage to the rapper by pouring out alcohol or leaving flowers at the site of his death.

Today we’re going to talk to about Shakur and ask where his death ranks in the long history of sensational crime in Las Vegas. Was he just another entertainer to die in the prime of life at age 25? Or do people still identify with us message of "us versus them," especially "us versus the police"? Do the troubles in Ferguson, Missouri, prove that Shakur's anger 18 years ago is just as relevant today?

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Related Story: The Last Words of Tupac Shakur

From NPR: Tupac's Legacy, 20 Years On

Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.knpr.org/.
Guests

Patrica Cunningham, host, KCEP 88.1 FM host; Cathy Scott, author of "The Killing of Tupac Shakur"; Sean DeFrank, writer of "The Last Words of Tupac"; James Allen, hip-hop artist "Spoatymac," owner of Heat City record label

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