So of course I saw the advanced screening of All Eyez on Me last night, and in honor of (today’s self-declared holiday) Pac Appreciation Day, I’m just dropping in to pay respects to the realest and my favorite rapper of all time.
The movie was decent. A good representation of what people didn’t know or get to see about his early life, a glimpse at some of the toxic people he associated with, and details of some major controversial and disheartening things he experienced during his career. What he accomplished by the age of 25 was undeniably iconic. Personally, I think my expectations were just set way too high for this film and that’s why I was a little disappointed by it. I can’t really explain it, but I just didn’t feel moved! After Straight Outta Compton I was all hyped up and emotional at the same time, and I’m not even as big a fan of NWA as I am Tupac, but that movie was just very well done. So in my opinion, All Eyez on Me could have been better. I think the main actors did well, you could tell they really tried and worked hard to give an honest representation of the characters, but there was just something missing… for me, anyway. I still recommend you go see it and support—form your own opinion and let me know how you feel afterwards!
Just a little history: Many people don’t know that rapper/actor Tupac Amaru Shakur was born Lesane Parish Crooks on June 16, 1971, in Harlem, New York, and moved to Maryland at 15, where he attended Baltimore School of the Arts and studied poetry, acting, jazz, and ballet (& met Jada Pinkett). His mother actually changed their names to signify things of a deeper meaning. Her own to Afeni, meaning “lover of people” and Shakur (her husband’s last name), Arabic for “thankful to God,” and his to Tupac Amaru II, after the 18th-century Peruvian revolutionary executed for leading an indigenous uprising against Spanish rule. Anyway, he didn’t move to Cali until 1988, but started heavily reppin’ the West Side as a result of his affiliation with Digital Underground, Death Row, and the Outlawz. (So basically, in my opinion, the East Coast/West Coast beef was mildly unnecessary and taken way too far…)
Towards the end of his life and for his last album, he adopted the pseudonym “Makaveli,” after Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian philosopher and author whose writings of faking his death to eliminate and fool his enemies inspired him during incarceration. Many speculate that Pac is still alive and just living off the grid because he was exhausted with fame/the life he was living, and I can’t lie, I’ve read quite a few convincing arguments. “They” say he’s dead, but with a somewhat unconfirmed (possibly fake) autopsy, you can never be sure… “they” say a lot of things. I’m no conspiracy theorist, I’m just sayin’, there’s a lot of confusion swirling in the atmosphere concerning his death.
In closing: Pac, you are greatly appreciated, and your art and words live on and inspire in ways you couldn’t have even imagined while you were here. Passion poured off your tongue every time you spoke and you always remained true to yourself. After the 2015 homegoing of #TrueMuva and certified badass-for-a-good-cause—Black Panther, political activist, and business woman—Afeni Shakur, all I can say is I’m glad you two are back together after so long. We miss you, king! #Legendary
Here are my top 5 fav. of the most popular Pac records, which will be on repeat all day, in celebration:
#1. Keep Ya Head Up
#2. I Ain’t Mad at Cha
#3. Dear Mama
#4. California Love
But the mind behind the music is where the value really lies.
The fact that all of this is still relevant nearly 20 years down the road amazes me. The level of pure intellect! The analogies he gives and context he provides when explaining things is unmatched. I’m always more than inspired when I listen to this man speak.
A truly gifted spirit and storyteller.