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FutureStarrA Controversial Tupac Ring Tops Hip Hop Auction Bill
Tupac Shakur's ring is one of the highest-value items being auctioned off as part of a new "Hip Hop Legends" auction, alongside items from Eminem, 2Pac and JAY-Z.
In 1995, Knight and Iovine were courting Tupac away from Interscope, where he'd been a major star. They offered him an agreement that would make Death Row the corporation guarantor of his bail, solve his financial troubles and turn him into even greater success than before.
In 1994, Tupac's death by gang members cemented his legacy as an icon for violent rap lyrics and the thug lifestyle. While he was beloved to his fans, law enforcement officers and political conservatives worried about the growing influence of gangster music on young people in America became his detractors.
Many of the rapper's fans struggled to comprehend his motivations in the months leading up to his passing. He was in prison and his family faced serious financial troubles; yet as his legal battles continued, Interscope failed to collect fees that they had agreed upon for his album releases. Consequently, it became increasingly difficult for them to comprehend his intentions.
His finances were also put at risk due to an impending arrest in Atlanta for shooting two off-duty police officers during a dispute over a parking spot. Despite his protestations, the incident had led to a judge's ruling that barred him from posting bail and put an end to his attempts at financial recovery.
Tupac's record company suffered a setback with this decision; jailing him could cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they weren't willing to invest in an already bankrupt rapper.
Knight approached Tupac with the idea of joining his label, Death Row. This label's success had made it the premier rap label in America--the most influential label of its kind--with star artists such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and, of course, Tupac Shakur.
At one point, Suge Knight even had all three rappers signed to his label. But Dre left in 1996, leaving Suge and Snoop to run the label themselves, eventually leading to success for Snoop as a major artist himself.
As such, the ring that Tupac wore with the initials "MOB" (for "Member of Blood") has become a sought-after item among collectors. It is now up for auction on Moments in Time with an opening bid of $95,000.
The ring is one of several items of hip hop memorabilia up for auction recently, including Drake's teenage rhyme book, a hub cap from the car that Biggie Smalls was shot in and an autographed jacket worn by Jay-Z.
Gangsta rap has become a cornerstone of modern music culture, but it is not the only type to stir controversy. In the nineties, many well-known rappers were accused of violent behavior and living a "thug life," including Tupac Shakur whose 1996 death by gunshot sparked intense debate and inspired numerous books and documentaries about him.
His lyrics often dealt with violence and crime, propelling him to become a household name and icon of gangsta culture. Yet his relationship with these gangs was complex and sometimes hard to understand. As part of the Black Panther Party, which championed racial justice issues, Afeni Shakur, his mother, had already been arrested on bombing charges before she gave birth to him.
He was born and raised in New York City, but moved with his mother to Baltimore where he pursued acting. His earliest raps dealt with gun control and gangs; however, as he matured he began addressing more pressing matters such as the death penalty and discrimination against black people.
In the 1980s, he joined the Black Panthers and his radical roots became part of him. He was an intriguing mix of opposites; warm and sensitive on one hand and cold and quick-tempered the next. A man of immense talent, yet his professional and personal life were filled with conflicts.
He was an enigmatic figure, capable of captivating fans from all ages and backgrounds. His captivating lyrics served as both a testament to his own strength and an expression of rage against the world around him.
Eventually, he achieved success, signing a contract with Death Row Records and becoming its most acclaimed artist. However, his personal and business relationships with Suge Knight - the head of Death Row - became strained as a result of the company's lack of financial backing.
Due to this tension, they had several public disputes. One such instance saw Tupac being shot multiple times after leaving a boxing event in Las Vegas as the two were on their way to Club 662 for a party.
Tupac Shakur, considered to be one of the greatest rappers ever, is remembered for his music and activism that have inspired countless artists and fans worldwide. Although he often associated himself with South Central Los Angeles gang culture, Tupac's legacy remains as a living testament to authentic gangsta rap - even after his tragic passing.
Tupac was still living in prison when he signed a contract with Death Row Records in the 1990s. The company's leadership was Marion (Suge) Knight, an ex-University of Nevada football player who had fought in Compton during the early eighties and formed an affinity with Dr. Dre, a rap producer.
Before signing the deal, Knight and his management team warned him that his rapping could get him in trouble. They advised him to steer clear of racial or social conflicts and store his music safely away.
Tupac defied all odds and became an instant star, quickly cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with. His music sold five million units, often ranking among the best of their genre.
He was an incredibly successful businessman. His companies, Tupac Entertainment and Interscope, earned millions of dollars yearly. His fleet of luxury cars included a Mercedes SLR and Rolls-Royce with midnight blue paint job. Most significantly, however, was his love affair with Kidada Jones - daughter of jazz musician and record producer Quincy Jones.
