Speaking with XXL Magazine late last week, Singleton hinted at some turmoil in the production process and stated that his involvement in the Tupac biopic was in-fact on hold for the time being. On Tuesday, representatives for Morgan Creek, the production company behind the movie, confirmed that Singleton has indeed stepped down as the film’s director. According to The Wrap, a source close to the project stated that “There are major creative differences” between Singleton and Morgan Creek. “Honestly, Morgan Creek can make a sub-par Tupac movie and move on. If John Singleton makes a bad Tupac movie? There’s no more Singleton.
How does it feel to be involved in making the Tupac biopic?
It’s a very intimidating because, like I said, you just want to get it right. I think the picture is not going to be good unless it’s offensive to some people. So, whenever you make a movie, you always have different elements that people have their say about. But when I’m making my movies, John Singleton movies, it’s really just my voice. So I can’t be listening to all the other suggestions of all these other people and shit. So we’re not going to pull the trigger on that until it’s right. If somebody else wants to do something different then they can do something different. But if it’s going to be right, it’s going to be right. It’s going to be something that potentially adorns ‘Pac’s legacy.
One of the defining characteristics of Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly, is a running poem that builds and unfolds as the album progresses, with K.Dot sharing more and more of the piece song by song. The piece culminates after the music fades out during the album’s final track, “Mortal Man,” and as Kendrick finishes he asks a question, answered by the voice of Tupac Shakur. The two proceed to have a conversation about metaphors, social inequality, classism and maintaining sanity in the face of so much pressure; towards the end, Kendrick asks ‘Pac for his take on the future of Kendrick’s generation and receives an answer that wouldn’t seem so out of place if it was given today. The only difference is, that interview with Tupac happened in 1994.
How exactly Kendrick came across that particular interview—which you can hear in full here—is still a slight mystery, but the origins of ‘Pac’s answers are not. The interview was conducted in the Atlantic Records office in New York City around the time of the release of ‘Pac’s Thug Life: Vol. 1 album with his group Thug Life, which came out Sept. 26, 1994. The journalist in question: Mats Nileskår, a Swedish radio host who has been documenting the careers and music of African-American musicians through the jazz, soul, funk, R&B and hip-hop eras since 1978, conducting around 6,000 interviews in the past 37 years by his estimation. Nileskår’s P3 Soul radio show has grown into an influential and now-legendary European institution over that time period, with this Tupac interview one of the crown jewels of his collection.
Earlier this week, the Grammy Museum opened up their new exhibit, “All Eyez On Me: The Writings Of Tupac Shakur,” dedicated to the life of Tupac Shakur. With the help of the Shakur Estate headed by his mother Afeni, the exhibit holds hundreds of 2Pac’s personal items from wall to wall. His journals that were filled with never-before-seen poems and familiar pieces like “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” are also on view.