The 2Pac murder case, which has remained a haunting mystery for nearly 27 years, has recently taken an unexpected turn. Reports suggest that authorities are preparing to charge former Compton Crip gang leader Duane “Keffe D” Davis, a childhood friend of legendary N.W.A. former member – the late Eazy-E. Keffe D, who once boasted about his involvement in the assassination of the iconic rapper, is now facing imminent charges in connection with this cold case.
As we all know, Pac’s murder is probably one of the most famous unsolved cases of all time that still sparks intense debates. A combination of witness statements, Keffe D’s own admissions, and evidence might be the key for the investigation that will show what really happened the night of September 7, 1996 in Las Vegas when Pac was fatally shot on the corner of Flamingo road and Koval Lane.
Building a Compelling Case
According to The Sun, Las Vegas homicide detectives, backed by the district attorney, have painstakingly assembled a compelling case against Keffe D. Their findings are expected to be presented to a secret jury in the coming month. This pivotal moment in the case will determine if the evidence gathered is substantial enough to warrant prosecution.
The case against Keffe D is not solely built on circumstantial evidence. A significant portion of the evidence includes witness statements regarding 2Pac’s murder and Keffe D’s alleged involvement. However, Keffe D will not be allowed to attend the hearing, leaving the grand jury to assess the evidence without his presence.
Insiders suggest that the district attorney is exploring the possibility of pursuing first-degree murder charges against Keffe D, based on Nevada law. This potential charge underscores the seriousness of the allegations against him.
Keffe D’s own moves have played a significant role in this recent development. In his self-published memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” he confessed to his role in the shooting of 2Pac. According to his story, he rode in the vehicle and allegedly handed the murder weapon to his nephew, Orlando Anderson, who then fired the fatal shots.
Search of Keffe D’s Home
Adding to the intrigue almost 27 years later, investigators recently executed a search warrant at Keffe D’s residence as part of the long-dormant 2Pac murder investigation. During the search, law enforcement confiscated various items, including computers, hard drives, and magazine articles about 2Pac. Additionally, they discovered photographs from the 1990s featuring individuals who may have had direct or indirect connections to the shooting, along with copies of Davis’ 2019 book.
Hopes of Identifying an Accomplice
While investigators have long believed that the primary gunman may already be deceased (Orlando Anderson was killed during an unrelated gang shooting in 1998), they are hopeful that this new development will enable them to identify and charge an accomplice. This marks a significant breakthrough in a case that has remained unsolved for nearly three decades.
The West Coast hip-hop scene has long been a powerhouse in the world of rap music. From its early beginnings in the 1980s to the explosive growth in the 1990s, West Coast rap has had a profound impact on the genre as a whole. In this article, we delve into the top 10 West Coast debut albums that not only influenced the region’s rap culture but also left an indelible mark on the global hip-hop landscape.
In this article, we embark on a journey through the annals of hip hop to uncover the top 10 debut albums that have left an enduring impact on the culture. These albums have not only captured the essence of their respective eras but have also transcended time, remaining essential listens for aficionados and newcomers alike.
N.W.A – “Straight Outta Compton” (1988)
Revolutionary, Controversial, and Timeless: The Quintessential Gangsta Rap Masterpiece
In 1988, N.W.A, the iconic West Coast rap group, released their groundbreaking debut album, “Straight Outta Compton,” which would forever change the landscape of hip-hop and popular music. This album served as a powerful and unfiltered reflection of the harsh realities faced by young African Americans in Compton, California, while simultaneously challenging the status quo and sparking important conversations about social issues.
“Straight Outta Compton” was a defiant and revolutionary response to the oppressive conditions in the streets of Compton. The album’s title track, “Straight Outta Compton,” is an anthem of empowerment and pride, asserting the group’s identity and unapologetically representing their hometown.
One of the most notorious tracks on the album is “F**k Tha Police,” a searing indictment of police brutality and racial profiling. The song’s raw and visceral lyrics drew controversy and censorship but also brought national attention to the systemic issues faced by communities of color.
N.W.A’s delivery throughout the album is marked by ferocity and unbridled energy. Tracks like “Gangsta Gangsta” and “Dopeman” showcase the group’s unapologetic portrayal of street life, capturing the desperation, violence, and survival mentality that pervaded their surroundings.
The album’s production, spearheaded by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, laid the foundation for the G-Funk sound that would come to define West Coast hip-hop. The use of hard-hitting beats, funky basslines, and sampling techniques set the tone for future generations of rap artists.
Aside from the socio-political themes, “Straight Outta Compton” also features tracks with explicit content and controversial language, which led to both criticism and popularity. Some saw the album as glorifying violence and perpetuating negative stereotypes, while others appreciated it as an authentic portrayal of the group’s experiences and frustrations.
More than three decades since its release, “Straight Outta Compton” remains a vital and enduring piece of hip-hop history. Its impact is felt not only in the music industry but also in shaping cultural discourse and sparking conversations about racial inequality and police brutality.
“Straight Outta Compton” is a seminal album that defined the gangsta rap genre and solidified N.W.A’s status as pioneers in the rap world. The album’s rawness, authenticity, and unapologetic approach to addressing social issues continue to resonate with audiences today. “Straight Outta Compton” is a timeless masterpiece that should be revered and celebrated for its cultural significance and artistic brilliance.
Ice Cube – “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” (1990)
Revolutionary, Provocative, and Fearless: A Landmark in Hip Hop History
In 1990, Ice Cube, one of the founding members of N.W.A, embarked on a solo career that would forever change the landscape of hip-hop. His debut solo album, “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted,” stands as a groundbreaking work of art that fearlessly addresses social and political issues, reflecting the harsh realities of life in urban America.
From the very first track, “Better Off Dead,” it becomes evident that “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” is not for the faint of heart. Ice Cube’s aggressive and unapologetic delivery commands attention as he addresses themes of police brutality, racial discrimination, and the challenges faced by black communities. This album serves as a powerful and unfiltered commentary on the state of America at the time, holding a mirror to the systemic injustices plaguing society.
The production, largely handled by Public Enemy’s production team, The Bomb Squad, is nothing short of revolutionary. “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” pioneers the use of chaotic and layered soundscapes, incorporating samples, sirens, and abrasive beats that perfectly complement Cube’s ferocious delivery. The album’s sonic intensity matches the urgency of its message, creating an immersive and intense listening experience.
“Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside),” a collaboration with Chuck D from Public Enemy, further reinforces the album’s theme of social awareness and resistance. The track’s thought-provoking lyrics and powerful performances from both artists leave a lasting impact on listeners, encouraging them to confront uncomfortable truths about society.
Throughout the album, Ice Cube displays his storytelling prowess with tracks like “Once Upon a Time in the Projects” and “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate.” He skillfully weaves narratives that shed light on the realities of life in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, humanizing the struggles faced by many African Americans during that era.
One of the most controversial tracks on the album is “Black Korea,” which sparked outrage for its portrayal of Korean store owners in predominantly black neighborhoods. Although the song generated heated discussions, it also initiated crucial conversations about race relations and cultural misunderstandings in the United States.
“AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” is more than just a collection of songs; it is a call to action. Ice Cube unapologetically challenges the status quo and demands change. He proves that hip hop can be a powerful platform for social and political activism, using his artistry to advocate for justice and equality.
DJ Quik – “Quik Is The Name” (1991)
A Timeless West Coast Classic: DJ Quik’s Debut Album Sets the Bar High
In 1991, DJ Quik burst onto the hip-hop scene with his debut album, “Quik Is The Name,” a project that not only showcased his exceptional skills as a producer but also established him as a formidable rapper in his own right. This classic West Coast album remains a testament to DJ Quik’s innovative sound and lasting influence on the genre.
From the very first track, “Sweet Black Pussy,” DJ Quik’s signature production style takes center stage. The album’s production features a blend of funk, soul, and G-Funk elements, creating a smooth and laid-back vibe that epitomizes the West Coast sound of the early ’90s.
As a rapper, DJ Quik exudes confidence and charisma, effortlessly gliding over his own beats with his distinct flow. Tracks like “Tonite” and “Born and Raised in Compton” showcase his storytelling ability, offering glimpses into his experiences growing up in the streets of Compton, California.
One of the album’s standout tracks, “Jus Lyke Compton,” is a potent statement on the reputation of Compton in the media and its portrayal in popular culture. DJ Quik confronts the stereotypes surrounding his hometown while proudly celebrating its culture and resilience.
“Quik Is The Name” is also known for its memorable interludes, such as “Tha Bombudd” and “Tear It Off,” which add a playful and humorous touch to the album. These interludes give listeners a glimpse into DJ Quik’s personality and creative approach to music.
The album’s commercial success can be attributed not only to DJ Quik’s talents as a rapper and producer but also to its accessible and infectious sound. Tracks like “You’z a Ganxta” and “Loked Out Hood” resonate with fans of both West Coast G-Funk and mainstream hip-hop, making “Quik Is The Name” a crossover hit.
Despite the album’s commercial appeal, DJ Quik’s authenticity as an artist remains intact. He presents a genuine portrayal of himself and his environment, drawing from personal experiences and observations, which adds depth and credibility to his music.
“Quik Is The Name” is a timeless West Coast classic that set the stage for DJ Quik’s successful career as a rapper, producer, and influential figure in hip-hop. With its infectious production, confident lyricism, and genuine authenticity, the album continues to stand the test of time. DJ Quik’s debut remains a must-listen for any hip-hop enthusiast, as it exemplifies the essence of the West Coast sound and cements DJ Quik’s legacy as a trailblazing artist in the genre.
Dr. Dre – “The Chronic” (1992)
“The Chronic” by Dr. Dre was released in 1992. “The Chronic” is considered one of the most influential and iconic albums in hip-hop history, and it played a significant role in shaping the West Coast hip-hop sound. Dr. Dre’s production of “The Chronic” introduced and popularized the G-Funk subgenre, characterized by its smooth, laid-back, and funk-infused beats. The album’s signature sound heavily influenced the West Coast hip-hop scene for years to come.
“The Chronic” featured Snoop Doggy Dogg (now known as Snoop Dogg), Nate Dogg, Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, and RBX, among others. Snoop Doggy Dogg’s appearance marked his debut and helped him gain widespread recognition in the hip-hop community.
Snoop Doggy Dogg – “Doggystyle” (1993)
Iconic, Timeless, and Game-Changing: The Masterpiece of West Coast Hip Hop
In 1993, the world was introduced to a rising star from Long Beach, California, who would soon become a hip-hop legend. Snoop Doggy Dogg’s debut album, “Doggystyle,” hit the scene like a tidal wave, leaving an indelible mark on the history of hip hop. This masterpiece not only catapulted Snoop to stardom but also solidified the West Coast hip-hop movement and showcased his unparalleled talent as a rapper.
“Doggystyle” brings an unmatched fusion of smooth and laid-back G-Funk beats with Snoop’s signature melodic flow, narrating vivid tales of life on the streets. Produced by the legendary Dr. Dre, the album is a celebration of West Coast culture, filled with funk-inspired grooves and soulful samples that are instantly recognizable even decades later.
The album’s lead single, “What’s My Name?,” was an instant hit and set the tone for the rest of the record. Snoop’s distinctive vocal delivery and relaxed demeanor quickly made him a hip-hop icon. Songs like “Gin and Juice,” “Murder Was the Case,” and “Doggy Dogg World” became instant classics, resonating with fans across the globe.
Cypress Hill – “Cypress Hill” (1991)
A Groundbreaking Debut: Cypress Hill Redefines West Coast Hip Hop
In 1991, Cypress Hill burst onto the hip-hop scene with their self-titled debut album, “Cypress Hill,” bringing a fresh and innovative sound that would go on to influence countless artists in the years to come. With their fusion of Latin influences, hardcore rap, and a unique stoner culture, the group set a new standard for West Coast hip hop.
The album’s lead single, “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” became an instant hit and introduced the world to Cypress Hill’s gritty and aggressive style. With B-Real’s iconic nasal flow and Sen Dog’s fierce delivery, the track became a classic and remains a staple in the group’s live performances.
“Hand on the Glock” and “Stoned Is the Way of the Walk” further solidify Cypress Hill’s signature sound, with DJ Muggs’ production incorporating Latin-infused beats and haunting samples that set them apart from their peers.
One of the standout tracks on the album is “Pigs,” which addresses the issue of police brutality and racial profiling. Cypress Hill’s candid and powerful lyrics offer an unfiltered perspective on the realities faced by communities of color, adding a layer of social commentary to the album.
The album’s production, helmed primarily by DJ Muggs, creates a dark and atmospheric soundscape that perfectly complements the group’s raw and unapologetic approach. The use of heavy basslines, eerie samples, and creative scratching techniques makes “Cypress Hill” a quintessential example of early ’90s West Coast hip hop.
Another highlight of the album is “Latin Lingo,” where Cypress Hill showcases their Latin heritage and infuses Spanish lyrics into their rhymes, further differentiating them from other hip-hop acts at the time.
