A significant development took place in Oakland, California, on Friday as a stretch of street was renamed in honor of the late hip-hop luminary, Tupac Shakur. This renaming occurred 27 years after Shakur’s tragic killing. The section of MacArthur Boulevard where he resided in the 1990s is now known as Tupac Shakur Way. The ceremony, which marked this momentous occasion, was attended by members of Shakur’s family as well as MC Hammer, a fellow Oakland native.
During the ceremony, Shakur’s sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, emotionally addressed the crowd, urging them to keep her brother’s spirit alive in their hearts and in the streets. Moments later, the sign for Tupac Shakur Way was unveiled, symbolizing the lasting legacy of this iconic artist. MC Hammer, who spent a significant amount of time with Shakur before his untimely death in 1996, hailed him as the greatest rapper of all time, leaving no room for doubt.
Notable figures in the hip-hop community, such as Shakur’s collaborator Money-B and Oakland legend Too Short, also took the stage to pay tribute to the influential artist. Although Shakur was born in New York and raised in both New York and Baltimore, he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area with his mother in the late 1980s. It was during this time that he embraced Oakland as his adopted hometown, cementing his connection to the city.
City Councilwoman Carroll Fife, who spearheaded the street-renaming effort, highlighted Shakur’s deep connection to Oakland, stating that he claimed the city as his own and credited it for shaping his artistry. However, the ceremony took place against the backdrop of recent developments in the case of Shakur’s murder. Just the day before, a former Southern California street gang leader, Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder in relation to the Las Vegas shooting that claimed Shakur’s life.
Davis stands as the sole surviving occupant of the vehicle from which the fatal shots were fired, making him the only person ever charged with a crime in connection to Shakur’s murder, 27 years after the incident. While Shakur’s family maintained a distance from the ongoing prosecution, Sekyiwa Shakur briefly touched upon it during her speech, emphasizing her brother’s tragic death at the hands of another Black man, orchestrated by another Black man.
The street renaming ceremony was a significant moment for both Oakland and the hip-hop community, honoring the enduring impact of Tupac Shakur’s life and artistry. As his legacy continues to resonate, it serves as a reminder of the profound contributions he made to the world of music and the lasting mark he left on the city he called home.