Tupac Shakur was, and still is, one of the greatest rappers to have ever lived. The multifaceted artist changed hip-hop forever and definitely defined an era. For this reason, Tupac will be the center of a documentary directed by “12 years a slave’s” Steve McQueen. This is not the first documentary it has been made about Pac’s life or unsolved death it will be the first officially authorized one. Since Shakur’s Estate has approved it and wants to collaborate in its realization.
Shakur was one of the best rappers of the 90’s, and of history. He was one of the iconic west coast artists, in a musical rivalry that took place in that decade. Shakur besides a hip-hop artist was an actor, poet, and activist, who sold more than 75 million records worldwide. His life was full of controversy, including imprisonment and his polemic time at Death Row Records. Also, regarding his mysterious and violent death at the age of 25, in Las Vegas. This year he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Being the first ever rapper to achieve it.
More than two decades have passed and Tupac Shakur is still one of hip-hop’s most iconic figures. As he changed the music and rap world in such a way he has turned into an enigma. Often, a contradictory picture, on one side the concerned young activist on the other the angry rapper spitting at cameras due to his trial for sexual assault. To the point that it seems he even predicted his own death when released the video of “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,” a few weeks before his assassination, with him depicted as an angel in heaven.
Few have been as successful as he was. Since he mixed perfectly regional pride and mainstream success. Honoring his humble origins, struggle to make it and the streets that raised him. Backed up by activism, gangster-ism, black proud and artistry. He did more than just change the musical scene. He was the first rapper to make a big performance on a movie, with Juice. The first one to get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the first rapper to have his estate mine-stripped for a new product. The first rap celebrity court case and the first one to drop the first hip-hop double CD.
Due to all of this, the iconic life of the rapper has been the theme of numerous documentaries, movies and so on. With over ten big screen projects, from Nick Broomfield’s 2002 film “Biggie and Tupac” to RJ Bond’s 2007 doc “Tupac: Assassination”. Even the rapper’s bodyguard, “Big Frank” Alexander, released his own film back in 2001, “Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake….”. To the most recent and upcoming “All Eyez on Me,” a biopic by musical video director Benny Boom. Along with “LAbyrinth” a movie where Johnny Depp is set to play the Los Angeles police detective who investigated the murders of Tupac and his rival Notorious B.I.G. Also a scripted true crime series about the murders of both rappers titled “Unsolved,” that is also in the works.
Tupac’s mother always wanted a documentary about his life
Now it’s time for Steve McQueen to take his shot at Tupac’s life. McQueen got the support of Amaru Entertainment, the company Tupac’s mother Afeni created to release her son’s posthumous projects. Along with Shakur’s Estate trustee Tom Whalley, who will co-produce the film. Along with Whalley, the production will be in charge of Jayson Jackson (What Happened Miss Simone?) and White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair (The Beatles: Eight Days a Week). Also, Tupac’s aunt, Gloria Cox, will collaborate as an executive producer. Cox said Afeni, who died on 2016, wanted to do a documentary about her son for a long time, telling his true and complete story.
“Our goal has always been to tell the true story, which has never been done before in such a complete way. My sister always said to me, ‘We are not in the business of defending Tupac. Our job is to allow him to be seen in a complete way, so his actions, his choices, and his words will allow him to speak for himself.’ I believe this film will do exactly that.” Cox said in an interview to Rolling Stones.
McQueen and Amaru Entertainment will portray Tupac’s life
This project will be McQueen’s second one, after his Oscar-winning movie. Despite that, he is working on his next film “Windows,” set to be released on 2018. “I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist. I attended NYU film school in 1993 and can remember the unfolding hip-hop world and my overlapping with Tupac’s through a mutual friend in a small way. Few, if any shined brighter than Tupac Shakur. I look forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man”. McQueen stated.
This approach towards Tupac’s life is extremely important as Whalley said. Since Shakur’s message is still relevant. “Tupac’s timeless message resonates today as strongly as it did when I first discovered him in 1990, possibly more so. His legacy is unfortunately seen now through the refraction of the headlines, the controversy, and the tragic way his life ended. With this film, we will show the artist and the young man who existed beyond the news”.