How would your mother
deal with it if you were shot and killed? Not many people can muster up the strength
to do what Afeni Shakur, mother of murdered rapper Tupac is doing. Her son has
left a major impression on the arts and due to much of her efforts. Her son has
sold 30 million records, 24 million of them, since his death in 1996.
And with the guidance
of a mother’s love, Shakur is making sure her son’s legacy lives on and continues
to grow and inspire the legions and legions of cult like followers he inspired.
Shakur wants to show that Pac was more than a rapper. He inspired young people
to think, reach and love each other. With a new movie, "Tupac: Resurrection"
and an accompanying soundtrack, Afeni Shakur spoke candidly with AllHipHop about
her son’s legacy.
How was it plowing through all of that info on your son?
Afeni Shakur: I
have yet to go through my sons things that were removed from his home seven
years ago, so what I don’t do is go through things. But Lauren and the Amaru
staff, the Amaru production team and the MTV production team, Avon, they all
did a magnificent job. My family helped, other members of my family are able
to do things like that, but I am not the person that goes through anything,
Was Death Row or Suge Knight involved with this project at all?
AS: Not at all.
What is your relationship with Suge Knight at this point?
AS: Suge Knight
is the executive producer of music that my son made during the period of time
that he was a Death Row artist. As such because my son died, every time we use
or every time one of those pieces of music is used or needs to be used in any
way then, I have to have a relationship with Death Row because that’s who my
son made those arrangements with. I have a relationship with Death Row and Suge
Knight based upon the fact that my son had a relationship with them. We can
not erase history but you know, we also do Tupac’s things, we have our own staff.
Lets talk a little bit about the soundtrack, because I have seen the movie but
I haven’t heard the soundtrack, with the exception of "Running."
AS: You haven’t
heard the soundtrack? O.K. you’ve heard the one song "Running" and
your also going to love "One Day at a Tim." Why wouldn’t I love "One
Day at a Time?" I’m a recovering addict, I live my life one day at a time.
That’s the name of the next track. "One Day at a Time" which is with
the Outlaws,. Eminem produced it and I think on this one also Dre mixed it.
This is wonderful music. They are three new songs. The other one would be "Ghost."
They are three new songs and they are magnificent. We are really, really, really
proud of them and then they work well with the other Tupac music. It’s like
a nice walk down the lane. I think I can’t remember, I’ll mess it up if I try
to tell you now. I’m so bad at it you know, but you know what else is on it
which I like a lot (giggles from having a hard time remembering the title of
AS: No, Oh God,
it’s the one with 50 Cent. I’m sorry, I hope it’s not a bad thing for me
to say it. I know people like whatever, but really I like when he says ( giggles)
I love it, when he says "Until Makeveli returns, all eyes on me" (giggles)
I love it, I love it, I love it. So that’s the last song on the track. So it
begins one way then the last thing is 50 Cent and Tupac I love it. It’s great.
I really think that it’s amazing it has that much passion. It’s a wonderful
album, people will be happy, people will be alright about it.
What made you release the Biggie/Tupac song or re-release it, was there any
particular statement you were making?
AS: I can tell
the truth and change the devil and let me tell you something. That song was
in the original mix to go in the movie, yes it was, but that’s not how we saw
that song. We need to give thanks to Eminem because that’s his vision for that
song, and I resisted it. When I first heard it I said, "What is this? And
then he said "please" just humble very, very humble. "Please
I have a vision for this. I know what you are trying to do just trust me."
Once he did it, I cried. A lot of us did. I cried because I would have wanted
to do that, yes I would have, but I did not have the talent. He made it such
a big song. I mean like the energy of it, it’s a big song. It’s the best that
I heard of Biggie since he’s been gone. He’s so clear, so good you know, I like
that. I like that we are able to honor Ms. Wallace with that song. She’s a good
lady you know, and I need for her. She always says very nice things about me
and I want to thank her like that. So I’m very proud of that song.
What do want people to remember most about Tupac, and is it hard for you to
do these interviews?
AS: The reason
it’s not hard is because I don’t do them everyday. I say to the people, like
before I started today I said, "You must remember now I’m not an entertainer,
I’m the mother of the murdered person who is the subject of this movie."
And this is not hard for me because I don’t do it everyday, I remain everyday
Tupac’s mom and as his mother, today this is my responsibility. That’s exactly
the way I do it and it’s nothing as long as I do it like that. But, if I was
getting involved in trying to be a media person then it would be a problem,
but this is OK, it just has a beginning, a middle, and an end. I can do anything
like if long as I practice.
What do you want people to remember most about him?
AS: About my son,
I would like for people to remember him as a complete artist. I would like for
them to be touched and moved by his music and by his art. I would like for them
to appreciate him as a artist, to judge him by the totality of his work the
way that all artists are done. If they do that, it is sufficient for me, I would
be quite satisfied with that.
Is there any new aspect of his personality that people who are most familiar
with him through his music they can get from the movie?
people who did not know him on a one to one basis will discover Tupac and the
people that knew him, will sit there and think that Tupac is talking individually
to them. The good thing is that you see every aspect of Tupac’s personality.AllHipHop: What is
your view on all the unauthorized DVDs that are floating around on your son?
Afeni Shakur: Painful
that people feel like, I guess, that they don’t think maybe that I would do
the right thing by my son. said in ’96 that I was going to put my son’s work
out in an organized, rational way. This is seven years later and I feel comfortable
in that’s what we’ve done. The fact that others have felt it necessary to do
[DVDs], that’s ok. We did what we needed to do. I’m not angry with anybody.
I don’t feel hostility. We are just doing what we think Tupac would want. Tupac
had a real forceful way of making you understand what he wanted for himself.
We are clear.
is story on disconnect about two generations. Not only Tupac, but his generation.
What happened along the way?
Afeni Shakur: My
generation was frightened into panic. I think we spent a lot of time lying to
our young people, hiding and blaming them from what we have done. That’s what
I think. Where that lead me was to a crack pipe. I am forever grateful to God
that I was on that crack because I made me completely broken so that I could
examine my life. Today what I know is that we are responsible for these young
people. If there is a disconnect its our fault because we stopped talking to
AllHipHop: Do you
think that the people overlook Tupac’s more political side, his more positive
Afeni Shakur: You
know when Tupac was alive, all of the people I used to know they would ask me,
"Why doesn’t he write something political?" And I would say, "What
planet are you on?" The thing about Tupac is that he was discomforting
to some people. He made people very uncomfortable. People will be able to look
at this documentary in a nice comfortable movie seat, so they won’t be afraid
that he’ll jump off stage and spit in their face.
Part 2 of "Resurrection"
will appear next week on AllHipHop.com.