Tupac Shakur (June 16, 1971-September 13, 1996) was an American hip hop artist, poet and actor. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling rap/hip-hop artist ever, having sold 67 million albums worldwide (mostly posthumously), including 37 million sales in the United States alone. He has also has had 17 Top Ten singles in the U.S. He is consistently ranked by fans, critics and industry insiders as one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Most of Shakur's songs are about the hardships of growing up around violence in United States ghettos, poverty, racism, and sometimes his feuds with fellow rappers. He is known for the messages of political, economic, and racial equality that pervade his work. His music features extensive use of metaphor and shows a high degree of lyrical structure.