A section of MacArthur Boulevard between Van Buren Ave and Grant Ave in Oakland will be renamed “Tupac Shakur Way” after a unanimous vote from Oakland City Council. The city will also install commemorative plaques there in honor of the famous rapper on June 16, 2023, which would have been the his 52nd birthday.
Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife introduced legislation requesting the name change, which was officially approved on May 16, 2023. It’s the next in a series of Oakland street name changes commemorating public figures such as Huey P. Norton, Dorothy King, Too Short, and Joe Morgan.
Fife highlighted multiple facets of Shakur’s local legacy, including the fact that the rapper once lived on MacArthur Blvd for a time, and that the city proclaimed June 16, 2016 as “Tupac Shakur Day.”
Although he was born in Harlem, NYC in 1971, Shakur asserted that Oakland was where he got his “Game.” He said, “…I give all my love to Oakland, if I’ma claim somewhere I’ma claim Oakland.” Shakur got his start with local hip-hop group Digital Underground before working as a roadie and backup dancer in the Bay Area.
Tupac quickly became one of the most prominent and influential hip hop emcees on the West Coast, releasing several massively popular albums including 2Pacalypse Now which was recorded in the Bay Area. However in 1996 at the age of 25, he was fatally shot in Las Vegas by a still-unnamed assailant. Even after his death, Tupac’s music continues to be internationally beloved and has sold 75 million albums worldwide.
“Tupac Shakur’s legacy will continue through his contributions in art and social outreach, through his family and fans, touching countless lives of children and elders over the years while alive and after his death, taken too young by gun violence,” states the City Council legislation.
Find this stretch of MacArthur Blvd, soon to be known as Tupac Shakur Way, between Van Buren and Grant Ave right near Lake Merritt in Oakland.