A feature-length film on the life of times of arguably the most influential rap artist of all time, Tupac Shakur, has been long awaited and debated. Not until today has it shown much promise to live up to the epic life of its subject.
Pac died at the age of 25, should he had survived his shooting in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996 he would maybe have lived to see 45, which he would have been today. Instead, Shakur died on Sept. 13, so today the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his passing occurs and to add a forward-spinning buzz to the proceedings, All Eyez on Me reveals its most welcoming visuals thus far.
Starring as 2Pac, newcomer Demetrius Shipp, Jr. gets to actually talk a bit in his footage, though his voice doesn’t always carry the natural gravitas of the actual performer in his perpetual aggression and pointed-ness, he does a bit to carry off Pac’s charisma and his ability to draw attention with ease no matter what situation he was in.
This around 100 second trailer features Pac in several performances as well as in jail, enjoying his spoils and in conflict with various law enforcement and people in his life. Major players show up such as mother Afeni (Danai Gurira), Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana), Kidada Jones (Kidada Jones) and Biggie Smalls (Jamal Woolard from Notorious) as well as just about all the iconic looks Pac pulled off from fly Gucci shirts blowing in the wind to East Coast influenced skullies and timbs.
You have to feel at least a little bit better about the flick and its production value if not some of the BET movie of the week line readings (I see you Clifton Powell), though Gurira is perfect casting as Afeni and may likely find herself in the realm of great black actors overlooked by the Academy in break-through roles.
All Eyez on Me is directed by veteran hip-hop video director Benny Boom and is scheduled to be released before the end of the year.
More on the Remembrance of 2Pac
8 Ways Tupac Shakur Changed the World (Rolling Stone)
20 Years After Tupac’s Death: ‘A Symbol of Possibility, of Life Cut Short’ (Time)
Tupac Shakur’s Legacy, 20 Years On (NPR)
From the archives: remembering his Baltimore beginnings (Baltimore Sun)
Before Black Lives Matter, Tupac Took on the Police (Complex)
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