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Tupac Shakur's Beginnings Rooted in Baltimore

Updated: Friday, September 13 2013, 08:34 PM EDT

The murder of Tupac Shakur was 17 years ago and it still remains one of the greatest modern day mysteries to this day. On Friday, the anniversary of his death, FOX45's Joy Lepola walked the hallways Tupac himself walked in Baltimore.

Lepola spoke with friends who remember the artist as a teen who displayed not only a great deal of respect and pride, but also an extraordinary amount of talent. While no one remembers exactly how Tupac Shakur ended up auditioning at Baltimore School of the Arts, but his performance was unforgettable.

"Faculty members were already talking about him and of course I didn't meet him until the following September," Donald Hicken, Tupac's former teacher shared with FOX45. As a new school year started, Hicken saw for himself just how talented Tupac was, especially as a rapper.

Hicken recalled, "Rap was a relatively new concept and children would write them at home and then bring them and share them."

Becky Mossing was a in the same class as Tupac and told FOX45, "It was the most amazing thing, to watch him… he was special and going places."

For three years, Tupac walked the streets of Baltimore to get to school, and for former teachers and friends it is Baltimore that helped to shape him as an artist.

"The environment, I think, really nurtured him artistically on a lot of levels," said Hicken. "I had great plans for him, casting him in shows, challenging him, and he was heartbroken, and he teared up a little bit when he came into my office to tell me he was leaving," Hicken recalled.

Tupac Shakur's Beginnings Rooted in Baltimore

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