On September 7, 1991 in Las Vegas, Tupac and his entourage were picked up by Bruce Knight (driver) in a black B.M.W. 750 sedan. Also riding along were Afeni Shakur (singer for Tupac's group Thug Life); her mother Fula Shakur; and Knight's girlfriend Man Man.
Fula recalls the long, difficult drive to Las Vegas as being incredibly guilt-ridden. Knowing Knight would not let her do it alone, Fula was worried for the safety of herself and her family on board.
Today (March 3) an online auction featuring hip hop memorabilia will take place, featuring a ring believed to link late rapper Tupac Shakur with a Los Angeles gang. This incredible piece is part of an expansive collection that goes up for sale today (March 3).
Tupac Shakur, known to his fans as 2Pac or Makaveli, was tragically lost in 1996. To this day, his death remains a mystery which only adds to the intrigue surrounding Tupac's life and legacy.
His lyrics are remembered for their sharp wit and clash of opposites that made him rap's most dangerous star. Yet his darker legacy - drug dealing, arrests for assault and weapons possession - also remains a source of controversy.
At twenty-five, Tupac was facing serious charges and possible prison time for shooting two off-duty Atlanta policemen. His attorney tried to post bail, but the judge denied it, stating that the district attorney wanted him in jail.
Tupac knew he would likely spend time in prison, and hoped the experience would provide him with time to reflect and consider his choices. Yet months passed without any resolution in his case.
He had a mountain of debt to pay off, much of it due to a handwritten contract with Death Row Records mogul Marion 'Suge' Knight that promised him three albums if his bail money were returned. Yet after years of legal battles, the label still hadn't fulfilled that promise.
Tupac was in a persistent state of debt at the time of his passing, with an overall financial gap of over $200,000. At that point, he was struggling to pay off his mortgage, car payments and various other obligations.
At one point during these trying times, Tupac had a change of heart and began contemplating his future. He considered opening an empire of day care centers to assist women like his half-sister Afeni Shakur with their childcare needs.
Meanwhile, his lawyers were working to resolve various lawsuits he had filed in his name. Additionally, they planned on setting up a charity that would assist children of black men who were serving time for crimes committed while in prison.
De La Soul, the legendary hip-hop trio, is finally making their full catalog available to stream on streaming services. Their first six albums, including 3 Feet High and Rising and Buhloone Mindstate are now accessible for streaming.
This eagerly anticipated release comes after years of legal battles between De La and streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music. It marks a major victory for hip-hop artists everywhere and comes at the end of an arduous journey for De La's rights.
De La Soul was one of the most groundbreaking rap groups of its era, creating a 63-minute blueprint for hip hop's future on 3 Feet High And Rising. Released in 1989, this album reached #1 on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
As one of the most beloved and influential rap albums ever, the trio's debut left audiences spellbound with its array of off-kilter samples. For instance, "Jenifa Taught Me" utilizes a primary sample from Maggie Thrett's 1965 diddy song about a playful cat (albeit one with some issues) to craft an innovative modern-day rap anthem with an edge.
De La Soul was composed of Kelvin Mercer (Psdnuous), Maseo (Vincent Lamont Mason Jr.) and the late Trugoy (David Jude Jolicoeur). Their sound was both playful and sophisticated; creating songs that were truly enjoyable to listen to.
On Tuesday, De La Soul announced the release of their first six albums onto streaming services. This came after they successfully settled their decades-long legal dispute with Tommy Boy Records.
After an extended wait, De La Soul will finally release their full catalog on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and TIDAL. Streaming music allows you to discover new artists without having to buy the record - which can be pricey!
After three decades, it's great to see them finally find the right partner to bring their music to a wider audience. Hopefully this will serve as an example for other pioneers of the genre to share their back catalog with fans.
De La Soul recently made their full catalog of albums available on streaming services such as Apple Music, TIDAL and Spotify. Albums like 3 Feet High And Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate and Stakes Is High can now be streamed digitally via Apple Music, TIDAL and Spotify.
Buhloone Mindstate was released on September 21, 1993 and marked the final album produced by longtime producer Prince Paul. Although not a commercial success, it remains one of De La Soul's beloved and underrated works; it showcases their musical and lyrical maturity.
Contrary to their earlier, more experimental sampledelic releases, this record focused more on soul, funk, rock and jazz with a heavy dose of James Brown samples. Furthermore, this was the first time De La incorporated live horns into their rap sound; guests such as Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis played on the track "I Be Blowin'."
