The rap artist Tupac Shakur was murdered in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip in 1996, following a brawl in which he had participated in the lobby of the MGM Grand. Shakur’s final words have only now come to light, courtesy of the police officer who was first on the scene. In an interview with Sean DeFrank of the weekly magazine Vegas Seven, the officer says now that he has retired from the force he feels free publicly to state his recollection of Shakur’s dying words. He also says he withheld them from public disclosure to prevent their use to glorify Shakur. Those dying words — they weren’t exactly “Rosebud,” but they are equally revealing of the man.
Shakur was a man of many parts. In addition to his career in music, he was a gifted actor. His personal magnetism radiates from the screen in the welfare state comedy Gridlock’d. In their own way Shakur’s life and death represent the expense of spirit in a waste of shame.