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Oakland Creates Tupac Shakur Way to Honor a Legend

Updated: May 20, 2023 09:08
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Tupac Shakur Way is Oakland’s newest street. With a unanimous vote this past Tuesday, Oakland approved a commemorative plaque which will rename a stretch of McArthur after the late Shakur who passed away at just 25 years of age. The West Coast emcee claimed that Oakland was where he “learned the game”.

Tupac and an iconic view of the video “California Love” behind him.

“Tupac Shakur’s legacy will continue through his contributions in art and social outreach, through his family and fans, touching countless lives of children and elders over the years while alive and after his death, taken too young by gun violence,” said Councilmember Carroll Fife.

“If I’ma claim a city, I’ma claim Oakland,” famously said by Shakur in 1993.

While he only lived in The Bay for 4 years (starting in The North Bay’s Marin City), they were pivotal years for him. He lived in Oakland around the time he debuted his lyrical mastery within Digital Underground’s “Same Song” under the stage name 2Pac.

It’s no debate that Tupac is one of the best artists of all time and he’s made a huge impact within Oakland. However, there wasn’t always love between Oakland and Tupac. In 1991, Tupac famously sued The Oakland Police Department (OPD).  Just before he released the album “2Pacalypse Now” in 1991, Tupac Shakur was stopped by Oakland Police Department officers for jaywalking. The officers reportedly were physically violent towards TuPac, scratching his face after questioning his name because it sounded “non-American”. The case was settled out of court for around $40k according to Wikipedia.

Where Will You be Able to Visit Tupac Shakur Way?

While he may have won a settlement with OPD, Oakland won’t be paying for the plaque. The Tupac Shakur Foundation will cover the costs of commemorative plaques and signs that will indicate the change.

The plaques will be going up on a stretch of MacArthur Boulevard by Lake Merritt (between Grand Avenue and Van Buren Avenue) where Shakur once lived.

When will the street’s name go up?

There is no known date as of yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was sometime around his birthday – June 16th. June 16th is also also known in Oakland as “Tupac Shakur Day” – having been given the name by Oakland officials in 2016.

“Give all my grammys to Oakland,” he says in this interview about his love for The Bay.

Tupac was living in The Bay when he released his first full length album “2Pacalypse Now”, known to cement him as one of the best West Coast emcees. Nas, Eminem, Talib Kwali and others claim “2Pacalyse Now” as one of their inspirations.

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Katy Atchison

Katy Atchison

Katy has lived in The Bay Area since the age of 3. While other kids were attending summer camp & soccer practice, she was raised selling wares at craft shows with her working artist parents and spent vacations in a small 1920s Montana log cabin. This has all given her a unique perspective on the ever-changing texture of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Currently a blend of all that is The Bay Area - she's a web designer at a tech-company, artist and DIY teacher.