The album is filled with thoughtful, complex lyrics that can be difficult to interpret. One memorable line on the record reads, "It might blow up, but it won't go pop," which could be read as a promise to stay true to their hip-hop roots.
One of the album's highlights is "Breakadawn," which follows the group members on their journey from rat-infested housing in the Bronx to becoming successful emcees. In the song, Pos and Dove reflect on their upbringing, recalling shared memories and geographical landmarks while also celebrating their accomplishments.
Although this album's production may not have been as daring as some of De La Soul's previous efforts, it marked a major development from their early collaborations with Prince Paul. Furthermore, it marked a transition from 3 Feet High And Rising's psychedelic hippie vibe to more grounded and serious rap that demonstrated De La Soul's musical maturity.
De La Soul, the legendary hip-hop group, has finally released their entire catalog on streaming services. All six albums -- 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate, Stakes Is High, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump and AOI: Bionix -- can now be streamed across all major digital platforms after years of legal disputes with Tommy Boy Records. This represents a monumental victory for the group after years of legal disputes throughout their tenure with Tommy Boy Records.
Unfortunately, De La Soul's classic albums had been unavailable to stream due to sample clearance issues from their time on Warner Records. Without clearance for digital release of these signature samples, years of legal battles with Tommy Boy Records ensued and ultimately prevented any streaming access.
Last week, Maseo and Posdnuos' catalog was finally released on streaming services - just weeks after co-founder Trugoy the Dove passed away. At a special event in New York City last week to honor him, proceeds from streaming will be donated to his charity.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting this momentous development for some time, but the long wait also brought back bittersweet memories. Trugoy was one of the group's two primary emcees and is renowned for his playful verses that fuse jazz, funk, rock and rap into an unique style.
The result is an incredible body of work - rich and complex yet infectious. It's difficult to imagine the band without him, which explains why he was such an integral part of their success.
De La Soul's music has been an influence to countless artists, such as Public Enemy - whose albums It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet can now be streamed after legal disputes with their label. Additionally, De La Soul's work has had an immense effect on hip-hop, as evidenced by the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life which features some of his work.
De La Soul has long been an iconic force in hip hop, always at the forefront of innovation and criticism. From opposing Italian mobsters and bling in their youth to criticizing early '00s trend-chasing, De La Soul has never shied away from taking on the industry head-on.
De La Soul took their fifth studio album, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, to new heights by branching out from mentor Prince Paul in many ways. They collaborated with an even wider range of outside producers than before - Jay Dee, Rockwilder, and more - than ever before for this record.
De La Soul's latest record is less whimsical than their earlier releases, giving it a more mature and well-crafted vibe. That being said, there's still plenty of fun and humor here as Pos, Maseo and Dave play off one another's rhymes with playful flair.
De La Soul's debut album to feature more than just a handful of guest artists is "Thirteen." Indeed, this collection boasts the highest number of collaborations of any of their albums to date.
Mosaic Thump features guests such as Redman, Tash & J-Ro from Tha Liks and Xzibit, Busta Rhymes, Mike D and Ad Rock from The Beastie Boys, Busy Bee Freddie Foxxx and soul diva Chaka Khan. As with previous albums, each artist has their own distinct sound which they work to craft songs tailored specifically for them.
Mosaic Thump is an enjoyable album that finds De La Soul back in their element. While not the most essential release from them, it's still an ideal starting point if you're new to the group and want to experience some classic tracks.
De La Soul is one of the world's most influential rap groups, but their classic catalog has been difficult to make available on streaming services. Before today, none of their six albums had been made available through any major streaming platform.
Reservoir has finally released the complete digital library of Long Island rap trio De La Soul. After purchasing Tommy Boy Records in January 2023, Reservoir prioritized bringing all six albums to streaming platforms for the first time ever. 3 Feet High And Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate, Stakes Is High and Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump can all be streamed for the first time starting March 3rd 2023 on all streaming services.
As part of their release, De La Soul's iconic track "The Magic Number" from their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising was shared - recently featured in Spider-Man: No Way Home. This timeless album was originally released back in 1989 but has now been digitally restored so that new generations of fans can enjoy this timeless classic.
3 Feet High And Rising may have established the genre of hip-hop, but Buhloone Mindstate was their most cohesive album and marked an end to their collaboration with mentor Prince Paul. Subsequently, the emcees would break away from their mentor to have more creative control over their future releases.
However, it wasn't until 2001 that AOI: Bionix finally hit stores - the second installment in their planned trilogy of albums which was meant to be released quickly so they could conclude their relationship with Tommy Boy Records. Unfortunately, upon its release AOI: Bionix proved a bit disappointing though it still managed to produce an excellent album.