Throughout “Cypress Hill,” the group demonstrates their skillful storytelling, painting vivid pictures of street life and the struggles faced by those living in urban environments. Their ability to delve into personal experiences while addressing broader social issues adds depth and authenticity to their music.
In conclusion, “Cypress Hill” is a groundbreaking and influential debut that solidified Cypress Hill’s place in hip-hop history. With their unique blend of Latin influences, hardcore rap, and stoner culture, the group brought a fresh and distinct sound to the West Coast hip-hop scene. The album’s impact on the genre and its enduring appeal make it a classic that continues to resonate with fans and new generations of hip-hop enthusiasts alike. Cypress Hill’s debut is a must-listen for any lover of raw and authentic hip-hop music.
MC Eiht – “We Come Strapped” (1994)
Gritty Gangsta Rap Classic: MC Eiht’s Magnum Opus and a Testament to West Coast Hip Hop
In 1994, MC Eiht, the esteemed Compton rapper and member of the legendary group Compton’s Most Wanted, released his second studio album, “We Come Strapped.” This seminal work stands as a gritty and unapologetic representation of West Coast gangsta rap, showcasing MC Eiht’s raw lyricism and street storytelling.
“We Come Strapped” opens with the explosive track “Nuthin’ But The Gangsta,” setting the tone for the album’s uncompromising and uncompromisingly gangsta narrative. MC Eiht’s distinctive and commanding delivery, coupled with his authentic portrayal of Compton life, solidifies him as one of the genre’s most respected voices.
The album’s lead single, “All For The Money,” became a massive hit and served as an anthem for the streets, highlighting the struggles faced by those living in impoverished neighborhoods. The song’s catchy chorus and MC Eiht’s captivating flow make it a standout track that resonates with fans to this day.
“Def Wish III” is another notable track on the album, featuring appearances from fellow Compton rappers like Boom Bam and Tha Chill. The collaboration brings a sense of camaraderie and unity within the West Coast hip-hop community, adding a layer of authenticity to the project.
“We Come Strapped” is not merely a showcase of gangsta bravado; it also delves into deeper themes, such as racial inequality, police brutality, and the impact of the crack epidemic on urban communities. Tracks like “Def Wish IV” and “I Remember” offer poignant reflections on the harsh realities of street life.
MC Eiht’s flow and delivery are complemented by the album’s production, which features heavy use of classic G-Funk elements. With production by DJ Slip and MC Eiht himself, the beats on “We Come Strapped” provide the perfect backdrop for his gritty and evocative storytelling.
The album’s cohesion and consistency contribute to its enduring appeal, making it a quintessential example of West Coast gangsta rap during the early ’90s. MC Eiht’s ability to craft vivid narratives and articulate the complexities of street life sets him apart as a true storyteller in the genre.
In conclusion, “We Come Strapped” remains a cornerstone of West Coast hip-hop, showcasing MC Eiht’s lyrical prowess and capturing the essence of Compton’s urban landscape. The album’s impact and influence on subsequent generations of rappers make it a timeless classic and a must-listen for any hip-hop enthusiast. MC Eiht’s candid and uncompromising portrayal of street life solidifies “We Come Strapped” as a true gem in the annals of gangsta rap history.
Tha Dogg Pound – “Dogg Food” (1995)
West Coast G-Funk Excellence: A Classic Collaboration from Tha Dogg Pound
In 1995, Tha Dogg Pound, a rap duo consisting of Daz Dillinger and Kurupt, released their highly anticipated debut album, “Dogg Food.” With production from the legendary Dr. Dre and Daz Dillinger, the album quickly became a defining work of West Coast G-Funk and left an indelible mark on the hip-hop landscape.
“Dogg Food” is a sonic journey that captures the essence of early ’90s West Coast rap. Infused with funky basslines, soulful samples, and infectious melodies, the album is a testament to the distinct musical style that emerged from the streets of Los Angeles. Dr. Dre’s masterful production blends perfectly with Daz Dillinger’s own skills behind the boards, creating a cohesive and sonically pleasing experience from start to finish.
The chemistry between Daz Dillinger and Kurupt is evident throughout the album. Their effortless flows and clever wordplay complement each other, demonstrating a natural synergy that comes from years of collaboration. Tracks like “New York, New York,” “Let’s Play House,” and “Big Pimpin 2” showcase their lyrical prowess and ability to effortlessly ride the beats.
Big L – “Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous” (1995)
An Underrated Gem: Big L’s Fiery Debut That Defines True Lyricism
In 1995, the hip-hop world was introduced to one of the most talented and gifted lyricists of all time – Big L. His debut album, “Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous,” proved to be a groundbreaking release that showcased his exceptional storytelling ability, intricate wordplay, and unparalleled lyricism.
From the very first track, “Put It On,” Big L’s commanding presence on the mic is undeniable. His rapid-fire delivery and witty punchlines leave listeners captivated, setting the tone for the rest of the album. Each track is a lyrical tour de force, demonstrating Big L’s impressive rhyming skills and a masterful command of language.
The production on “Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous” is a perfect complement to Big L’s lyrical prowess. With beats from producers such as Lord Finesse and Buckwild, the album incorporates jazz and soul samples, providing a classic ’90s hip-hop sound that perfectly complements Big L’s gritty street narratives.
The standout track “Ebonics” showcases Big L’s innovative approach to language. Through cleverly dissecting and explaining urban slang, he proves that he is not only a master of his craft but also a wordsmith with a unique ability to paint vivid pictures with his rhymes.
“Street Struck,” a collaboration with A.G. from the Diggin’ in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C), is a poignant reflection on the harsh realities of street life. It delves into the struggles faced by those growing up in impoverished neighborhoods, offering a glimpse into the lives of the disadvantaged youth.
One of the album’s highlights is “M.V.P.,” where Big L boldly claims his title as the “Most Valuable Poet” in the rap game. With razor-sharp delivery and potent metaphors, he solidifies his place as a lyrical force to be reckoned with, leaving an indelible mark on hip-hop history.
Unfortunately, despite the undeniable brilliance of “Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous,” the album did not receive the commercial success it deserved during Big L’s lifetime. It was only after his tragic and untimely death in 1999 that the album gained the recognition it truly deserved, becoming a cult classic and a must-listen for any hip-hop enthusiast.
Brotha Lynch Hung – “Season of da Siccness” (1995)
In 1995, Brotha Lynch Hung unleashed a chilling and groundbreaking album upon the hip-hop world with “Season of da Siccness.” This cult classic not only solidified Brotha Lynch’s status as a pioneer of horrorcore rap but also left an indelible mark on the genre.
“Season of da Siccness” takes listeners on a dark and macabre journey through the twisted mind of Brotha Lynch Hung. With horror movie-inspired themes, graphic storytelling, and a nightmarish atmosphere, the album presents a unique and haunting perspective rarely seen in hip-hop.
One of the standout tracks, “Locc 2 da Brain,” showcases Brotha Lynch’s raw and menacing delivery as he raps from the perspective of a homicidal maniac. The song’s sinister beat and disturbing lyrics create an intense and unsettling experience that lingers long after the track ends.
The album’s lead single, “Season of da Siccness (Remix),” further solidifies Brotha Lynch Hung’s reputation as a master of horrorcore. His ability to create vivid and gruesome imagery through his rhymes is on full display, captivating fans of the horror genre and hip-hop alike.
“Rest in Piss” is another standout track that delves into the dark realms of the human psyche. Brotha Lynch’s detailed storytelling and bone-chilling delivery paint a picture of violence and vengeance that sends shivers down the spine.
While “Season of da Siccness” is undoubtedly groundbreaking in its approach to horrorcore, it is not for the faint of heart. The album’s graphic and explicit content explores themes of violence, cannibalism, and depravity, pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in mainstream hip-hop.
Despite its controversial nature, “Season of da Siccness” has earned its place in hip-hop history as a defining work in the horrorcore subgenre. Brotha Lynch Hung’s ability to blend horror-inspired narratives with skillful rhyming and dark beats is a testament to his artistic vision and creativity.
Moreover, the album’s production, primarily handled by Brotha Lynch himself, showcases a unique and eerie sound that complements the disturbing themes. The use of haunting melodies and ominous samples creates an immersive and spine-chilling atmosphere that adds to the album’s overall impact.
Syke: ”I made the Evil Mind Gangsta’s album in 92, actually it was a tape at the time, which was sold out the back of my car. I formed the Evil Mind Gangsta’s with Mental Illness (RIP), Domino, my homeboy Surge, my little brother DJ Chainsaw, and Big Kato (RIP), who helps me to fund the project.
We grew up on 115th Street, it was our neighborhood and 117th Street is where the enemies are. The 115th Street or better known as Evil Mind 11-5. That is where the name of the group comes from.”
The Imperial Village Crips (IVC) aka Inglewood Village Crips are one of the oldest crip gangs in the city of Inglewood. IVC are known to congregate in apartment complexes, between 115th Street and Imperial Hwy.
Intro Lyrics – Syke Producers – Charlie Mac & Syke
Livin On The Edge Lyrics – Syke, Domino, Mental Producers – Johnny ‘J’, Syke
Get It Strait Lyrics – Syke Producers – Johnny ‘J’, Syke
Got To Get Paid Lyrics – Syke Producer – Johnny ‘J’
I’m That Nigga Lyrics – Domino Producers – Charlie Mac & Syke
Not My Girl Lyrics – Syke Producer – Charlie Mac & Syke
Riden A Double Murda Beef Lyrics – Syke & Mental Producer – Johnny ‘J’
I Wish U Would – Lyrics – Syke Producers – Johnny ‘J’, Syke
N Misery Lyrics – Mental Producers – Johnny ‘J’, Sexx
What Else Can A Nigga Do Lyrics – Syke Producer – Johnny ‘J’
Evil Mind Lyrics – Syke, Domino, Mental Producer – Charlie Mac
U Tripin Bitch Lyrics – Syke, Mental & Domino Producers – Johnny ‘J’, Sexx
All Hell Breakin Loose Lyrics – Syke, Mental & Domino Producers – Johnny ‘J’, Syke
Executive Producer: T. Himes Produced by Syke for Syco Music Produced by Johnny ‘J’ for Shade Tree Productions Produced by Charlie Mac for Unmistakeable Productions
All songs recorded and mixed at Echo Sound by Bob Moris All songs mastered by Brian (Big Bass) Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood California
Syke: ”Would like to thank God first, without him nothing would be possible, Moms an Pops for putting up with me when i was caught in the madness. My Sisters an Brothers for always pointing me in the right direction, much love goes out to my main Motha Fucin Nigga’s: Bucc, Chop, Manook, Snac, Lemac, Kaytoe’s, Serg-Mac, Sad Dog, HB, Tone, Herm, and Ran Ran for tellin a Nigga to stay motovated, an thanks to all my people thats been down with me from the start an to the Motha Fuca’s that thought it wasn’t comín! Boom Boom On Yo Black Ass Bitch FUCK ALL YAH”
Special thanks goes out to my Funky Gangsta’s Trac Making Nigga’s, Johnny ‘J’, Charlie, Mac, thanks for being there.
Special thanks to Gayle Elliot, Melton Printing, Sexx, 213 310, Peddro, Fila Al, an my homies from the vill.
This album is dedicated to the memory of Neicy T, Big Chip, Tinker, Dollar, Mister, Sheek, Ghost, Sike.
Organize Records (310)671-6675 P.O. Box 1591 Gardena California, 90249
Purchase the Evil Mind Gangsta’s CD for your collection for only $ 30.00 total ($ 22.00 + $ 8.00 worldwide shipping). Payment: paypal.me/2paclegacynet (note: shipping address add it as a comment)
Introducing DeathRowRecords.com's new video compilation of rare and unreleased videos from the legendary Death Row label. This DVD compilation contains 21 seldom-seen videos from Death Row artists, with most including promotional intro screens that display artist or director information. None of these videos contain inserted network tags or logos, and all have been recorded directly from very rare promotional video tapes issued only to select networks. There are no edits or alterations whatsoever.
Some highlights include:
* Natural Born Killaz (Workprint): this is an amazing video to watch for a number of reasons. On the network broadcasts of this video and even the Murder Was The Case DVD the killers in the video are concealed with blurred screens. This version does not have these blurrs, and the faces of the Mendenez brothers are seen, for example. What is particularly interesting is that the video portrays Dr. Dre and Ice Cube killing OJ Simpson's now deceased wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, as well as the man she was with (Ron Goldman). Additionally, this video is not yet finished being edited, and so the viewer can see how the "tripping" effect was created through the use of overlaid video (with Dre and Cube wearing white suits so only their faces and hands will later appear). This version has never been released or leaked and is very rare.
* An alternate (stairs version) introduction to the Made Figgaz video. This version is essentially the same as common versions, except the camera follows Kastro up some stairs and meeting with 2Pac. It was not used for broadcast on American television and is not available on the Gang Related DVD.
