In the stifling post-boxing match Las Vegas traffic jam, a new black 1996 BMW inched along impatiently, it's gold detailing glimmering brightly under the street lights. Any attempt to catch a glimpse of the passengers within the tinted windows revealed only a distorted reflection of the chaotic, yet relatively motionless urban scene. The glass sunroof slid open and a dark figure rose partly through the opening, like a tank commander surveying the horizon for signs of the enemy. Discreetly the rear window of a nearby car rolled down as it approached, and the muzzle of a gun emerged slightly. The gun, almost indiscernible from the cavernous blackness inside the car, spewed out thirteen bullets, each one punctuated by a startling yellow flash and a reverberating crack that cut through the buzz of the traffic. In one blurred and sweeping motion the black BMW roared to life, accelerating across the traffic flow and towards the oncoming cars, retreating from the scene as the dark figure collapsed limply back into the vehicle.
This incident is not a scene from a DeNiro/Pacino mobster movie. Nor is it an episode from an Oliver Stone or Quentin Tarrantino film. In fact, it is not a scene from any movie, although the story will likely wind up as a made-for-television drama. Rather, it is the dramatic finale of the life of rapper/actor Tupac Amaru Shakur, who was shot four times during this escapade while traveling from a Mike Tyson fight to a nearby club on September 7th. He later died of the wounds, after six days of intensive care and several unsuccessful operations.
Tupac Amaru, or 2Pac, as he spelled it --distinguishing him from the violent Peruvian terrorist group of the same name-- was one of today's most popular 'gangsta rappers.' His...