Plans are being finalized for an all-star tribute album to slain gangsta-rapper Tupac Shakur that is to be released on the anniversary of his assassination, according to a joint announcement Tuesday by Interscope Records and Amaru Records, the label headed by the rapper's mother.
The project -- slated for release on Sept. 13, the second anniversary of Shakur's still-unsolved murder -- will feature artists covering previously released Shakur songs, according to Interscope Records publicist Dave Tomberlin. "There are no artists attached yet," he said, "but they're approaching people from rock to rap."
A source close to the project reported that there have been talks with a number of big-name artists, but that nothing had been confirmed. Meanwhile, Death Row Records publicist Greg Howard said he had no knowledge of any artists from Shakur's former label being approached for the project.
The album is intended to honor the memory and legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur, who was killed in a drive-by shooting just off the Las Vegas strip in 1996. Prior to his death, Shakur, also known as 2Pac, scaled the rap and pop charts with such West Coast gangsta-rap hits as "California Love," "Keep Your Head Up" and "I Get Around."
Following his death, a Shakur album entitled The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was released under the pseudonym Makaveli. It spawned the hit single "To Live and Die in L.A." Though he has been dead for two years, Shakur remains one of the most highly acclaimed and controversial artists in the business.
His work is also one of the most marketable, selling millions of albums worldwide.
In late 1997, Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur, reached a settlement with Death Row Records that gave her the rights to more than 150 of her son's unreleased songs. She then formed Amaru Records and released Are U Still Down (Remember Me) on Oct. 28.
It's a double CD that has thus far yielded the hits "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto" and "Do For Love."