OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland on Friday showed a lot of California love for the late, legendary hip-hop artist and rapper Tupac Shakur – a section of MacArthur Boulevard was renamed in his honor.
"Pac was more than just a rapper, more than a musician, he was a cultural figure," his brother, Mo Shakur, said at a festive event at Lake Merritt. "The things he was trying to say and impress upon people that were important, about taking care of the community, and it resonated and that's why he still has the love today."
The iconic artist was born in Harlem, New York in 1971 and raised in Baltimore.
But his Bay Area ties stretch back to his parents, who were active in the Black Panther Party, and his early life in Marin City. He lived in East Oakland after moving here in the late 1980s.
He once said "...I give all my love to Oakland, if I’ma claim somewhere I’ma claim Oakland."
His former home near Lake Merritt on MacArthur between Grand Avenue and Van Buren Avenue will now be called Tupac Shakur Way.
Shakur's sister, Sekyiwa Shakur, told KTVU on Thursday that her brother would be proud that Oakland is recognizing his contributions to culture and music.
"He's gonna be skipping in heaven and excited to see everybody that's gathered for him and his impact that's still present in a place he loved," she said.
Fellow musician Money B said Shakur's legacy will live on in Oakland and beyond.
"He influenced generations, not just one generation, but two more because he was the voice of our generation when we were young," Money B said. "But it's two more generations that weren't alive when he was making music that are still being influenced by what he left behind."
The idea for the street came from Oakland City Councilwoman Carroll Fife, who wanted to ensure the Shakur legacy lives on and "that we build a world where roses no longer have to grow through concrete because we’ve broken down those obstacles and softened the ground for all beauty to bloom with ease."
The street renaming comes 27 years after Shakur was shot to death in 1996 while sitting in a car at a red light near the Las Vegas strip.
For nearly three decades, who killed him has been a big mystery and a source of plenty of conspiracy theories.
But this fall, a grand jury in Nevada indicted Duane "Keefe D" Davis, 60, as being the ringleader behind Shakur's killing. He was charged with murder and using a deadly weapon.
Davis has long been known to investigators as one of four suspects identified early in the investigation. He isn’t the accused gunman but was described as the group’s ringleader and in Nevada, you can be charged with a crime, including murder, if you help someone commit the crime.
Prosecutors allege that Davis, a former gang leader in Compton, was one of four men who pulled up in a car next to Shakur at that red light.
Shakur was being driven by the former CEO of Death Row Records, Marion "Suge" Knight. Both Shakur and Knight were shot,
Knight survived, but Shakur died several days later.
A section of MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland was renamed Tupac Shakur Way. Nov. 3, 2023.
Davis himself has admitted in interviews and in his 2019 tell-all memoir, "Compton Street Legend," that he provided the gun used in the drive-by shooting.
He said the same thing to authorities in California who had agreed in advance that he wouldn't be prosecuted — but charges from Nevada are a different story.
Davis has also said that it was his nephew, Orlando Anderson, who actually fired at Shakur and Knight.
Anderson died in a separate, gang-related killing in 1998; Davis and Knight are the only two of the six people involved who are still alive.
Whoever fired the gun, prosecutors say Davis was the organizer of the crime.
On Thursday, Davis entered a not-guilty plea in a Vegas courtroom.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.