Like the title suggests, the upcoming release “Tupac: Resurrection” begins after the rapper’s death. The film tells the story of his life, but unlike the slew of previous movies about Pac, the filmmakers let the microphone king narrate his own story through interviews that were conducted with the poetic rap prophet by various media outlets.
“What is so bad about that?” Pac rhetorically asks about becoming an angel, after expressing that he always thought he would get shot and wanted to be an angel in his afterlife.
The documentary shows how Tupac’s destiny was being written before he was even born. Some of the forces that would shape the iconic MC’s militant characteristics are examined, as the movie delves into his mother Afeni Shakur’s history as a member of the Black Panthers and the organization’s struggles with the government. The Panthers’ influence on Pac is evident, as we later see the rapper at 17 giving his views on poverty in the black community.
Though Tupac took on a leadership role at such a young age, he also loved his acting roles during his formative years. Viewers will not only get to see several exclusive pictures of Pac and his best friend Jada Pinkett as they attended Baltimore’s School of the Arts, but also snippets of an amateur video where the two are, ironically, lip-synching to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
As a professional musicmaker years later, Tupac struggled with fame. “I’m 22,” he says in the film, unabashed about expressing how he was sometimes afraid of the “undeniable love” he was getting from fans at that time. It was because of that adoration that he was shocked when gunmen riddled him with bullets for the first time in 1994, during a robbery at the Hit Factory in New York. He didn’t think anybody in the black community would ever shoot him.
And while we all know the aftermath of the shooting, with him going to the hospital and soon after being hauled off to jail for sexual assault, followed by an infamous article in Vibe magazine that many say spurred on the Death Row feud with Bad Boy, we’ve rarely seen or heard Pac while he was locked down. Featured in the film is footage of a 1995 interview where Pac, with a head full of hair, talked from behind the walls of Clinton Correctional Facility.
“Prison kills your spirit,” he said. “There is no creativity.”
But we all know Pac’s spirit could never be vanquished. His creativity would be reborn when he got bailed out of prison by Suge Knight and joined Death Row Records (the actual handwritten record contract between Suge and Pac is also shown in the movie). Upon his release from Clinton on bail, he began to scribe songs and hit the studio incessantly, recording all 27 tracks for his double LP, 1996’s All Eyez on Me, in only two weeks.
And what was the inspiration that led Pac to feverishly pound out three songs a day, leaving behind a catalog of unreleased music that is still selling today? In the film, we hear him explain that he had a prophesy of his death.
MTV Films and AMARU Entertainment’s “Tupac: Resurrection,” directed by Lauren Lazin, will be previewed at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, and is scheduled for theatrical release in the fall of 2003.