Tupac Shakur, hardcore rapper, was a former ballet dancer. Below is an excerpt of his biography:
Tupac Shakur’s mother was a Black Panther activist and she was in prison during her pregnancy. Her militancy influenced both his upbringing and later, his music. But it was acting that first attracted the young Tupac, who became a member of the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem-based theatre company.
As a teenager, Shakur attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he took acting and dance classes, including ballet. He later said that he would have been a completely different person if it was not for these experiences, and from that, we can take it, he would have lived the violent life, but without the music.
And it was while living in Baltimore, he discovered rap and began performing as MC New York. In the late 1980s, Shakur and his family moved to the West Coast. He joined the Oakland, California-based hip-hop group ‘Digital Underground’, which earlier had scored a hit with the song “The Humpty Dance.”
In 1991, Shakur emerged as a solo artist — using the name 2Pac — with his debut album ‘2Pacalypse Now’. The track “Brenda’s Got a Baby” reached as high as number three on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. His second album ‘Strictly 4 My N. I. G. G. A. Z.’ crossed over to the pop charts, with singles “I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” The album went platinum, selling more than a million copies. Around this time, Shakur also appeared in several films, including ‘Poetic Justice’ (1993) opposite Janet Jackson.