* Seldom-seen videos that never made it into rotation in the general market. See the videos for classic Death Row songs that were not from major album releases, but were great nonetheless. The rare OFTB video titled Body & Soul, Al B. Sure!'s only Death Row video, Snoop dressed up as a black Santa, the Death Row mix of SWV's Anything (featuring a video cameo by 2Pac), and much much more!
As a special bonus, this DVD also contains the unreleased MC Hammer Death Row album! That's right - the full album (minus Too Late Playa which is available on Remembering Makaveli volume 1)! Hammer spent a short time on Death Row but banged out this album very quickly with the classic 1996 Death Row sound and energy. The album contains all new songs, and many feature Death Row and Bay area artists. Guest spots include Too Short, Spice 1, Da 5 Footaz with serveral tracks featuring Danny Boy. Along with an amazing long posse song titled Can U Feel It Part 1, and features a host of guest verses including Nutt-so, Storm, Mac Mall, Kurupt, the Luniz (both Yukmouth and Clee), Spice-1, and many more! This DVD is the only place to find this album, and even for fans of Death Row music who didn't enjoy previous Hammer albums, this particular one will still be a hit.
This DVD was sold in 2007 on Dante and G. Litt’s site hiphoponline (.) net (former 2pac shakur . net), price $34.99
This video discography spanning three DVD discs features tag free, full videos with intro screens denoting the director and other relevant credit information. Each video (minus one) is from a digital source (NOT from a VHS tape), so they will be the best quality video quality possible.
Exclusive to this set is Made Niggaz 360 Camera Version IN DVD QUALITY! This video is an amazing one-take of 2Pac and the Outlawz rapping to a spinning camera in the center of a room, and the scene does not break away into any other angles or scenes. Now is your chance to own every 2Pac video made, all in order of release, and all in digital quality with an exclusive bonus at the end!
This DVD was sold in 2007 on Dante and G. Litt's site hiphoponline (.) net (former 2pac shakur . net), price $79.99
Sadly despite the fact that they sold millions, hit the top of the charts and became a familiar name even to non-rap fans everywhere, D.U. is little mentioned today. Even the legions of 2Pac fans have largely forgotten that his first major break in the business was rapping on D.U.'s "Same Song" and that he shared the billing with Money B and Shock G on his landmark hit "I Get Around." Thankfully the Underground sound is still around, and with their new "Raw Uncut Docu-Musical" there's a little something for everyone - the new jacks who weren't a part of their funk renaissance, and the golden era fans who fondly remember "The Way We Swing" and "Doowhutchyalike."
The DVD's main feature starts squarely in 1989, reminding us that a large plastic nose (Shock G's alter ego Humpty Hump) made it all possible. The narrator also correctly notes that it was their fusion of George Clinton's P-Funk sound and style with new age hip-hop attitude that made their music fresh and fun yet helped them also maintain a slight attitude and edge without being forceful or preachy. A KRS-One track rapping about D.U. friends and family opens the video, and then all the crew introduce themselves. Interesting fact I learned from this segment - DJ Fuze actually used to be known as "Davey D" but gave it up because there was one in New York AND one out in the West (that of course being the famous DaveyD of radio and WWW acclaim). Initially he wanted to be DJ Goldfingers, but it didn't sticks, so Fuze he became.
The documentary doesn't spare on the little and historically important details, a fact hardcore D.U. fans will definitely appreciate. The narrator even mentions that their debut single "Underwater Rimes" backed with "Your Life's a Cartoon" was pressed on TNT and sold about 30,000 copies - mostly in California. The version of "Underwater Rhymes" most fans are familiar with from "Sex Packets" is actually a remix of that debut track. This success led to Tommy Boy offering a record deal to Digital Underground. The crew talk about how well they were received in Europe around this time, and how "Doowhutchyalike" was a big international hit, landing them with a different promoter in every country they visited on tour. It's also cool to hear them note how at every venue, they'd find BDP, P.E. and EPMD tags and posters, and how grateful they were to be on that same circuit just following in their footsteps. "Humpty" of course liked Amsterdam best. Parental advisory here, there is some graphic nudity and language, but that's all in keeping with their "have fun swing."
The strength of "Doowhutchyalike" landed them a gig touring WITH P.E. in the United States, which they chose on purpose over touring with Hammer, even though it would be less money. No love for their fellow Oakland rapper? Perhaps, but they knew touring with P.E. was not only an honor but a way to connect with rabidly hardcore hip-hop fans. It must have worked. Among the first ten rap albums I ever bought (as opposed to being given as gifts or getting as dubs from friends) were Digital Underground's "Sex Packets" and P.E.'s "Fear of a Black Planet." Ahh, those were the days. Shock G also reveals that the plastic nose was part of a hidden revolutionary message in "Doowhutchyalike," where people could live in a world without government, and that the nose symbolized you could be ugly or beautiful and it didn't matter as long as you did onto others as you'd want them to do unto you.
The D.U. evolution continues, discussing how they released "Same Song" as part of the soundtrack for the movie "Nothing But Trouble" starring (and directed by) Dan Aykroyd, and how D.U. got involved with the "We're All in the Same Gang" project. At this point more focus is given to 2Pac's membership in the group, how he got put on "Same Song" and how D.U. was only insured for 8 people when they went on tour, so somebody had to stay behind just so 'Pac had a spot to go on the road - that's how much faith they had in him as a rising star. It brings a smile to the heart of D.U., Tupac and hip-hop fans alike to see Shakur clowning around backstage at a show with super soakers. It's also revealed that even at the young age of 18, Shakur had an incredibly nihilistic attitude, proclaiming that if he sold a million records and died by the age of 25 he'd live a full life. Money B has a good laugh about how Shakur wrote his verse for "I Get Around" just in case they didn't make it to the studio in time to pen their own, and how it was so violent and hardcore ("shoot you with my four-four") that B knew there was no way in hell he was performing it. B talks about how much fun they had filing the video, and that if even half of that came through on screen, it would be a huge hit. Of course it's ultimately a tragic story, nothing that "Me Against the World" was the last album that D.U. would produce tracks for Shakur on, and how he was gunned down after signing to Death Row. They still pay tribute to him in concert though, a fact I can personally attest to having seen them perform live in Omaha.
In the annals of hip-hop history, Tupac Shakur remains an iconic figure, a symbol of raw talent, and a voice that still resonates with millions worldwide. As we delve into the archives of his illustrious career, we stumble upon a hidden gem: ”Rap Pack.” Recorded in 1991, this unheard Tupac song was left off his debut album, ”2Pacalypse Now,” leaving fans yearning for more of the lyrical brilliance that defined this rap legend.
On account of TNT Recordings, owned by Atron Gregory, uploaded a 10-second clip of an unreleased song ”Rap Pack” recorded in 1991 and left off the first 2Pacalypse Now album.
Two of the 2Pacalypse now album’s many tracklist drafts, show ”Rap Pack” as numbers 10 and 12. Subsequently, the song did not make it onto the album, and to this day we had heard it.
Atron Gregory is a highly successful entertainment business entrepreneur with a track record of producing and managing multi-platinum albums and films. He has executive producing and management credit on several successful albums by Tupac Shakur, Digital Underground, and Stanley Clarke.
Tupac Shakur had a variety of hobbies and interests outside of his music and acting career. While his primary focus was on his artistic pursuits, he also engaged in other activities that brought him enjoyment and allowed him to explore different aspects of his personality. We will try to present some rare facts.
Tupac Shakur, known for his powerful lyrics and poetic style, had a profound connection to poetry. His lyrical abilities were not limited to his music but extended to his personal writings. Tupac’s poetry often explored themes of social justice, inner struggles, love, and the complexities of life. He used his words to convey raw emotions and shed light on the realities of his environment.
Ryan D: ”He was real, real, whatever he was passionate, passionate about anything, whatever he was involved in he was passionate about it. He was obviously an artist. He was, back when we were younger, he was the only dude that I knew that would write poems and stuff like that. I just think it was weird. Cause you know I had a rap book, I write raps and he write raps and I’d look at his rap book sometimes, I’d read his raps. He’d have a page of raps a page of poems, a page of raps a poems. I always thought that was weird but you know he was different.”
Tupac Shakur had a diverse taste in music and was influenced by various genres and artists. He was primarily known for his contributions to hip-hop and rap music, but his musical interests spanned beyond those genres.
Favorite songs: ‘Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)’ by Don McLean; ‘’A Change Is Going To Come” by Sam Cooke
Favorite artists / bands: Guns N Roses, George Micheal, Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke, Gladys Knight, etc..
Suge Knight: ”He definitely liked Scarface.”
Suge Knight: ”We always love “A Change Is Going To Come” by Sam Cooke. The first time he heard that song in my car, it became his song. Anyone who really knew ‘Pac knew that was his favorite fucking song.”
Fun fact: The song was inspired by various events in Cooke’s life, most prominently when he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana. Cooke felt compelled to write a song that spoke to his struggle and of those around him, and that pertained to the Civil Rights Movement and African Americans.
Tupac had artistic talent and enjoyed drawing. He often sketched portraits, graffiti, and other artistic expressions. Some of his drawings have been featured in documentaries and exhibitions dedicated to his life and legacy.
Reading books and newspapers
Yes, Tupac Shakur had a love for reading books. This is the list of some of the books he has read. His favorite book was ”The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli.
Big Syke: “He was brung up where if he got in trouble, his mama would make him read the newspaper every day, all the way through.* Now when I was hanging around with him, he used to be reading that newspaper every morning.* I didn’t know that his upbringing was what made him do that, you feel me what I’m saying?* He was brung up with this Panther philosophy around him, but yet and still he grew up in the ghetto with the gangstas and the thugs and the hustlers and the pimps, so that’s who he was.”
Boxing (watch only)
Tupac was personal friends with Mike Tyson and steadfastly supported his professional boxing career.
Tupac visits Las Vegas to catch world-class fighting action.
● Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield (November 04, 1995) ● Mike Tyson vs Frank Bruno (March 15, 1996) ● Mike Tyson vs Bruce Seldon (September 07, 1996)
But boxing wasn’t his only Las Vegas pastime. Tupac also enjoyed spending time in the iconic casinos. The city is home to some of the finest table games and slot machines in the country, so there’s no surprise millions flock there to enjoy a night of gambling. However, if you can’t travel, you can join in the fun from home with mobile and online casinos. You can even unlock juicy 30 free spins no deposit offers, giving you the Vegas feel without travelling.
Tupac got his start as a roadie and background dancer for the Shock G-fronted Hip Hop group in the 1980s. Pac, who initially rapped under the moniker MC New York, appeared on the 1991 Digital Underground song “Same Song.”
In his music videos, Tupac often showcased his natural charisma and rhythmic movements, incorporating elements of dance into his performances. His energetic and captivating stage presence allowed him to engage with the audience and enhance the overall experience of his live shows.
Chilling With a Joint
It’s no secret that Tupac enjoyed smoking weed.
Tupac and Snoop Dogg’s relationship was all thanks to weed. Tupac even gave Snoop his first-ever blunt, and the rest is history. After all, Tupac famously said, “Stop killing each other, man. Let’s just smoke a blunt.”
The only authorized documentary exposing the myths and confirming the legends that surround Suge Knight and Death Row Records. An exclusive look at one of the most controversial figures in the entertainment business, Marion Suge Knight , started a record empire based on some of rap and hip hops biggest stars, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, with interviews and music videos and some behind the scenes stories of the music.
Tupac rose from the ashes of adversity to become an icon revered for his unparalleled talent, unfiltered lyricism, and energy that radiated from every pore of his being. While the world mourned his untimely departure, Tupac’s legacy continues to reverberate through time, reminding us of the prodigious artist who possessed an insatiable work ethic and an unyielding drive for perfection.
The recording booth became his sanctuary, a place where he poured his heart and soul into each verse, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry that endures to this day. Driven by a workaholic mentality, Tupac’s tireless pursuit of excellence translated into an extraordinary body of work. His energy was infectious, electrifying the atmosphere and inspiring those around him.
We will debunk two internet facts in the following lines. The number of songs and how many songs he recorded from his release from prison on October 12, 1995, to the fateful evening of September 7, 1996 (329 days). We also keep in mind that during this period, Tupac did the following:
The claim of 713 songs recorded is not true. Our list shows 501 songs. As it can vary at least 10% upwards considering the residual unknown material, but it can never be 40% (that’s the difference)
2PacLegacy.net made a list of songs in order to count how many songs Tupac recorded. The songs are divided into three categories: songs from official albums (without remixes), songs from guest performances, and confirmed songs from reliable sources.
Internet myth 2
Recorded close to 150 songs during the final year of his life, and often completed three songs per day in the same period. / imdb
Tupac recorded a minimum of 213 songs in the period from October 12, 1995, to the fateful evening of September 7, 1996 (329 days). Below is the full list.
