Lesane Parish Crooks, aka Tupac Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born Lesane Parish Crooks. As long as you’re addressing him by his famous moniker, this man needs no introduction.

2Pac is a legendary figure for his many notable contributions to hip hop and American culture, as well as the mystery surrounding his still-unsolved murder in 1996.

Another mystery with Tupac is that, unlike other funny-named musicians who simply perform under a stage name, there is far less certainty surrounding 2Pac’s name.

Not among his notable contributions: a bizarre cameo next to the rapping prosthetic nose guy in Dan Aykroyd's ill-advised and extremely creepy 1991 comedy "Nothing But Trouble."

For one, although is mother’s name was Afeni Shakur and his aunt – a fairly famous Black Panther  – was Assata Shakur  it is believed that Afeni and Tupac’s father Billy Garland gave their son the name Lesane Parish Crooks to avoid him being targeted by his Black Panther-affiliated family’s enemies.

While that’s more interesting than the stories behind most names, it’s not the only notable aspect of how 2Pac’s name could have shaped his personality.

Tupac Amaru II – after whom the rapper was named – was a Peruvian revolutionary who met a similar end – as Amaru was executed after leading an uprising against Spain. Tupac’s last name, Shakur, was well-known among the black liberation community for a family of its leading social voices.

And how about the other, “official” name? Well, a constant theme of Tupac’s work was the struggle between good and bad – he constantly explored themes as diverse as murder and crime, while also writing heartfelt social anthems like “Baby Don’t Cry” and “Changes” (based on a sample of a Bruce Hornsby song). Within his birth name, we see both themes echoed. Parish represents a wholesome village overseen by a priest, and Crooks has a much more sinister, below-the-table connotation.

So what’s in a name? Well, in the case of Tupac “2Pac” Amaru Shakur, aka Lesane Parish Crooks, it could be more than you think. This is the kind of fuel that keeps us going in our pursuit to unlock the secrets of the funny-named corners of our galaxy.

And whether or not Tupac is alive today, we know that his legacy lives on through our work on the Funny Names Blog, thanks to some inspired parents who granted him such a fascinating set of names.

About Dave

Based out of San Diego, California. Co-founder of the Blog of Funny Names. funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
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11 Responses to Lesane Parish Crooks, aka Tupac Shakur

  1. We had a patient come into the office sporting the name Placenta. Yes, it is the afterbirth.

  2. rhijulbec says:

    When little boys who think they are big boys play with guns someone is bound to die. Sigh, what a shame. All this over some perceived slight.

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  8. Freeda Donivan says:

    I always like Dan Aykroyd because he is a great actor and comedian. :”;*,

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  9. D says:

    I saw 2pac at white castles in Cincinnati.

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