Topic: Entertainment

All Eyez on Me hits cinemas worldwide this weekend

By Online News - Rereātea, Tepara Koti
Demitrius Shipp Jnr as Tupac Shakur - Image / You Tube trailer

The wait is over for loyal Tupac fans around the globe.  The biopic on the late American megastar has finally been released, 21 years on from his death.  

Tupac Amaru Shakur is played convincingly by actor Demitrius Shipp Jnr, who said he studied Pac's mannerisms until he "got it down" in an All Eyez on Me round table interview.

The story is told from an "incarcerated Tupac" who has a filmmaker recording him with his version of events from the time he was in his mother's womb.

Imagine the steps of a New York court house in 1971, where Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur was acquitted (after representing herself) for charges brought against the "Panther 21".  

Afeni was heavily pregnant at the time of her acquittal, shortly after on June 16, 1971, Lesane Parish Crooks was born.  

The film depicted his young adult years where he attended Baltimore Performing Arts alongside his dear friend, Jada Pinkett.

Baltimore School of Arts, 1988 Yearbook - Photo / Baltimore Sun

[Tupac Shakur in a 1988 Yearbook photo at the Baltimore School for the Arts - Photo / Baltimore Sun]

His career kicked off with Digital Underground, where he was an MC, roadie and back-up dancer before breaking off as a solo artist. 

He then became an actor and starred in movies including Juice, Above The Rim and Poetic Justice with singer Janet Jackson.

Lesane, or Tupac, went by a number of aliases throughout the height of his career including 2Pac, Makaveli and Pac.

Highlights of the movie portrayed his controversial relationship with Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace), his rise to super-stardom, the rape charge, imprisonment, and the life-changing move into Death Row Records with Suge Knight.

[Warning: Gunfire shown]

Then there's the "war" that sparked between the East Coast-West Coast rappers, producers and record labels, and the eventuation of famous rap disses like Tupac's "Hit Em Up".  

We also meet "the love of his life", Kidada Jones, daughter of renowned music mogul, Quincy Jones, who is played by Annie Ilonzeh.  Kidada was engaged to Tupac when he died in 1996.

Aside from the film, Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus Jnr) recently inducted Tupac Shakur into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York City.  

Alicia Keys, Treach and T.I. paid tribute to Tupac by performing his songs Changes, I Ain't Mad At Ya and Hail Mary.  Snoop also performed his Tupac duet, Gangsta Party, with YG.

Snoop's induction speech told of Tupac "the actual human being" instead of just Tupac, "the thugged-out superhero" - a similar theme seen throughout the movie.

The comprehensive film on Pac's life follows the 2015 release of NWA's biopic, Straight Outta Compton, and Notorious B.I.G.'s biopic, Notorious, released in 2009.

"All Eyez on Me" has received mixed reviews since its premiere in Los Angeles on June 14, it also showed in Auckland on the same day, with a huge turnout of keen movie-goers.

As a 25-year-old black American man who was subjected to hardship, violence, racism and other social issues throughout his life, Tupac's music continues to resonate with many people today.

Tupac died on September 13, 1996 as a result of a drive-by shooting.  Today would mark his 46th birthday.