What categories of songs are listed: Songs from official albums, unreleased songs, guest performances, and confirmed unleaked songs. A song can be entered once only if it has not been re-recorded with new lyrics and/or instrumentals.
Sources of unleaked songs: – Death Row Records Catalog – US Copyright Website – Pictures of master reel – Performers, producers – Bomb1st.com
Official albums and unreleased (321 songs)
2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted – 2Pac, Snoop Dogg 
5 Deadly Venomz” (with Treach of Naughty by Nature, Apache and Live Squad) (1992)
6 or 12 – 2Pac; Hussein Fatal, Mussolini, Mr. Malik, Yaki Kadafi (1996)
Lisa dresses as Wonder Woman in her 1998 issue of Sister 2 Sister Magazine. Her first solo (and most in depth) interview with Jamie and she speaks out for the first time on The Fire situation, and about her relationship with Tupac. She talks about Left Eye Productions, and many other topics!
Sister 2 Sister, February 1998
I always thought Lisa Lopes was nicknamed “Left Eye” because she wore a condom on her left eye when TLC first started. Then I heard she had a “lazy” eye, so that’s where she got the name. Neither is true. Lisa told me why, and which star started calling her “Left Eye.” She told everything about her famous love affair with football star Andre Rison, including how they were fighting the night she burned down his house. She even told all about her less publicized affair with Tupac Shakur.There was the night when Andre and Tupac both turned up in the same nightclub with her. They already knew each other, got loud and rowdy, and the club kicked both of them out. Left Eye said, “Here’s the new guy I’m talking to and the guy I’m in love with; they get kicked out together.” Left Eye gave a fascinating interview. She thinks like nobody else I’ve met. And don’t think she’s not a business woman! This is one smart lady. And she’s funny, too. She’s survived a lot of tragedy in her little life. That’s why we think of her as a Super American Woman. She doesn’t always make the right choices but there’s Left Eye.
Jamie: Hi LeLe, how’re you feeling baby?
Jamie: I think that because you’ve gone through so much, you are just like a little Wonder Woman. We want to talk about where you’re going and who you are and all that, okay?
Jamie: Can you tell me a little bit about what you’re doing now? Who are you working with and how did you get to that stage where you decided, “I am going to have my own production company.” How did you get your production company deal and with whom?
LeftEye: Let me see??? Shortly after we met Pebbles [who discovered TLC], I didn’t know anybody in Atlanta. It was just me by myself in the apartment complex that I lived in and I don’t exactly remember how I met Jena-Si-Qua [the young group that’s with Lisa’s production company] but I just know they lived in the same apartment complex.
Jamie: Oh you’ve known them that long?
LeftEye: Yeah. I’ve known them that long.
Jamie: What is that? Boys? Girls? What?
LeftEye: They’re three guys. It’s weird how it happened because I met Drip Drop first. One of the guys in Drip Drop is the little brother to one of the guys in Jena-Si-Qua.
Jamie: Drip Drop is a group?
LeftEye: Drip Drop is a group that lived in the same apartment complex as Jena-Si-Qua. Windy Hill Village. I don’t remember how we met. I think they came over and they knew I lived there. I think “Ain’t 2 proud 2 beg” had just come out. They knew I lived there and they came over and they rapped for me. I took them to Pebbles. This was way back when I was taking her groups and stuff. They started coming over to my house and hanging, then eventually their brothers came by. We used to all just hang out and then one day their brothers told me they were a group, too.
Jamie: And their brothers were Jena Si Qua?
LeftEye: Right. I had already taken Drip Drop to Pebbles. I was young in the business then so I couldn’t work with them myself, but I was interested in shopping them around to somebody. Jena-Si-Qua was on a compilation album a long time ago. So as soon as that contract was up I took them to Wanya from Boyz 2 Men. That never really popped off; he was new in the business,too. After all of that I decided to work with them myself. At the same time there was this lady named Deniece who worked for Pebbles. She quit her job and I loaned her some money to pay her mortgage.
Jamie: Who did you lend the money to?
LeftEye: Deniece. She really couldn’t pay it back so she came to work for me to help pay back the money. That’s when Left Eye Productions really started.
Jamie: When was that? How long ago?
LeftEye: About 3 to 4 years ago.
Jamie: So you’ve always had this group, even when you were going through your problems?
LeftEye: Right. Deniece and I were trying to get Jena-Si-Qua a deal. Then we met Nandi and brought her into the camp. Shortly after that is when I got into trouble with Andre. Because I had to go back and forth to court, no one knew what the outcome was going to be. So a lot of people were scared to mess with me.
Jamie: They were scared to mess with you?
LeftEye: Yeah. They didn’t know if I was going to end up in jail.
Jamie: What was going on with you and Andre? What happened that night when his house burned down, Lisa? I thought you were upset and burned some cardboard in the bathtub or something, then the fire caught onto a wall. Is that what happened?
LeftEye: I came home late. We got into a fight.
Jamie: Was that a jealousy thing?
LeftEye: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I pretty much stayed in the house and listened to Andre. He didn’t like for me to go out, but he was out all the time.
Jamie: Well how could you stay in the house when you’re an artist?
LeftEye: Well the only time I would go out was if me and TLC were out of town. Then I would call him and say, “Me and TLC are going to a club.” But when I was home in Atlanta, the only time I went out was when I was with him. Other than that I would just stay home.
Jamie: So he was very possessive?
LeftEye: Oh very, very, very over-protective. Possessive. Jealous. The whole thing. I don’t know why.
Jamie: Did you like that?
LeftEye: It didn’t really bother me as long as he did his part.
Jamie: What was his part?
LeftEye: Just as long he was faithful to me and loyal to me, it didn’t really matter. His wishes were my command. If he didn’t like for me to go out, it wasn’t a problem. I didn’t mind staying home because I’m a homebody when it comes to a relationship. I’ll stay home, I’ll cook, I’ll wash the clothes and run the bath water….as long as he treats me right. Then he started going out and staying out overnight and doing all this stuff. So one day I decided to go out. This was the first time in about three years of our relationship.
Jamie: You were with him three years?
LeftEye: Actually, about two years. So I went out and the whole purpose of me going out was to just come back home and let him know what it feels like to come home late. But when I got home he wasn’t even home yet.
Jamie: Oooooh! What time did you get home?
LeftEye: Five o’clock in the morning. So it really kind of defeated the whole purpose. We really didn’t even go anywhere because all the clubs were closed. It was a Wednesday.
Jamie: Who did you go with?
LeftEye: The whole point was to come home from being with the girls because that’s what he did every night. He was with the boys and sometimes he didn’t come home until daylight or the next day.
Jamie: What would he say when he came home?
LeftEye: He didn’t say anything. It was getting to a point where he was losing interest and he really didn’t care.
Jamie: How did you react to that?
LeftEye: I was kind of upset because I had fell in love with him. I did everything I could do in the relationship. I just did my part. So when we got home it was five in the morning and he wasn’t home yet.
Jamie: You were with two girls?
LeftEye: I was also with my Uncle. I asked my uncle to go with me because I had never been out. I was scared that if I ran into Andre, he might get mad because I knew how jealous he was. And I had on a dress, which was something he wasn’t used to seeing me in because, you know, back then I mainly wore baggy clothes.
Jamie: He didn’t want you wearing dresses?
LeftEye: He didn’t want me to show my body. If company came over I couldn’t walk around barefoot.
LeftEye: I had to put my socks on. He didn’t want anyone to see my feet. You know, that kind of thing.
Jamie: You didn’t think anything was wrong with that?
LeftEye: A little bit, but the way I am, everybody has their problems or whatever. The only thing that used to bother me is, if I would come back in town, he’d be accusing me of messing around when I wouldn’t be doing anything. He’d do that a lot.
Jamie: I thought you were with Tupac? Was that before you got with Andre?
LeftEye: Yeah, that was before. So we get home at five in the morning and I’m in the driveway. I’m like, “This nigga isn’t even home yet?”
Jamie: [Laughing] I’m sorry, Left Eye.
LeftEye: Well anyway, it just so happened while we were standing in the driveway and I was drunk, he pulled up right behind us. We just happened to get home like five minutes apart. So he pulls up with three carloads of guys. He’s sitting in his car and he sees me standing in the middle of the driveway. Headlights are shining on me and he’s just sitting back in the car staring me down. He gets out, we go in the house and he pulls me in the room and that’s when the fight started. You know, he starts, “You’re naked! Who you been fucking.”
LeftEye: He’s ripping my dress off of me and I’m screaming and yelling at him,“Where have you been for the past two weeks?” A real domestic dispute.
Jamie: Did he hit you or was it just pushing?
LeftEye: Well it was mainly just pushing. He never balled his fist up and socked me in the face. A lot of pushing, pulling, and knocking me down. He knocked me down a few times, where my head would hit the floor.
Jamie: Oh my goodness!
LeftEye: The whole time I was blanking in and out. I was going through blackouts. I could remember certain things and certain things I couldn’t remember because the madness was crazy.
Jamie: Nobody was helping you?
LeftEye: Nobody was helping. That’s why I wanted my uncle to be there because I was scared. I didn’t know what Andre’s reaction would be to seeing me out in a dress having fun with the girls.
Jamie: So where was your uncle?
LeftEye: While I’m in the room screaming for my uncle, my uncle is trying to get in. Andre’s boys and my uncle are fighting outside the bedroom door.
LeftEye: Because his boys are trying to keep my uncle from interfering. His boys are telling my uncle, “They always do this. Everything will be fine.” So my uncle couldn’t do anything. I can remember crawling around on the floor and I had just gotten my nails done. It was after the first time I got fake nails. Because we were fighting, three of my nails came off and ripped my real nails from my skin. So I noticed my fingers were bleeding from the tip. So then I started screaming, “Look what you did to me! Look what you did to me!” I was naked because he had ripped my clothes off me, then he just left the room. The only thing I remember is hearing a lot of fighting going on upstairs. So I got up to leave the room, then I noticed I didn’t have any clothes on. I put on a T-shirt and ran upstairs and said, “What’s going on up here?” My vision was blurry; I just know it was four guys fighting. Two over here and two over there. They were both rolling around on the floor. The girl that I had gone out with was Andre’s uncle’s girlfriend. Andre had gone up there and called her a bitch. Andre said, “You bitch, you had my girl out drinking!” So him and his uncle started fighting. His uncle was like, “Don’t call my girl a bitch!” So they started fighting and two more guys jumped in and broke them up and they were fighting each other. My uncle pulled me into another room to get me away from that. When he did that, I was upset with my uncle. I said, “You were supposed to help me!” I was like, “Come on, let’s go get him.” I was like,“I’m gonna kill him. Let me go! Let me go! It seemed like the more my uncle restrained me, the madder I got. My uncle was like, “No, Lisa, please don’t do this to yourself.” He said Andre left and I said, “No he didn’t. Let me go.” He was blocking the front door so I couldn’t get out of the room. I said, “If you don’t let me go, I’m going to jump out this window.” We were on the second floor. He said, “Okay.” He let me out of the room and I raced downstairs looking for Andre.
Jamie: You raced outside?
LeftEye: No back into our bedroom. Our bedroom was on the first floor. I walked through the closet to get to the bathroom because I was looking through the whole room. And when I walked through the closet, I saw like 20 boxes of sneakers. They were all new.
LeftEye: It was just weird- 20 boxes of sneakers in a closet. And me and Andre had always gone through this thing…Every time I would go shopping I’d make sure I spent most of the money on him. I would get him some nice clothes, but every time he would go shopping, he’d never buy me shoes or sneakers or bring me back a couple of pieces. I’d say, “Why didn’t you buy me a pair of sneakers?” And he would say, “I don’t know what size you wear.” When I went downstairs and saw the 20 boxes of sneakers, with everything else that was going on, I just snapped. I started rumbling through the boxes looking for a size four. But they were all size 10 and it was just making me go crazy. So I threw the sneakers in the bathtub and set them on fire.
Jamie: It was the sneakers?
LeftEye: Yeah, it was a couple of boxes of sneakers. I was tearing through the boxes like a mad woman. I was just throwing them everywhere. I threw a couple of them in the tub. A couple of them landed in the closet. And the ones that were in the bathtub, I burnt them up. Of course I thought the bathtub would contain the fire.
Jamie: Right, right….
LeftEye: And the reason why I thought that was because, a year before that, I caught Andre messing around in our house. And I had bought him a whole bunch of teddy bears. Every time I went out of town I would bring home a new teddybear for his collection and they were all sitting around the bathtub.
Jamie: The teddy bears?
LeftEye: The teddy bears. So when I came home one night and caught him messing around, we ended up arguing in the bathroom. He left the bathroom, so I burnt all the teddy bears that I gave him in the bathtub! Then I turned the water on and put it out. But the bathtub was messed up, so he replaced the bathtub. So this time when I burnt the sneakers, the whole house went down.
Jamie: Oh god!
