While serving his sentence, he married his long-time girlfriend, Keisha Morris, on April 4, 1995; the couple divorced in 1996. While imprisoned, Shakur read many books by Niccolò Machiavelli, Sun Tzu's The Art of War and other works of political philosophy and strategy. He wrote a screenplay titled Live 2 Tell while incarcerated, a story about an adolescent who becomes a drug baron.
The album was very well received, with many calling it the magnum opus of his career. It is considered one of the greatest and most influential hip hop albums of all-time. It is his fourth biggest selling album with 2,439,000 units moved to date. Me Against the World won best rap album at the 1996 Soul Train Music Awards.
"Dear Mama" was released as the album's first single in February 1995, along with the track "Old School" as the B-side. "Dear Mama" would be the album's most successful single, topping the Hot Rap Singles chart, and peaking at the ninth spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was certified platinum in July 1995, and later placed at #51 on the year-end charts. The second single, "So Many Tears", was released in June, four months after the first single. The single would reach the number six spot on the Hot Rap Singles chart, and the 44th on the Billboard Hot 100. "Temptations", released in August, was the third and final single from the album. The single would be the least successful of the three released, but still did fairly well on the charts, reaching number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100, 35 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, and 13 on the Hot Rap Singles charts.
In October 1995, Shakur's case was on appeal but due to all of his legal fees he could not raise the $1.4 million bail. After serving eleven months of his one-and-a-half year to four-and-a-half year sentence,Shakur was released from the Clinton Correctional Facility due in large part to the help and influence of Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records, who posted a $1.4 million bail pending appeal of the conviction in exchange for Shakur to release three albums under the Death Row label.
Makaveli The Don - Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, commonly shortened to The 7 Day Theory, is the fifth and final studio album by Tupac Shakur, under the new stage name Makaveli, finished before his death and his first studio album to be posthumously released. The album was completely finished in a total of seven days during the month of August 1996. The lyrics were written and recorded in only three days and mixing took an additional four days. These are among the very last songs he recorded before his fatal shooting on September 7, 1996. In 2005, MTV.com ranked Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory at #9 on their greatest hip hop albums of all time list and, in 2006, recognized it as a classic. The emotion and anger showcased on the album has been admired by a large part of the hip-hop community, including other rappers. Ronald "Riskie" Brent is the creator of the Makaveli Don Killuminati cover painting. George "Papa G" Pryce, Former Head of Publicity for Death Row, claimed that "Makaveli which we did was a sort of tongue and cheek and it was not really to come out and after Tupac was murdered, it did come out. But before that it was going to be a sort of an underground." The album peaked at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Billboard 200. The album generated the second-highest debut-week sales total of any album that year, selling 664,000 copies on the first week. This album was certified 4× Platinum on June 15, 1999.
At around 11:00–11:05 pm, they were halted on Las Vegas Boulevard by Metro bicycle police for playing the car stereo too loudly and not having license plates. The plates were found in the trunk of Knight's car; the party was released without being fined a few minutes later. At about 11:10 pm, while they were stopped at a red light at Flamingo Road near the intersection of Koval Lane in front of the Maxim Hotel, a vehicle occupied by two women pulled up on their left side. Shakur, who was standing up through the sunroof, exchanged words with the two women, and invited them to go to Club 662. At approximately 11:15 pm, a white, four-door, late-model Cadillac with an unknown number of occupants pulled up to the sedan's right side, rolled down a window, and rapidly fired gunshots at Shakur. He was hit in the chest, pelvis, and his right hand and thigh. One of the rounds went into Shakur's right lung. Knight was hit in the head by fragmentation, though it is thought that a bullet grazed him. The bodyguard, Frank Alexander, stated that when he was about to ride along with the rapper in Knight's car, Shakur asked him to drive the car of Shakur's fiancée Kidada Jones instead, in case they needed additional vehicles from Club 662 back to the hotel. The bodyguard reported in his documentary, Before I Wake, that shortly after the assault, one of the convoy's cars drove off after the assailant but he never heard from the occupants.
After arriving on the scene, police and paramedics took Knight and a wounded Shakur to the University Medical Center. According to an interview with the music video director Gobi, while at the hospital, he received news from a Death Row marketing employee that the shooters had called the record label and threatened Shakur. Gobi told the Las Vegas police, but said they claimed to be understaffed. No attackers came. At the hospital, Shakur was heavily sedated, was placed on life support machines, and was ultimately put under a barbiturate-induced coma after repeatedly trying to get out of the bed. While in the critical care unit, on the afternoon of Friday, September 13, 1996, Shakur died of internal bleeding; doctors attempted to revive him but could not stop the hemorrhaging. His mother, Afeni, made the decision to tell the doctors to stop. He was pronounced dead at 4:03 pm (PDT). The official cause of death was noted as respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds. Shakur's body was cremated the next day and some of his ashes were later mixed with marijuana and smoked by members of the Outlawz.