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Amaru Entertainment Releases Statement On Tupac Bootlegging

Tupac Shakur’s

record label Amaru Entertainment recently condemned the piracy of Tupac’s

latest posthumous release Loyal to the Game, which has been prematurely

leaked through illegal downloading in the past few weeks.

While some sites

provide the single "Uppercut" from Loyal to the Game for

download, the track has yet to be officially released through Amaru or their

parent label Interscope.

Amaru, describing

fans as Pac’s “extended family,” said many have alerted the

label to illegal reproduction of the album through email, out of love of the

slain rapper.

“Tupac’s

fans are completely intolerant of this bootlegging and piracy,” Amaru

said in a statement. “The reality of today’s music industry is that

Internet piracy and bootlegging runs rampant like a plague.” The label

added that most of the bootlegging violations usually proceed during pressing

and distribution once the album is complete.

Tupac was no stranger

to bootlegging throughout his lengthy career. The rapper’s earlier albums

have faced similar bootlegging concerns, though he attempted to stop the infringement

at its source.

Tupac had frequently

claimed that bootleggers were stealing hard-earned money from him, Amaru said,

recalling footage of Tupac confiscating tapes from street merchants attempting

to sell bootlegs in the 90s.

“Tupac [explained]

that the merchant was taking money that did not belong to him for a product

that Tupac put his blood, sweat and tears into.”

Tupac’s mother,

Afeni Shakur—executive producer for the album along with rapper Eminem—has

financed an investigation and is determined to eradicate illegal operations,

Amaru said.

The label also

thanked those who have expressed concern and taken action. “Tupac had

always said that he ‘could not do any of this without his fans and today

is no different,” Amaru said. “It is your undying loyalty to Tupac

and your undying devotion to carrying out his legacy in a respectful manner

that gave us enough warning to take measures to insure an early release of our

album.”

Eminem was on deck

to produce much of Loyal to the Game, Tupac’s seventh album since

his untimely death. Eminem used Tupac’s unreleased verses to construct

12 of about 16 tracks.

The album also

features Eminem’s label mates 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Obie

Trice, as well as Sleepy Brown, Nate Dogg, Ron Isley and Outlawz. Red Spyda,

Raphael Saadiq and Scott Storch also contributed to production.

Amaru plans to

set up the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia,

using a portions of all proceeds from Tupac’s album sales.

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