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.
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: