Tupac Shakur, circa 1993. (AP)

Tupac Shakur was gunned down and killed on Sept. 13, 1996 — fifteen years ago today — during a famously unsolved drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. For fans of Shakur and hip-hop in general, it’s a date that carries as much significance as the day Elvis Presley, John Lennon or Kurt Cobain died, a moment when a supreme talent suddenly was snuffed out.

In an essay today on The Root, writer Jenee Desmond-Harris recalls the moment when she, a high school sophomore at the time, heard the news from her mother, who dropped the bombshell in the bluntest way possible.

“‘Your friend died! she called out from another room.

Confused silence.

‘You know, that rapper you and Thea love so much!’”

Desmond-Harris notes that she and her aforementioned friend Thea honored Shakur’s memory by baking cookies and sending them to the rapper’s mom, Afeni Shakur.

Do you remember where you were or how you reacted when the news of Shakur’s death made its way to you? How did his passing compare impact-wise with the sudden deaths of other musicians, like Lennon or Cobain, or other hip-hop artists, like Notorious B.I.G. or Ol ’Dirty Bastard?

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