LeftEye: Later we kind of realized that the reason the bathtub didn’t contain the fire this time was because when he replaced it, he replaced it with a plastic tub.
Jamie: You’re kidding me.
LeftEye: The first time I put the stuff in the tub it was marble. So at the time, I really didn’t think the tub was just gonna melt. The fire just immediately went out of hand. I was so messed up that night, you know, emotionally, with the alcohol and everything, physically….I was just standing in front of the fire like, “I don’t care if I burn.” That’s the state of mind I was in. My sister came in the bathroom and was like “Come on. We got to get out of here.” She just pulled me by the arm out of the house.
Jamie: Who did that?
LeftEye: My sister did. I mean there were a lot of people in that house while this was going on. She pulled me out the house and on the way out everyone was in my face. My vision was so blurry, I just remember: “You crazy bitch, you! Fuck you! Blah, blah, blah. You’re crazy.”
Jamie: Who was saying that to you?
LeftEye: His brother. I don’t know where Andre was. I just know his brother…they grabbed some pipes and started smashing up my car and breaking all of the windows.
Jamie: Wait a minute! They smashed your car? They said that you smashed his car?!
LeftEye: I’m standing there and I was like, “What??” I couldn’t believe it.They threw the pipe on the ground and then I smashed Andre’s window in his car. Next thing you know, we all looked up and there was smoke coming from the roof. This was all the way on the other side of the house. So, it happened.
Jamie: How did you feel when you realized what happened? Did you all just stand there and watch the fire, or what?
LeftEye: Well my uncle and my sister kept saying, “Let’s go. Let’s get out of here.” So I was leaving before the fire trucks got there and stuff. We walked down the street and waited for my sister to swing around in the car and pick us up. While we waited, I was just standing there staring at the house. My uncle looked at me and said, “You’re glad, aren’t you?” And I just looked at him and said, “Yep.” We got in the car and rode off in the distance. I don’t know…there was so much that went on in that house that, it didn’t happen on purpose, but when it did happen I wasn’t really mad that it happened. It was like, “I burnt the evil.”
Jamie: You mean there was so much wrongdoing in the house that you felt that you had…??
LeftEye: Yeah, the messing around…and his family didn’t like me…his sister. I remember one time she came over and cut up all my clothes.
Jamie: At the house?
LeftEye: At the house. The there were times when she would bring his ex-wife over. There were times when she scratched up my car and kicked dents in it. All of this stuff happened at the house. I caught Andre messing around in the house. It was just so much stuff. Andre and I had gotten into fights and stuff. And the family really didn’t respect me- everyone took the house like it was theirs.
Jamie: Well who was living in the house?
LeftEye: Me and Andre and whoever in his family decided they wanted to. [Laughing.]
Jamie: Oh god, that had to be hard.
LeftEye: Yeah, I mean they just had attitudes because Andre let them go pretty far. I’d wake up some morning and my truck would be gone. Who is in my truck? I can’t go to my meeting today. His family thought they could just pick up the keys and take any car that was in the driveway.
Jamie: Did you ever talk to Andre about it?
LeftEye: All the time. That was the biggest struggle in our relationship: trying to make him draw that line.
Jamie: Do you think that was the only thing?
LeftEye: I think the reason was because of his family. All the control he didn’t have with them he turned it on me. It was like he had no control over them, but then he had so much control over me. Or tried to.
Jamie: Oh boy, Lisa. So what happened the next day after the fire? When did you realize what had been done and how much trouble you were in?
LeftEye: That ended up being the next day. It was like 5:30, 6:00,7:00 in the morning when they took me to the hospital: You know, when I first got in my sister’s car, I looked up in the rearview mirror and I didn’t even recognize myself. I didn’t even know I had been beaten up that badly.
Jamie: In the face?
LeftEye: Yeah. Whatever we were doing, I got it pretty bad.
Jamie: So do you think he did hit you and you didn’t know it?
LeftEye: I don’t know. They took me directly to the hospital. I went inside and the doctor looked at me and he was like, “Wow! I’ll be right back.” When he left, then the girl Deniece who works for me–I don’t know where she came from–she was running around the hospital talking about, “We got to get out of here. The press is on their way. And blah, blah, blah.” We were panicking and stuff. We all jumped up and walked out of the hospital. I was really just following everyone’s lead. “We got to go, we got to go.”
Jamie: Who was with you then?
LeftEye: My uncle, my sister…and Deniece popped up and was like, “We got to get out of here.” So the hospital never documented that it was abuse and all of this kind of stuff. We left there, and by then, LaFace [the company TLC records with] had gotten into it and they had me in a hotel. Andre’s brother told the press that I threw all these cardboard boxes in the tub and I lit them on fire. And that I told Andre that I don’t care, I’m gonna burn this house. He just told a whole bunch of lies to the press. So then they were looking for me. LaFace put me in the hotel room. The lawyer showed up, I told him what happened, and he was like, “Young Lady, you have a problem. Your thinking got you into this mess. We’re gonna get you out of it. You’re checking yourself into Charter Peachford first thing tomorrow morning or the DA is going to be a very unhappy man.” You’re gonna do this and you’re gonna do that. I’m like “I don’t want to go to Charter Peachford. That makes me look like the crazy one.”
Jamie: What is Charter Peachford?
LeftEye: That’s a psychiatric and substance abuse center. I was like,“I don’t want to go to Charter Peachford. I’ve got fans. I don’t want to be the crazy drunk who just decided to burn down a house. I’m not the bad one here.” But no one thought like I thought. I was really the only one who felt like I didn’t do this on purpose. We were fighting and I was out of my mind and so was he. They all thought I was crazy. So you know the lawyer was just yelling at me: “You were fined such and such and if you don’t check into Charter Peachford, it’s going to go up….and I made a deal with the DA and he’s going to be unhappy. You have a problem Miss! You! you! you!”
Jamie: What were you saying?
LeftEye: I said, “Send me to an abuse center if you’re going to send me anywhere to one of them women’s centers or whatever.”
Jamie: Where was your mom?
LeftEye: She was there. Everybody was on their own shit. My mother was worried about a power of attorney. Everybody pissed me off! It was just me by myself.
Jamie: Power of attorney over what?
LeftEye: I don’t know. And she didn’t know, either.
Jamie: Who would have power of attorney?
LeftEye: She came in the room and she saw me. She said, “Are you okay?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Lisa tell your lawyer that you need to give me power of attorney.” I said, “Power of attorney? What are you talking about? You don’t even understand power of attorney.” She said, “Kyle, tell Lisa she needs to give me power of attorney. Lisa you don’t know what might happen to you. You might go to jail. You might something, something, something. You don’t realize what you did and if you go to jail somebody needs to take care of your money and your stuff.” I was like, “Whatever.” The lawyer was screaming, “You have a problem! You have a problem!” And LaFace was there: “We don’t even know if she’s going to be in the group.”
Jamie: They were saying that?
LeftEye: Yeah, they were telling my uncle that. My uncle was saying,“Is everything okay? Is everything going to be all right with TLC?” And LaFace was like, “We don’t even know if there’s going to be a TLC.”
Jamie: Let me ask you something, Lisa. Out of all the people that you knew, nobody grabbed you and said, “Honey, what happened?”
LeftEye: Nobody! So I checked into Charter Peachford the next morning.
Jamie: Were you scared?
LeftEye: No, I wasn’t scared. I was mad because everybody around me was thinking with their best interest at heart. My mother and even Deniece, my partner, she was upset: “I got 50 percent of Left Eye Productions. She’s fucking everything up!” Everybody made me like I had just fucked up everybody’s world.
Jamie: They weren’t looking at how you were just traumatized?
LeftEye: Nope. Even when I got to Charter Peachford, I was still in a fighting mood. “He did this, he did that. I’m gonna kick his ass. I can’t believe this.” They were staring at me like I was crazy.
Jamie: You went to Charter Peachford the next day?
LeftEye: I went to Charter Peachford the next day and this is so funny, Jamie. They had me in detox and I wasn’t like a drug addict.
Jamie: What is detox like?
LeftEye: Detox is for drug addicts when they have to slowly take you off your drugs so you won’t break out into a seizure.
Jamie: So what were they taking you off of?
Jamie: [Laughing!!] So what did they do?
LeftEye: They just had me in there to make sure I was all right. Doing tests. I was okay. There were a lot of little rooms with a lot of people in them. There was a waiting room down the hall where we could watch television. I had to turn myself in to court that morning, then check into Charter Peachford. So I had on this long dress. That night, I had on the same dress. I went in the room but I had a little blanket and I had this big bruise on my lip. I went in the room and I sat down to watch some television and there was this white girl in the room watching TV. She had it on the news and they showed the house and Andre in the news and me turning myself in. I looked at the screen and I had on the same dress on television that I was sitting there in with the same bruise on my lip. I was like, “Oh shit!” I had checked in under an alias. I looked at the girl out of the corner of my eye and I saw her take a double look at me.
Jamie: [Laughing.] Wait a minute, Lisa. I’m sorry, baby, but this is funny.
LeftEye: So I took my blanket and I eased it over the top of the dress. I turned my head and while this girl was looking at me they interviewed Andre. Andre was sitting on the TV crying, talking about he only had on pair of shoes. They were asking him, “We heard she always was breaking things in your house and she messed it up before.” And Andre was on the news going, “Yeah, she did. Yeah, she did.” I couldn’t believe this! I just got up and went back into my room and busted out crying.
Jamie: What happened? Did that girl know who you were?
LeftEye: Yeah. A few days later she was like, “I knew who you were.” That was so funny. I’m all undercover, didn’t want anyone to recognize me: And here I go on television. Same outfit, and I’m sitting right next to her.
Jamie: Were you ever scared?
LeftEye: No. I wasn’t scared. A lot of the people that were in there needed help themselves.
Jamie: You played the counselor?
LeftEye: Yeah, I’m talking to everybody else. The people who had real problems.
Jamie: Like what, Lisa?
LeftEye: This one guy who was in this wheelchair who died twice.
Jamie: Who died twice? This one guy in the wheel chair, did what?
LeftEye: He died twice. He had been dead twice, came back to life and….
Jamie: In real life or he just thought he died?
LeftEye: In real life. He was in a wheelchair. I don’t know how he got in a wheelchair. The thing that messed him up was his mother slept with him when he was 12 years old. He just couldn’t get over that. We would have group sessions where we’d all sit down and talk about our problems and make each other feel like you’re not the only one. And when this guy was looking for answers and stuff, no one could really give answers to him because the purpose was just to talk and get it out. He said that he finally go up enough nerve when he grew up to drive up to Michigan and ask his mother why did she sleep with him. But on the way up there she died. So he never got the chance to ask her. So he was just like messed up. He can’t even think straight. He doesn’t know what to do about it and the doctors, they’re all just sitting around listening. And he’s like, “What should I do?” I’m sitting up there like, “Hmmm. This is what I say. What you need to do is break the cycle because your mother, in order for her to sleep with you at 12, she had to be fucked up in her head. You didn’t get a chance to ask her why she did it, but she did it because she was fucked up in the head. So maybe you should try to figure out what happened to her to make her messed up enough to do that to you. Trace it. Go back. Everyone does things for a reason. Everyone is a result of their environment and somebody messed your mother up. And if you can get to that person, maybe you can help answer some of your questions before you have children and they become fucked up. Because your head is so fucked up. You should try to break the cycle. It could goon and on and on.” That’s when I realized I was going to break the cycle because there are generations and generations of messed up people in my family. I came up through some hard stuff. So that’s when I realized I’m gonna try to get my head straight and get my life together before I have children.
Jamie: So where were you sent, to jail or what?
LeftEye: I was in the psychiatric center for a month. Once I got out, my court date was six months later. Then I was sentenced to the diversion center, which was a four month program. But they didn’t have enough beds, so I had to go to jail until a bed was ready.
Jamie: And what happened then. Were you scared then?
LeftEye: Well, when I went to jail, I was embarrassed. I just felt like everyone in America who had been following me and felt like they knew me…..Now there are these people making me strip butt naked and spraying stuff on my coochie and under my arms.
Jamie: What’s that?
LeftEye: It’s this stuff they make you go through when you go to jail. It’s like you have to strip, you have to take a shower, then they say, “Turn around,” and they spray all of your private parts with this stuff in case you got crabs or something.
LeftEye: I just felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t really scared until I started walking down the hall. I started to think, “What if a girl tries to rape me, or what if someone tries to bully me because I’m Left Eye.” That kind of stuff was running through my head. But as soon as I turned the corner and all the girls saw me, they started cheering. They were like,”Whoooo! Left Eye! Left Eye!” So I started pimping, like, “Yeah! What’s up?”
Jamie: You started pimping?
