The estate of Tupac Shakur has won back unreleased Tupac music after a gruelling five-year legal battle against Entertainment One.
Tupac Shakur, considered by many to be the greatest rapper of all time, was shot in a drive-by on 7 September 1996 and died in hospital six days later on 13 September. He was just 25.
Since his untimely death, there has been much speculation:
After he died in the prime of his career, the recording artist’s unreleased masters have been the source of much bad blood between his family and the company.
However, the estate has now settled its lawsuit against Entertainment One, the company it accused of withholding royalties to the tune of seven figures, TMZ has learned.
Sources with direct knowledge claim Entertainment One will pay the estate a substantial 6-figure amount.
More importantly, the settlement is said to include unreleased music too, said to be worth a fortune. But rather than focus on the fiscal value, this settlement is an emotional win for the family also.
Tupac’s mom, Afeni Shakur Davis, had been the administrator of the artist’s estate when she decided to sue Entertainment One to reclaim her deceased son’s unreleased master recordings back in 2013.
Afeni died in May 2016, aged 69, but the lawsuit continued, until it was finally settled this week.
It is not uncommon for record labels to monetise tragedy, in the deaths of their talented clients, and keep unreleased recordings which the artists themselves may not have wanted the public to hear.
Speaking to UNILAD about the myth – and business – of The 27 Club, Jennifer Otter-Bickerdike recalled her own experience of Tupac’s unreleased work.
The music academic specialising in fandom and the cult of dead celebrity said:
I worked at Interscope for a long time and every f*cking year it seemed we had a new Tupac record. Stuff he’d done in studio but remixed and backed – stuff that he probably wouldn’t have even wanted out in the public forum.
While the music industry is a business, and a lucrative one at that, it is only right and just for the collection of unreleased master recordings made by the late, great Tupac to be returned to his estate so his nearest and dearest can continue enjoying his talents.
Entertainment One also have had to give a six-figure settlement for unpaid royalties from posthumous releases they had managed. What his estate plans to do with the rare recording remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, a biopic documenting the life of the legendary rapper was released in the US on his birthday, (June 16). All Eyez On Me traces Shakur’s life from his rocky upbringing in East Harlem to his rise in hop-hop and Hollywood.
You can watch the trailer for the biopic, dubbed the ‘real deal’ below:
It also shines light on his connections with the Black Panther party and his relationship with his deceased mother, who was a member and eminent activist.