While his music touched the masses, Tupac's death came as the biggest shock to West Coast rap lovers who had been involuntary thrust into a bi-coastal beef lead by the rapper himself. At just 25, he succumbed to wounds sustained after being shot on Sept. 7, 1996, while leaving a boxing match at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel, dying six days later. Having been a victim of gunfire a few years earlier, during a studio raid in New York City -- of which he blamed Biggie and Diddy for officiating -- the public saw him as an untouchable figure of sorts, likening him to the rose that grew from the concrete, a metaphor he often used in describing his struggle. Yet behind 2Pac the rapper was Tupac Amaru Shakur, the man.
In honor of the anniversary of his death (Sept. 13), The Boombox caught up with some of hip-hop's biggest names to discuss the esteemed MC's impact on their own lives. Some knew him personally while others admired him through his music. Check out what they had to say about the late, great Tupac Shakur.