Why People Still Believe Tupac Is Alive

After Tupac Shakur’s assassination in September 1996, rumors and conspiracy theories surrounding his death flooded the internet. This isn’t such a weird reaction when you about it. It’s truly hard to let someone go, and many times humans believe what they want to believe.

Rapper Tupac Shakur
Rapper Tupac Shakur poses for photos backstage after his performance at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois, in March 1994. Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

But today, 24 years later, the rumors have not yet died down. Why? How is it that Tupac is making more headlines than artists who are still alive and well? If you google Tupac’s name, you’ll discover he’s living in Africa. Or no, sorry. He’s actually in Malaysia. No, wait, he’s been hiding in New Mexico this whole time.

Clearly, fans are struggling to let go.

It’s Due to Clever Marketing

One reason fans are still buying into the “Tupac is Still Alive” idea is because of how brilliantly it’s campaigned all over the world. A month after Tupac died, his album, Makaveli, was released, and the music industry marketed it with posters that read, “Listen very carefully.”

Rosie Perez and Tupac Shakur
Rosie Perez and Tupac Shakur. Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

This added a mysterious aura to the record and convinced you that by listening to it, you’d discover the hidden truth about his “fake death.” The posters gave listeners hope. And fans of the late rapper bought into it.

His Lyrics Are Easily Misinterpreted

Tupac’s lyrics are perfect material for conspiracy theorists. A line like, “I heard rumors I died / murdered in cold blood, dramatized / pictures of me in my final state / you know momma cried /, but that was fiction / some coward got the story twisted” is exactly what is needed to keep those rumors alive.

View of a sidewalk mural, 'Live By the Gun, Die By the Gun.'
View of a sidewalk mural, ‘Live By the Gun, Die By the Gun’ (by graffiti and street artist Andre Charles) with an image of rapper Tupac Shakur, New York, New York, 1997. Photo by Rita Barros/Getty Images

But don’t be mistaken. Many rappers sing about their death and their resurrection and fake news etc.’… That doesn’t mean they’re sending us this hidden message meant to inform us of their existence. In truth, music executives probably pushed the whole “Tupac is Alive” idea to make more money.

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