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Tupac Shakur to Have His Own Street, ‘Tupac Shakur Way,’ in Oakland

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Tupac Shakur pictured in Oakland in 1992. The rap icon is set to have an Oakland street renamed in his honor. (Gary Reyes / Oakland Tribune Staff Archives (MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images))

Tupac Shakur will soon have an Oakland street named after him, following a unanimous vote by the Oakland City Council Tuesday night to honor the rap icon, whose career began in the Bay Area.

MacArthur Boulevard between Grand Avenue and Van Buren Avenue will be known as “Tupac Shakur Way,” marked by commemorative signage. In the early 1990s, Shakur lived in the apartment complex at 275 MacArthur Boulevard.

Eight members of the council voted in favor of the renaming. No members voted against it.

Shakur moved to Oakland in the early 1990s, after brief stints living in Marin City and Santa Rosa. It was while living in Oakland that the ambitious young rapper split from Digital Underground and started his solo career with the 1991 LP 2Pacalypse Now.

Shakur also filmed the pivotal music video for “Brenda’s Got a Baby” in downtown Oakland, and famously sued the Oakland Police Department for slamming him to the ground during a jaywalking arrest at 17th and Broadway.

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Even after he moved to Los Angeles, Tupac credited Oakland as the place “where I got the game at. … I give all my love to Oakland. If imma claim somewhere, imma claim Oakland.”

The council’s resolution [PDF] notes that a street renaming will be considered appropriate if “the individual has positively impacted the lives of a nation or the world.”

The resolution continues: “MacArthur Boulevard between Grand Avenue and Van Buren Avenue where [Shakur] once lived serves to remind us of his contributions to Oakland and our communities through the celebration of art and culture as an awakening tool towards changes in society.”

This is the second time in the past year that Oakland has renamed a street after a rap artist. In December 2022, a portion of Foothill Boulevard in East Oakland was renamed “Too Short Way.”

Costs for the signage will be covered by the Tupac Shakur Foundation. No timeline has been set for a street renaming ceremony.

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