LeftEye: First I was walking like I was scared, but when they started yelling and screaming my name, I stood upright and I felt confident. Like okay, I’m not gone have to worry about that stuff I was just thinking about. I was like,“All right!” The whole time I was there I was just cool. I didn’t have a problem with nobody and nobody had a problem with me. I wasn’t like stuck in a corner crying like, “What am I going to do?” As soon as I got there, I joined in the card game. There were people who were excited. They were calling their family. They were like, “Left Eye, can you say hi to my little nephew?” I was like, “Sure, whatever, no problem.”
Jamie: What kind of food did you eat?
LeftEye: It wasn’t that good. It was like yuck. It was like processed food. It wasn’t like real chicken. It was like ready burgers or something like that.
Jamie: Did Andre come see you while you were in there?
LeftEye: Me and Andre had already got back together before I went to jail. Because that was six months earlier when I first checked into Charter Peachford. While I was checking into Charter Peachford, Andre’s mother had checked him into a hotel room because he didn’t have anywhere else to go. Andre was standing in front of his mother and she was just talking so much trash about me. And he broke out in tears and he just looked at her in her eyes as she was just going on about how that girl is going to go to jail and blah, blah, blah. He was staring at her and she just stopped in the middle of her sentence and she said, “Wait a minute.” Andre had both of his pockets filled with money. She said, “Where are you going? Oh my god, you’re not going to bail her out?! Oh, my god! I’m gonna have a heart attack!” She fell to her knees, she was gasping for air, and she was like, “You’re gonna kill me!” And Andre jumped on his motorcycle that I bought him for Christmas and Andre rode all across the city of Atlanta looking for me. He rode to every jail trying to bail me out, in the rain, on his motorcycle. My people had already got me out, you know that. He rode by Deniece’s house and they sat on the curb and he was just crying for hours. With a pocket full of money, soaking wet, because he had been riding around in the rain for hours trying to find somebody.
Jamie: Deniece didn’t know where you were?
LeftEye: She knew I was in Charter Peachford, but she just wouldn’t tell him. She just called me and said, “Guess who came by? Andre. Child he’s a mess. He got all this money in his pocket coming to bail you out, but he don’t know where you’re at. Girl, he’s crying to me talking about, ‘I know what I did wrong. I’m so sorry. I gotta get my baby, I gotta get my baby.’” He came up to see me at Charter Peachford. The whole time I was up there he was really the only one visiting me.
Jamie: Who was?
Jamie: He was?! Your mother didn’t come?
LeftEye: I think she came twice.
Jamie: Now how long were you there? A month?
LeftEye: Yeah, a month. Andre came faithfully. He came every day.
Jamie: Did anybody from LaFace come?
LeftEye: Yeah. They came one time. I mean I wasn’t really sweating that. I was fine. They didn’t have to come and visit me. I was in a new environment something I experienced in this lifetime and I was chilling.
Jamie: You and Andre had gotten back together?
LeftEye: When I got out of Charter Peachford, me and Andre had gotten back together.
Jamie: A new house?
LeftEye: A new apartment. And we waited for my court date.
Jamie: What did he say in court?
LeftEye: He tried to keep a positive attitude. He kept saying everything is going to be all right. I already knew what the deal was I had already made with the judge. I wasn’t trying to deceive him. I told him, “I’m not going to see you for three or four months.” This was the night before my court date and I just started crying because I knew I wasn’t going to see him. I guess he was just trying to keep my head straight.
Jamie: The judge had told you that you couldn’t see Andre?
LeftEye: No, I couldn’t see him once I went into the center unless I snuck and saw him. No one knew I was going to jail. That was the catch. My lawyer said, “All you have to do is spend the night and you can come out in the daytime. It’s real easy. You’re not going to jail. I fixed all of that.” When we got to court the next day, they said, “We sentence you to four months in the diversion center,” and they took me in the back and that’s when my lawyer said, “Well they don’t have a bed ready, so there’s nothing I can do. You are going to have to go to jail and wait.”
Jamie: How did you feel about having to go to jail?
LeftEye: I was like down. So I had to go back out and tell my mother and Andre and give them my last good byes and tell them that I was on my way to jail. Boy, Andre just bust out and started crying. He made me cry. I was like, “I’m trying to be strong.” But when I got in there, I was fine. I called him up and he was like, “Baby, it’s gonna be okay.” I was like,“No, I’m all right. Nobody’s messing with me. It’s cool.”
Jamie: You needed that time out, do you think?
Jamie: After you and Andre got back together, why did you break up then?
LeftEye: We went together for about another year. I think he went to Cleveland to play football.
Jamie: He didn’t mess around then?
LeftEye: No. And I think that’s why we broke up.
LeftEye: [Laughing] It’s weird because, all of sudden, when Andre started acting right, I mean when he was walking a straight line, I started losing interest.
LeftEye: I started losing interest to the point where if he tried to kiss me I would get nauseous.
LeftEye: And I didn’t understand it at first. But after I thought about it…days and days of thought, going over everything…I realized what the problem was.
Jamie: What was the problem?
LeftEye: The very first time Andre messed around on me, if it had been anybody else, I would have left. But because it was Andre and there were so many people around us trying to tear us apart, I couldn’t tell when I should leave and when I shouldn’t leave. It was like I had something to prove and it wasn’t even to myself. Which was wrong. I had come to realize that I was in the relationship to make it work and that was it. And as soon as it worked, it was like my mission was complete and I didn’t want it anymore. It was like that became the only reason why I was in it.
Jamie: So you don’t love him today?
LeftEye: I love him to death!
Jamie: But you’re not “in love” with him?
LeftEye: I’m in love with him!
Jamie: So why did you all break up?
LeftEye: Because I lost interest. I didn’t want him anymore. As soon as he told his family to butt out, and as soon as he wasn’t messing around anymore and all of this stuff, that was when I was all right. It was crazy. It wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose, but that’s what I was doing.
Jamie: When you told him you were leaving, how did you all break up?
LeftEye: I think he could feel that I was losing interest and he started to act a little crazy. Three of my girls came up to visit us and he started taking his frustration out on them.
Jamie: How? Yelling at them?
LeftEye: Yelling at them. Just being real nasty toward them. And I was like, “I’m out!”
Jamie: So you left and went back to Atlanta?
LeftEye: Yep! Me and my girls packed all my stuff in the truck and we rode to Atlanta that night. The last argument.
Jamie: He never hit you after that night of the fire, right?
LeftEye: Oh, no.
Jamie: You called me one time and said that you and Andre were going to get back together. But in the meantime, did you get back with Tupac?
LeftEye: After I left and drove back down to Atlanta, the Grammys was coming up in about three weeks. Andre had always wanted to be a part of the Grammies. To him the Grammys was like what the Super Bowl is to some people. I finally got a chance to go to the Grammys and I had just broke up with him. He ended up in California doing something for ESPN or for some kind of reason. And he called me, trying to get back with me and I was like, “No, it’s over.” And he said, “Well, I’m in California,” and he asked me could he go to the Grammys. And I was like, “Aw man!” Me and my girls were gonna go out there and just be free and do what we want to do. Have some fun and see who we want to see and here comes Andre to rain on the party. He ended up going to the Grammys: I don’t know how because he didn’t go with me, but somebody gave him a ticket. The whole time I was in California it was like a chase.
Jamie: Chasing you?
LeftEye: Yeah. I had to break up with him again in California. I had to reiterate, “It’s over.”
Jamie: You didn’t think about him at all?
LeftEye: Oh yeah. I always thought about him.
Jamie: Did you miss him?
Jamie: But you were looking for another guy at that time? Another person to be with? Or did you just want to be free?
LeftEye: I wasn’t looking for a person to be with. I always had this love interest for Tupac. Me and Andre was over and I was like, “Shoot, Tupac just got out of jail. Me and you ain’t together no more. He’s looking at me, giving me the eye.” They whole time we were in California, Andre would track me down. He would show up at the parties I was at, he would invite me to his hotel room. I wouldn’t come. And I remember one morning at about 5 o’clock, I woke up and Andre was sitting on my bed. Don’t ask me how he got into the room, I still don’t know to this day.
Jamie: [Laughing] Just looking at you?
Jamie: Okay, so you met Tupac and he had just gotten out of jail.
LeftEye: Yeah, he had been out of jail for a minute. I already knew him, but I hadn’t talked to him for a long time. When me and Andre got together, I just cut everything off.
Jamie: Didn’t Tupac have you arrested by some hotel police one time because you were trying to get into his hotel?
LeftEye: Yep. Jamie, all of this stuff comes together because that night was the night that I…Oh man. That was when I first met Andre. Me and Tupac were going through some stuff back then, so we weren’t really speaking. He was speaking to me but I was a little bit mad at him and I hadn’t seen him for a couple of months. And I went to the club that night and I saw Andre. Me and Andre were talking. We were have a good time. Two, three hours went by and we were drinking, then Tupac rolls in the club. I was like, “Man, I guess I have to be with Andre tonight.” I didn’t was to diss Andre and be like,“Let me go over here and talk to my boy Tupac because that’s who I really wanted to talk to.”
Jamie: Was this Andre’s birthday party?
LeftEye: No, this was some Freaknik party. I was standing next to Andre and I saw Tupac coming into the club. I was like, “Oh Lord.” Then Tupac just walked straight toward Andre and he was like, “What’s up Dre?” They were giving each other dap and they just moved me out of the way. I was looking at them like, “Ain’t this about a bitch! Every time I talk to someone, Tupac knows them.”
Jamie: How long were you and Tupac together?
LeftEye: Well we were never together. Me and Tupac had more of a phone relationship. He was in California, I was in Atlanta. We grew really close for about a year. We were real tight and we talked almost every day. I only saw him in person about three times.
Jamie: So was it earlier that day when he had you arrested by the police?
LeftEye: No, it was later that night. When him and Andre got together, they lit up a blunt in the club and they both got kicked out. Here’s the new guy I’m talking to and the guy I’m in love with; they get kicked out together. I’m standing in the club by myself: I’m like, “Let me go downstairs and see what’s going on.” I go downstairs, Tupac and Andre, the two biggest mouths, the centers of attention, both of them got a whole crowd standing around them, talking loud. “Yeah, we wasn’t doing nothing. These motherfuckers tried to put us out. We told them such and such.” I come there and Andre puts his arm around me. He’s telling everyone I’m his girl. I think Andre saw me looking at Tupac, so he wouldn’t let me go. Sitting up there telling Monie Love, “Yeah, this is my girl.” Andre was starting to irritate me because I didn’t know him then. This was like the third time I had run into him at a club. I really wanted to be with Tupac and decide…to get something off my chest. But Andre had such a tight grip on me that I kind of like told my girl, “Come and get this boy off of me, please. I just got to get away from him for a couple of seconds.” And that’s when Tupac jumped. He started doing stuff to aggravate me on purpose. He started jumping in with these girls and other stuff. So I followed him to his limo and I got in and I wouldn’t get out because I wanted to talk to him. Tionne [that’s T-Boz of TLC] got in the car and Tupac was like, “Tionne, get your girl, man, get your girl.” She was like, “She looks all right to me.” Tionne let me in there then she got back out. I rode all the way to the hotel with them because no one could put me out of the car. When I got to the hotel, he raced up to his room. I got up and started to go up the elevator. But when the doors opened, the cops got me and escorted me back out.
Jamie: They just took you out of the hotel?
LeftEye: Hotel security…I don’t know.
Jamie: You weren’t embarrassed then?
Jamie: What had you wanted to get off you chest?
LeftEye: Me and Tupac were real close. We decided not to be boyfriend and girlfriend. We decided to be what he called “niggaz.”
LeftEye: And we both liked each other. As the year went on, certain things would happen. Our feelings would kind of come through. Just because we’re niggaz, I’m not supposed to get jealous because you have girl company, but after awhile I started with, “Who is this girl?” That type of thing during the whole relationship. If I messed with a guy, he’d get upset at me. Tupac would hang up on me and then call me back and apologize. “But we’re just niggaz. We don’t like each other.” He had all of this stuff like, “Don’t ever let me sleep with you ‘cause I’m gonna look at you different.” We just tried to play this role.
Jamie: You never slept together?
LeftEye: No, we never slept together. That was one of the first things he told me. He said, “Don’t ever let me sleep with you. I don’t care what I say, I don’t care how. I don’t care what I do, just don’t let it happen.” So I stuck by that because I didn’t want to mess anything up.
Jamie: You just stuck by that?
LeftEye: Yeah. I didn’t even really see him. It was mainly a lot of phone conversation. He would see girls and I would see guys and he would get mad and then play the role like we’re not supposed to be getting mad. Finally what happened with me and Tupac was, I ended up messing with this guy that was supposedly his friend and I didn’t know how close they were. Tupac stopped speaking to me because of that and that upset me. So two months later is when we were at that party and I wanted to get something off my chest. I really wanted to speak to Tupac because he had stopped speaking to me.
Jamie: That’s when you were trying to get in the limo and everything?
Jamie: Did you ever get it off your chest?
