Shabaka Shakur was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived the early years of his life in the Brownsville Projects. Shabaka Shakur always had a sense of community awareness instilled from young. With a passion for music and sports, Shakur attended Our Lady of Charity, the First Catholic School formed by a predominantly African American base. Even in the midst of harsh environmental realities growing up in underdeveloped areas of Brooklyn, Shakur’s family reinforced the importance of conscious Afrocentrism from young. But it was not until Shakur’s incarceration that he gained a better understanding of the meaning of brotherhood and community centric ideals.
Prior to his longest incarceration, Shakur had completed his GED. Upon being wrongfully accused of homicide at the age of 21, Shakur began to passionately study law in regards to his case. At the age of 49 he was finally vindicated, shedding light on nearly three decades of corruption on the part of the arresting detective. This set in motion the exoneration of many others and Shakur made it a point to stand alongside his brothers in the pursuit of their own justice. He uses his voice to highlight the need for social justice and prison reform. In 2017 Shakur established the nonprofit, Day2 Multipurpose Center, which focuses on helping those formerly incarcerated to re-enter society with services such as housing and job placement assistance. Day2 is also committed to investing into the next generation of leaders through education, training and empowerment.
Following his release from prison, Shakur became a successful business owner with the opening of Brownstone restaurant, which was featured on multiple major news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and Hot 97. Shakur received a commendation from the Brooklyn Borough President’s office and then opened restaurant and event space, 718 Live Lounge on Fulton Street. After several successful years in the hospitality industry- Shakur decided to shift gears and focus on several other industries. With his most recent venture Rebirth Multimedia Group, Shakur seeks to pay homage in the form of celebration. RMG is the manifestation of Shakur’s passion for music and community, producing high quality events and multimedia content. Shakur also helped found 1925 Consulting- a Business Development Firm that helps Entrepreneurs and start-ups develop strategies for success.
In 2019, Shakur’s vision of bringing people together over music, food and culture was actualized during the first annual Culturefest. Culturefest is a lifestyle celebration of the most influential tastemakers and thought leaders at the intersection of art and commerce. Showcasing the latest in culturally relevant artists & brands with the force to impact real social change, #CultureFestNYC includes live event performances, immersive exhibits, rare fashion pieces, and exclusive vendors. #CultureFest is an original content factory garnering a projected 6M+ unique impressions.
On Monday, April 20, 2020, the second annual Culturefest will take place at the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York. Headlining the event will be New York’s own Fat Joe and Funk Master Flex. Once again, this event will shed light on the various aspects of Culture and give opportunities to up and coming artists and creatives to share their talents with the world. “I believe in Visionaries. If I was able to create the vision and blueprint for my life behind bars, then I know how support and guidance can help shape our culture and encourage others to develop visions that turn into realities. That’s what CultureFest is built on. That’s what everything I do is built on.”