In addition to his career as a rap artist, he was also an actor. The themes of most of Tupac's songs are the violence and hardship in inner cities, racism, other social problems, and conflicts with other rappers during the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry.
Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City. He was named after Túpac Amaru II, a Peruvian revolutionary who led an indigenous uprising against Spain and was subsequently executed.
His mother, Afeni Shakur, and his father, Billy Garland, were active members of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s; he was born just one month after his mother's acquittal on more than 150 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks" in the New York Panther 21 court case.
Actually, I thought Tupac was named for Tupac Amaru:
Túpac Amaru II was born José Gabriel Condorcanqui in Surimana, Tungasuca, in the province of Cuzco, and received a Jesuit education at the San Francisco de Borja School, although he maintained a strong identification with the indigenous population. He was a mestizo who claimed to be a direct descendant of the last Inca ruler Túpac Amaru.
For more on black-Indian connections, see Thoughts on IndiVisible and Virginia Classified Indians as Blacks.