LeftEye: What I wanted to get off my chest was, “Me and you, we know we like each other. But this whole time you just wanted to be niggaz, you get mad because I’m messing with people and then you stop speaking to me, especially over this one guy in particular. You and me, we’re supposed to be much closer than this.” That was basically what I wanted to get of my chest but I never could.
Jamie: It has been said that you have a drinking problem. Is that true? Do you drink now?
LeftEye: I don’t drink that much. I can drink. Well, now it’s like, if I’m at a party and everyone’s drinking champagne, I will have a glass of champagne. If I’m at home, I don’t get up in the morning and drink. I don’t drink at home and all that only if I’m out and everyone’s taking a drink.
Jamie: Now I was asked to ask you, “Why do good girls like bad boys?” Do you think good girls like bad boys?
LeftEye: I just think it’s a challenge. I think it’s the same way with guys. Guys like girls that give them a hard time. It’s just because it’s a challenge and I think that’s all it is.
Jamie: Why do you think you’ve survived all the things you’ve been through?
LeftEye: I don’t know. Jamie, I don’t know because some people go through things and they fall all apart. I can say I went through a lot and that’s what made me strong, but it’s just my make-up.
Jamie: Do you pray? Do you meditate?
LeftEye: I went to church a lot when I was younger, so I think that built a foundation for me being able to overcome a lot of stuff.
Jamie: Denyse [Parks, her assistant] said that you are the type of person who, if someone needed 50,000 dollars, you would give it to them. And if you didn’t have it you would find a way to get it to them. Is that true?
LeftEye: Yeah, but I’ve always been like that.
Jamie: You and Andre are still friends, you told me. Why did he give you his Super Bowl ring? Does he have another girlfriend? What is he doing?
LeftEye: No, he doesn’t have another girlfriend. Right now he’s focusing on his season with Kansas City. Me and Andre talk every so often.
Jamie: Did he ever go in for treatment?
LeftEye: Yeah, he did.
Jamie: He did?
LeftEye: Yeah, they sentenced him to go in to treatment for something.
Jamie: You don’t know how long he was in?
LeftEye: He had to go to a counselor or something.
Jamie: Because he beat you up?
LeftEye: No! I don’t know why. I didn’t even know because we were separated then. When we started talking again, he said he had to go to a counselor for three months. They had put him on probation for something and that was part of his probation.
Jamie: Do you all have money? Everyone always says that TLC doesn’t have any money.
LeftEye: We got money from LaFace. When we finally got the deal and we paid everyone, paid our taxes and all, we were left with about $1,200,000 a piece. That was a pretty good amount of money, but almost $800,000 of my money went to the lawsuit for the house. So that hurt. I had been dumping a lot of my money into Left Eye Productions before I got the deal with Sony. So recently, I finally got the deal with Sony and they took care of my overhead and that stuff. My situation is a little bit different because of that lawsuit I had.
Jamie: How many records has TLC sold?
LeftEye: 17 million between the first and second albums.
Jamie: Now tell me about Dallas Austin and the deal for him to produce the next TLC album. He wanted like 175,000 dollars per track. Is that why you all didn’t go through with the deal?
LeftEye: Nope. Actually we were going to pay that, but Dallas’s thing was he wanted to do like eight songs. We felt as though, if you’re going to do that many songs, come on! You know you’ve got to come down on the price. He felt as though his time was worth 175,000 dollars. I said, “If you strongly feel that way then we will pay you 175,000 dollars, but we only want two songs from you if it’s going to cost that much.”
Jamie: But did he do eight songs on the CrazySexyCool album?
LeftEye: No, ma’am, he did two songs. On the last album we paid Dallas to executive produce the whole project. We paid him 750,000 dollars last time to do ten songs. Dallas ended up doing like four of five songs and we only used two of them and we had to go back and spent that much more money to hire Jermaine Dupri, Organized Noize, and Babyface.
Jamie: You’re kidding? Who is executive producing this album?
Jamie: You all don’t have managers right now, right?
LeftEye: We’re looking.
Jamie: What happened with Norm Nixon?
LeftEye: It just didn’t work out.
Jamie: Debbie Allen was giving you all advice, too?
LeftEye: Not only was she giving us advice but she was there on the dates and stuff that Norman was booking for us. Debbie would come and help us and we thought she was just helping and then we’d get these big, big bills from Norman for Debbie.
Jamie: You all run into stuff all different ways!
LeftEye: We just immediately cut that off.
Jamie: Are you all in TLC getting along with each other?
LeftEye: Oh yeah.
Jamie: It’s something that you always stick together, no matter what happens.You all are just full of magic. I hope you do now that.
LeftEye: Um hmm.
Jamie: Are you still getting royalties on the records like CrazySexyCool?
LeftEye: Nope. All of our publishing went to Pebbles.
Jamie: All of it?
LeftEye: From the first and the second album.
LeftEye: That was the sacrifice we had to make. For her to stay out of our lives forever.
Jamie: Oh that was the deal?
LeftEye: No, plus 2.5 million dollars cash settlement.
Jamie: Now, the first group from Left Eye Productions will be out when?
Jamie: Are you excited?
LeftEye: Very excited. I never told you why Andre gave me the Super Bowl ring.
Jamie: Oh yeah.
LeftEye: I really don’t know. Andre has a funny way of showing me he loves me. Like most guys will buy you flowers, Andre will give you his most prized possession.
Jamie: That’s funny because he wouldn’t buy you any sneakers.
LeftEye: He wouldn’t buy me anything, but he would give me the things that mean the most to him.
Jamie: How is that you never got pregnant?
LeftEye: Oh, I got pregnant but I just didn’t have the child.
Jamie: But that’s only one time.
LeftEye: No, I got pregnant a couple of times by Andre.
Jamie: Would you keep the child now?
LeftEye: If somebody else carried it.
Jamie: You just don’t want to carry the baby?
LeftEye: No, not right now. I have too many things to do.
Jamie: Lisa, do you think you’re beautiful?
Jamie: Do you think you’re beautiful inside?
LeftEye: Yeah. I think I’m beautiful inside. I think there are a couple of sides to me. There’s not a mean side or an evil side, but there is an angry side. The angry side comes out sometimes.
Jamie: Trena befriended you while you were in the diversion center. Was she like your best friend? Some people say she sort of protected you. Is that true?
LeftEye: Not really, because there was no one after me.
Jamie: Why did you become friends?
LeftEye: She helped time go by quicker because she was somebody that I could sit down with and talk to. We started talking and she helped me with being on time and stuff.
Jamie: Being on time for what?
LeftEye: We had to be up at 5 o’clock every morning and we’d stand on line and they’d call all of our names and then we’d go back to our room to clean it up. I was used to going to bed at 5 o’clock in the morning, so it was hard for me to adjust. Some mornings I’d wake up and I’d say, “All right, let me just get five more minutes.” I’d lay back down and sometimes I wouldn’t wake back up. And she’d run back to the room and say, “You gotta be on line in two minutes. Get up! Get up!” She was the only one who would run back to the room and make sure I was on line.
Jamie: Would there be any punishment if you weren’t?
LeftEye: Yeah. They’d write me up and I would have to do two extra hours of cleaning. It was a four month program. Without any write ups you could get out in three months.
Jamie: What did you do when you got out?
LeftEye: I went straight to work. As soon as I got out, we did the “Waterfalls” video.
Jamie: What did people say? Welcome back, or what?
LeftEye: When I got out, L.A. [Reid from LaFace] was like, “Dag, I’m glad that’s over with.” I was looking at him like, “This is just the beginning. Now that I’m out, I can get into trouble. I’m still on probation. It’s over with for you guys, but it’s just the beginning for me.”
Jamie: How long are you on probation?
LeftEye: Five years.
Jamie: So how many years have passed?
Jamie: So when you did that magazine cover with TLC in firemen suits, did that affect you at all?
LeftEye: It affected me.
Jamie: Why did you do it? Weren’t you thinking about what the implications were or anything?
LeftEye: No, we weren’t thinking. I just know so much more today then I did back then. We didn’t know the press would take the story, twist it around and put a headline on it to sell some magazines. The three of us didn’t know. We were kind of naive. When they brought their stylists in and they had all these different outfits, we put them all on. And one of them was the fireman outfits. They just said, “We have these new outfits. It’s a new hip-hop clothing line of all professions.” We put on nursing outfits, fireman outfits, every different profession there was. We weren’t thinking.
Jamie: Why did you all show you breasts at that time? Because you all were known for not showing nothing.
LeftEye: I don’t know. Sometimes we get in that mood and we act real silly and giggly: “Hey, you want to show you breasts?” And we were like,“Yeah, yeah.” It was just spur of the moment. It was not something we planned. We were just having fun.
Jamie: How did it affect you?
LeftEye: That part didn’t affect me. That part affected Tionne the most. Dalvin [Tionne’s boyfriend] really got on Tionne. They went through a lot of problems because of that.
Jamie: Well, how did it affect you with the judge?
LeftEye: It pissed the judge off. The judge felt like we were making fun of the incident. He felt like I wasn’t being serious and that I felt like it was a big joke.
Jamie: He didn’t make it harder for you, did he?
LeftEye: No. It was a woman. She really didn’t make it that hard.
Jamie: How did you get the name “Left Eye”?
LeftEye: When I first met Pebbles, I met this guy and I ran into him in the mall and he just said, “Wow! It’s you left eye.” I was like, “What?” He said, “It’s your left eye, man. It’s something about it.” I said, “You picked an eye?” Usually they say you have pretty eyes. He picked one of them. He said, “It’s prettier than the right one. It’s more slanted.” So from there on, Bille [Woodruff, the top video producer who directed TLC’s “Waterfalls” video] was teasing me and calling me “Left Eye” and it kind of stuck. I never told anybody who that guy was.
Jamie: Who was it?
LeftEye: Micheal Bivins [of New Edition].
LeftEye: Yep. All these years, people have been asking me that and I’ve never told anybody.
Jamie: Micheal is sweet. I haven’t seen him in a while. Let me just ask a couple of other things. You know people are saying that you got married to Andre in the Spring. That they went to your wedding.
LeftEye: Oh goodness.
Jamie: Is that true or not?
Jamie: Would you all get married?
LeftEye: Oh I do still have feelings for him. So it’s a possibility. It’s all up to him.
Jamie: He’s not still married, is he?
LeftEye: Who, Andre? Oh no.
Jamie: Have you made up with his family?
LeftEye: Unh unh.
Jamie: Did Andre help you pay the $700,000 plus you had to pay for the fire?
LeftEye: No ma’am.
Jamie: Did you ask him to?
LeftEye: Oh, he owes me about 400,000 dollars.
Jamie: Why does he owe you that much?
LeftEye: Because he gave me his word that he would pay half.
Jamie: And then he just reneged on that. Well tell him we’re mad at him.
Jamie: Did you hear Andre say that he doesn’t know where his Super Bowl ring is on Fox NFL?
LeftEye: No I didn’t hear it, but somebody told me.
Jamie: Did you laugh, knowing that you have it?
Jamie: Why did you scratch the word “hate” into your arm?
LeftEye: It used to say, “I love Dre.”
Jamie: Didn’t it hurt when you scratched that into your arm?
LeftEye: No, because my emotions were too high.
Jamie: Do you and Andre talk?
LeftEye: We talk once or twice a week.
Jamie: You were going to marry him at one point.
LeftEye: I know. Actually, when I said yes, I wasn’t ready, but I thought I would be ready by the time the wedding rolled up.
Jamie: When was it that you all were going to marry?
LeftEye: That was four years ago; the first time we were going to get married. We were always going to get married, we just never did.
In the realm of influential figures in music, Tupac Shakur stands as an immortal icon, etching his name indelibly into the annals of hip-hop and beyond. An enigmatic and multifaceted artist, Tupac’s legacy transcends generations, empowering countless individuals and leaving an indelible mark on our cultural landscape. His words, delivered with unwavering passion and raw honesty, continue to resonate, igniting fires of inspiration within hearts across the globe.
Tupac Shakur’s impact is not confined to his undeniable musical prowess, but rather, it encompasses a wider tapestry of social consciousness, poetic prowess, and a fierce commitment to addressing the deep-rooted struggles of his time. Born into a world of turmoil and shaped by the realities of his environment, he channeled his experiences into his artistry, giving a voice to the voiceless, the marginalized, and the oppressed.
Renowned for his introspective and thought-provoking lyrics, Tupac infused his music with an unwavering authenticity that spoke directly to the human experience. His ability to intertwine themes of social injustice, racial inequality, and the pursuit of personal liberation distinguished him as an artist of unparalleled depth and resonance. His words were not merely melodic prose, but potent messages that shed light on the struggles and triumphs of those often forgotten or overlooked.
Tupac Shakur’s impact extends far beyond his untimely departure from the physical world, as his spirit lives on through the profound influence he left in his wake. Countless artists, poets, and activists continue to draw inspiration from his artistry, seeking to capture even a fraction of the passion and truth he embodied. His music remains a rallying cry, empowering individuals to confront their own adversities, challenge systemic inequities, and strive for personal and societal transformation.
