There’s something to be said about Tupac, an enigmatic superstar who died long before his true potential was ever tapped with only six legit years as a solo artist. And remember, one of those years was spent in a maximum security correctional facility. Yet, 15 years following “One Night In Vegas,” stories of his life from those closest to him continue to emerge. VIBE, the magazine which published some of Pac’s most insightful and polarizing interviews during his time on Earth, compiled a compilation of quotes from co-stars and producers Afeni’s baby boy worked alongside throughout his brief, but captivating career.
John Singleton, Allen Hughes, Marlon Wayans, Treach and even Maya Angelou all reflect to their days on set with Shakur. Stories of a workaholic, sensitive, hot-headed, weed addict who saw the world for what it was, but lived life 100 miles an hour define their accounts. Still, with that said, there was one underlying theme in their stories. Tupac was an extremely talented actor who possessed the talent to define a generation. One tale in particular centered around Pac’s loose-cannon side. While filming Juice, his jewelry was stolen out of his trailer. How the story ended was, for better or worse, classic Tupac.
[Vincent] Laresca: Somebody broke into his trailer one day and stole his jewelry. He went fucking crazy. He was like, “No one’s leaving until I get my fucking jewelry.” He wasn’t fucking around. He was the real deal when it came to that shit.
[Ernest] Dickerson: The producers offered to replace the jewelry and he said, “No, no, I know who did it. I will deal with it.” Then he started having this huge person hang out with him, not really a bodyguard but hanging out with him. One day, we were setting up the scene with Raheem’s funeral. I see the producers talking in a huddle. I go, “What’s going on?” They said, “Just go back and keep setting up. You don’t need to know.” Apparently, they found the guy who stole his jewelry and ‘Pac and the big guy were stomping this guy in the middle of the street on the curb, people were yelling out the window, “Stop it, leave that boy alone.”
[Khalil] Kain: I brought a girl that I liked up to the set that day. It was this dude Stretch [Tupac’s friend, the rapper Randy “Stretch” Walker], who is no longer alive, ‘Pac and Treach and they were stomping this kid out. It was one of the neighborhood kids that ‘Pac had taken under his wing, let him inside the trailer and the kid stole some jewelry out the trailer. They caught him on the block and fucked him up. Meanwhile, the girl that I brought was thinking that this was the movie and it’s a scene that they were shooting. And it’s not. This kid was getting stomped the fuck out.
Additional memoirs of Pac chain smoking blunts while on location, always showing on time for sets and leaving directors stunned at casting calls litter the piece. That said, probably the best quality about Pac is the realization we will never truly understand him; how he could go from hot to cold to compassionate to venomous in the blink of an eye. It was more than simply being a Gemini or an entertainer. What’s intriguing about the man is this. For as much as people love Tupac for what he accomplished while living, I vehemently believe people love him more for what he could have eventually became.
And whenever that is the case, the spirit never truly dies. Take a second to think about that.