Chicago's Black Ensemble Theatre is to make its first major foray into rap and tell the life story of Tupac Amaru Shakur.
The new show, to be shepherded by artistic director Jackie Taylor, is slated to open in January of next year at Black Ensemble's new home at 4450 N. Clark St. Black Ensemble shows often are musical tributes, a bio of a famous artist interspersed with his or her popular songs.
Shakur, the “Me Against the World” and “California Love” rapper, was shot and killed in 1996 in Las Vegas. He was 24. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party and much of Shakur's music, which has sold in the millions and remains popular, is infused with social consciousness. In April a hologram image of Shakur, accompanying a Snoop Dogg performance at the Coachella music festival in Indio, Calif., became a viral video sensation.