Celebrate Tupac’s 51st Birthday at His Exhibit and Pop-up Cafe

The influential rapper-actor would’ve been 51 on Thursday. Celebrate his legacy at an immersive exhibit and his Powamekka Café pop-up eatery
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Tupac Shakur would have turned 51 on Thursday, June 16.

Although the influential rapper, actor, and activist was taken away too soon at 25 years-old, his family has made it easy for fans to continue to celebrate his legacy through the exhibit, “Tupac Shakur. Wake Me When I’m Free,” which debuted in January.

The immersive exhibition, housed in The Canvas at L.A. Live, was initially set to close in May, but was recently extended due to its popularity. More than 150,000 have visited the presentation so far.

“Tupac’s legacy as an artist and activist is one that resonates across boundaries of age, gender, race, and location,” Stephen Shaw, producer of the “Wake Me When I’m Free” experience, told LAMag.

“We extended the exhibit by popular demand, and as part of an initiative launched in the spring with LAUSD to bring in public school groups. We want as many people as possible to know the incredible life Tupac lived.”

Fifty Los Angeles schools and youth groups have visited the exhibition through the new program known as the Los Angeles Unified Cultural Arts Passport, which aims to provide students with “access to arts and cultural enrichment,” Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said in a statement.

LAUSD Supt. Alberto Carvalho and students tour the “Tupac Shakur, Wake Me When Im Free” exhibit at The Canvas at L.A. Live. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

“I’m thrilled that the exhibit will extend its offer of free tickets to all public school student groups to visit and learn about Tupac Shakur’s life and legacy,” he said, adding that many students have called the exhibition inspiring, powerful, and meaningful.

The 20,000 square-foot presentation is filled with thousands of handwritten notes ranging from song lyrics, to screenplay ideas, to Tupac’s grocery list, plus clothing from iconic moments throughout his career and other treasured artifacts—all of which are meant to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of Tupac’s brief, but impactful life.

One of the ideas that Tupac regularly journaled about was Powamekka Café, a restaurant concept that would offer a place for all to “play and parlay” and “escape the worldz cold reality.” Tupac’s estate is bringing his vision from the page to life through a partnership with Fixins Soul Kitchen, just steps away from the “Wake Me When I’m Free” exhibition. It’s the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat after walking through the 60-90-minute experience.

The pop-up restaurant, which debuted on Tupac’s birthday, will be open through Thursday, June 30. Straight from the pages of his notebook, Tupac has created the menu to feature some of his favorite foods, including meatloaf, gumbo, and his cousin Jamala’s fried chicken wings.

This isn’t the first time that Tupac’s estate has brought his Powamekka Café to life. The first time was in 2018 in his hometown of New York at John Seymour and Nas’ Sweet Chick restaurant on Ludlow Street.

But now the Los Angeles community will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the mind of Tupac at the Powamekka Café.

The limited-run restaurant is located at 800 W. Olympic Blvd., A150. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Reservations can be made via Opentable.

Tickets to the exhibition are available here.


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