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Remembering Fallen MC Tupac Shakur

A look back at the legendary rapper's life in photos on his 39th birthday

June 16, 2010 4:22 PM ET

Today marks what would have been Tupac Shakur's 39th birthday had he not been gunned down by an unknown assailant in 1996. Nearly 14 years after his death at the age of 25, Shakur still remains one of the most influential rappers ever, and one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. An icon of '90s hip-hop, Shakur released only four albums during his brief career that mixed tales of street life with politically charged lyricism, including the classics Me Against the World and All Eyez on Me, both of which rank among the top sellers of the decade. Tupac was also an acclaimed actor who stood out in Juice and Poetic Justice.

Look back at more artists lost before their time.

Recently, T.I. revealed to RS that his new album King Uncaged was influenced by Shakur's own post-incarceration disc All Eyez on Me, and there likely isn't a rapper in the game today that wasn't inspired by Shakur. As Rolling Stone celebrates Tupac's life, look back at the rapper's career in photos, plus check out a guide to his albums and our feature that ran shortly after his death:

All Eyez on Tupac: The Life and Times of the Hip-Hop Great

Album Guide: Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur: 1971-1996: The Short Life & Violent Death of Tupac Shakur

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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