On Friday (11.03,) 27 years following the murder of the hip-hop icon, a stretch of street in Oakland, California, was renamed for Tupac Shakur.
Close to where the iconic rapper lived in the 1990s, a portion of MacArthur Boulevard became Tupac Shakur Way, following a ceremony that included his family members and Oakland native, and fellow rap artist. MC Hammer.
Wiping away tears at the end of a nearly two-hour ceremony, Shakur’s sister “Set” Sekyiwa said “Let his spirit live on the rest of these years in these streets and in your hearts.” subsequent to which the sign for Tupac Shakur Way was unveiled.
Having spent many of Shakur’s final months together before his 1996 shooting death at age 25, MC Hammer said that Tupac was, “hands down, the greatest rapper ever, there’s not even a question of that.”
While Tupac was born and raised in New York and in Baltimore, he and his mother moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s he lived in Oakland and embraced the area as an adopted hometown.
“He claimed Oakland,” said City Councilwoman Carroll Fife, who led the effort to rename the street. “He said Oakland gave him his game.”
The street naming ceremony came the day after a former Southern California street gang leader pleaded not guilty to the Las Vegas shooting death of Tupac Shakur.
The only person still alive who was in the vehicle from which the fatal shots were fired, Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis is charged with orchestrating the shooting. In September, 27 years after the killing, he became the only person ever charged with a crime in the case.
During Friday’s ceremony, Shakur’s relatives kept their distance from the prosecution and made only passing reference to it. Sekyiwa Shakur said her brother “died at 25 years old in gang violence, by the hands of another Black man, by the planning of another Black man, whoever that man may be.”
Shakur collaborator Money-B and Oakland hip-hop legend Too Short also spoke at the ceremony.