OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A stretch of street in Oakland, California, was renamed Friday for Tupac Shakur, 27 years after the killing of the hip-hop luminary.
A section of MacArthur Boulevard near where he lived in the 1990s became Tupac Shakur Way, following a ceremony that included his family members and Oakland native MC Hammer.
“Let his spirit live on the rest of these years in these streets and in your hearts,” Shakur’s sister Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur told the crowd, wiping away tears at the end of a nearly two-hour ceremony. The sign for Tupac Shakur Way was unveiled moments later.
MC Hammer, the “U Can’t Touch This” rapper who spent many of Shakur’s final months with him before his 1996 shooting death at age 25, said in his remarks that Shakur was, “hands down, the greatest rapper ever, there’s not even a question of that.”
Shakur collaborator Money-B and Oakland hip-hop legend Too Short also spoke at the ceremony.
Shakur was born in New York and was raised there and in Baltimore, but he moved with his mother to the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1980s. He would live in Oakland in the early 1990s and embraced it as an adopted hometown.
“He claimed Oakland,” said City Councilwoman Carroll Fife, who led the effort to rename the street. “He said Oakland gave him his game.”
The ceremony came the day after a former Southern California street gang leader pleaded not guilty to murder in the Las Vegas shooting death of Shakur.
Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis is charged with orchestrating the shooting. He is the only person still alive who was in the vehicle from which the fatal shots were fired and in September, 27 years after the killing, became the only person ever charged with a crime in the case.
Shakur’s relatives have kept their distance from the prosecution and made only passing reference to it Friday. Sekyiwa Shakur said her brother “died at 25 years old in gang violence, by the hands of another Black man, by the planning of another Black man, whoever that man may be.”