Reflecting on Tupac’s legacy, luminaries from all walks of life have shared their sentiments, recognizing the enduring impact he has had on our cultural fabric. From his fellow artists who have found solace in his lyrics, to scholars who dissect his words with academic rigor, to fans who have been moved to tears by the sheer vulnerability of his storytelling, the reverence for Tupac’s artistry is universal.
One might find solace in the words of celebrated author Maya Angelou, who once stated, “Tupac Shakur was a genius. I loved him like he was my son.” These heartfelt words capture the essence of the impact Tupac has had on countless lives, transcending boundaries of age, race, and background.
As we explore the life and art of Tupac Shakur, we embark on a journey into the heart of inspiration, a place where passion meets purpose and truth intertwines with creativity. Join us as we delve deeper into the extraordinary life and immeasurable influence of a man whose legacy continues to shape the world we live in today.
Big Syke: “Pac was loyal, but everybody is loyal to something different, and for Pac, I would say above all else he was loyal to his black people, period. It was more than just me, it was a bigger picture, always a bigger picture for him than just his immediate circle; it was his whole clique plus anybody else who came around who was trying to ride in the direction he was going. That’s what he was loyal to, and by him being loyal to his people, he couldn’t help but be loyal to me, and Napoleon, and everybody who was around him. Because the way he was moving, in that direction either you moving or you not.”
He was brung up where if he got in trouble, his mama would make him read the newspaper every day, all the way through. Now when I was hanging around with him, he used to be reading that newspaper every morning. I didn’t know that his upbringing was what made him do that, you feel me what I’m saying?* He was brung up with this Panther philosophy around him, but yet and still he grew up in the ghetto with the gangstas and the thugs and the hustlers and the pimps, so that’s who he was.” (Big Syke Interview With Right On! October 2011 Page 11)
Ice Cube: ”Yeah I had a relationship with Pac. Me and Pac was real cool. Um, you know to me he was a humble dude you know what I’m saying. To the rest of the world he was, you know um Thug Life, ya know what I mean, wildin’ out, which is cool. You know what I mean. That was him too, you know, no doubt, and he was passionate about everything, you know what I’m saying” (Ice Cube Interview WIth Breakfast Club Power 105.1 – January 2014)
Shock G: “As big of a celebrity as Pac was, deep down he had that same gap foster kids have.* Never feelings loved, like he didn’t fit in, didn’t have a foundation.* He didn’t feel like anybody loved him unless he was 2Pac the character.* Tupac the thug was a celebrity, but Tupac Shakur, just the man, the boy at one point, felt like nobody loved him.” (XXL October 2002 Page 112)
Mouse Man: ”While Tupac was growing up he wasn’t very popular, he was poor, he would get made fun of a lot because he didn’t have much.” Mouse Man said that growing up with Tupac, he was a little more fortunate than Tupac.* Mouse Man used to give Tupac some new clothes and things to help him get by while they were growing up in junior high school. (Mouse Man Interview)
Natasha Walker: ”Me and Pac really, really got close you know, especially when he was going through a lot of things, when he lost his car, his home. When i first met Pac he had a car and a home. By the end of the year he had lost everything. He had, he told me he cried to me and told me he had 13 different lawsuits with 8 different lawyers and he didn’t have any money. He was just like living in a motel, no car, just struggling. And this is you know after, well this is right, I guess you could say around um “Poetic Justice” somewhat.
You know and at the time he was struggling. You know, he told me like “I’m famous like a Janet Jackson, but my bank account is like a poor broke guy.” Like he didn’t have anything so that really bothered him you know not to have a nice car or anything and you’re Tupac Shakur. You know you got movies out, he, he, he got all this stuff, Juice, everything. You know a couple little movies out but nothing, not a dime, so you know.” (Natasha Walker Interview)
Frank Alexander: ”I never saw Pac in a light of where he was worried about something or about his life or anything like that. And it’s really really boggling that he was that way. And he was only that way through his music because he didn’t ever ever lead on. You know verbally or tell me you know like afraid of something like this happening or this and this. He was never anything like that he never had no conversations like that or anything of that nature.
You know so everything came out in his lyrics how he felt in his heart. And what he felt in his soul. And that’s how most artist express themselves anyway is through their lyrics. And what came out through his lyrics, is what happened in his life. You know, as he felt.
He never thought that he would live to be 30. He never thought that someone black would be the one that would kill him. And both things happened and he wasn’t worried or overly concerned about it. he didn’t act like it, he wasn’t walking around like it. He wasn’t wearing bulletproof vest, you know. So what what happened, it happened and only God knew what it was going to be and only Tupac prophesized it through his lyrics.
If you knew Tupac, you knew he was one of the most generous people you’d have the pleasure of meeting. He was the kind of guy who’d give you the shirt off his back. That’s if he liked you, of course. If Tupac liked you, he liked you with passion. If Tupac loved you, he loved you with passion. If he didn’t like you, he disliked you with passion. If he hated you, he hated you with passion. There was no middle ground. If he liked you or loved you, he loved you with everything that he was about. The reverse was equally true. He didn’t compromise his feelings. (Frank Alexander, ”Got Your Back” Book)
Ryan D: He was real, real, whatever he was passionate, passionate about anything, whatever he was involved in he was passionate about it. He was obviously an artist. He was, back when we were younger, he was the only dude that I knew that would write poems and stuff like that. I just think it was weird. Cause you know I had a rap book, I write raps and he write raps and I’d look at his rap book sometimes, I’d read his raps. He’d have a page of raps a page of poems, a page of raps a poems. I always thought that was weird but you know he was different.
When he came out here, first of all his name was Tupac that was weird of course. He was from New York or Baltimore basically east coast, which is totally opposite than we were out here and so. I always, I saw when I met him. Like I said I was in the rapping and I knew right and then he was the rawest rapper out. And that was in the era of Rakim. I used to tell people, my partner is rawer than Rakim, he could beat Rakim anyway. I could tell people that then and I can tell people that now. Pac was raw back then, he could of did it.
He was real passionate, you know. His mom she was on drugs and he didn’t have a lot of stuff. He was real poor too, I mean poor poor. Dirt poor, with one pair of shoes and that kind of poor. That’s when they’d tease him and tease him and stuff. But he was uh- I realized that he was a talented dude and uh. It took him to get with Digital Underground for a lot of people where we lived to recognize that then. But then everybody had jumped on the bandwagon.
But he was always passionate, he was well, well read. You know he had a lot of books at his mom house. We used to go over there you know and have deep talks with his mom and his mom was deep, even though she was on crack at the time. But she was, she had, her brain was not affected she was real smart. We had deep conversations she was real nice.” (Ryan D Interview)
Khalil Kain (Raheem In Juice): ”He told me all the time that he was gonna be taken out. I’d just tell him to shut the fuck up, stop talking like that. But he knew the power in that. And if he only motivated one person, and that person is me, and he damn sure did, it was worth it to him. And there are hundreds of thousands of young black men, just like me, who are completely inspired by that young man.” (Khalil Kain Interview)
Ice Cube: ”Yeah I had a relationship with Pac. Me and Pac was real cool. Um, you know to me he was a humble dude you know what I’m saying. To the rest of the world he was, you know um Thug Life, ya know what I mean, wildin’ out, which is cool. You know what I mean. That was him too, you know, no doubt, and he was passionate about everything, you know what I’m saying. But um, Yeah I met Pac when he was with Digital Underground. They was, yanawmean, they was uh, his head was in a different space. And I think, think a lot of stuff that went down with him just, you know hardened him up. yanawmean and uh that’s what happens. (Ice Cube Interview WIth Breakfast Club Power 105.1 – January 2014)
Napoleon: ”I think Pac was like, he was like many youngsters in America that’s searching and they don’t really know. Like Pac had great intentions he had good intentions and a lot to his best. But i think he didn’t know which route to go. You know? Pac was a loyal individual. You know, Pac was the type of person, he knew right from wrong. He was a very intelligent person, but he was so loyal. For example, if he signed a record deal with Death Row records, he’s gonna be with them until, he’s a loyal individual.
You know, I, I, I could remember some days sittin’ with Pac and he would, he would sound as if he were depressed and he would say he’s tired of this life. You know, and he wish he wasn’t living anymore because of all the lawsuits he, was getting to him, ya know? He was a strong individual as far as adversity because he was able to um, he was in, in opposition, he was able to stand strong in the face of opposition and things like that. He was a very intelligent person.
Nah, just Pac was a funny guy all the time you know? I, I don’t probably think there was a day that go by, we don’t sit around and we don’t joke and clown with each other. You know? We were just always, you know. Just always like to make fun, man and make jokes, you know? That’s how we was, we was different man. We wasn’t the type that would always be in the club. We would just sit in his house, we would sit in the living room and we would all just make jokes with each other, you know? (Napoleon Interview)
Thomas Cox: ”I remember once when I was in California with him and we were going to the Soul Train Music Awards. We saw this guy slapping this woman out in the street. Tupac jumped out of the car, chased the guy down the street, and beat him up. If Tupac saw a weaker person being taken advantage of by a stronger person, he just couldn’t let it go.” (Thomas Cox Interview)
Jamala Lesane: ”He got all the thug stuff from his mom. They were so much alike. Afeni was a thug too. When Afeni was a black woman in the Panthers, she had more guts than any man in the movement. Men were afraid of her. They feared her intelligence, her boldness, and her heart. And that’s what made her a thug. The same with Pac. People didn’t fear him because they thought he’d be the first nigga to shoot-they feared him because of his intelligence and his boldness. Pac got it all from his mother. Afeni is a bad muthafucka.” (Jamala Lesane Interview)
Donald Hicken: Tupac was a young man who seemed to delight in and savor every aspect of being alive. He was just alive in every moment. That’s the kernel of creativity…being able to be completely perceptive about what’s going on. Having a deep perception of life, moment-to-moment, is really what it takes to be an artist, and Tupac clearly had that. He was also just tremendously fun to be around. The girls went nuts for him. He made out like a bandit. By the time he left here, he was dating the most beautiful girls in the school. (Donald Hicken Interview)
Jada Pinkett-Smith: ”Pac was definitely an activist. He put the information in the music. He had the mentality that we as young black people needed to be a community. He was very motivating, very proactive. You have to understand, five people lived in that cat. You had the political activist. The young man that loved to go out and party, get drunk and get high, which oftentimes would bring a cloud of confusion. And he wasn’t always clear, because he was often in an altered state. You had the artist, the fighter, the lover. I mean, come on, there were ten Tupacs in one. He was just a really layered individual. There was nothing simple about him. (Jada Pinkett-Smith – Tupac Remembered, Page 32, 33)
Ray Luv: For someone so articulate, so fuckin’ intelligent, the muthafucka could fuck up some food. When he’d eat hamburgers, he’d just have hella shit all over his face and all over everything. And the way he cooked, he just tore up the kitchen every time. He was so messy. He was an incredible cook, though—he could make Top Ramen taste like gumbo. He’d put a lot of garlic in it, a lot of onions, some seasoning. That’s some broke shit, to be able to do that. You can tell when a muthafucka has been broke for a while. I never saw no retreat, no fear from the dude, never. Not even fear of death. I think his only fear was not being accepted. If there was any fear, it was of that. (Ray Luv – Tupac Remembered, Page 4)
Tom Whalley: ”To understand Tupac, you really have to know his mother, and when you get to know Afeni, you realize that they were almost twins. He was just like her in how he saw and reacted to the world. Afeni became politicized at a young age, as a member of the Black Panthers. Her history is the connection to the politics in his music. Music became a way for him to express the wrongs he perceived in life. They were of different generations, but they shared a need to express themselves that came out in very similar ways.” (Tom Whalley – Tupac Remembered, Pages 51 & 52)
Lori Earl: ”It was never interesting enough for them to report Tupac’s innocence. If you ever followed anything that was happening to him through to the end, you would realize that his actions were always for a reason. If there was violence involved, it was never frivolous. He was never a violent guy but he was fearless when it came to standing up for what he believed in.” Lori Earl: Tupac Remembered, Page 54)
Shock G: ”He had so many different sides to him. Pac was a cut-up, too. Sometimes we’d be picking out our outfits for the show. And he’d grab the Shock G and Humpty wigs and say, “Yo, let me wear this.” Sometimes he’d bug out and wear the nose when we were just walking down the street or going to the mall. He had a real kid side to him that suffocated later. I think it was 100 percent still in him, but he just couldn’t get to it cause he had so much other stuff in his space to deal with. He had to represent the thug side to get cats to hear what he had to say.
I remember that Pac was trying to get some knowledge about the history of the struggle in America. He learned from Chuck D and he used to fight back from a more political standpoint for a while. Then he started to see the more in-your-face way Ice Cube, Scarface, and Geto Boys were doing it. And then he realized he had more of that in him naturally. He couldn’t be like Chuck D. He didn’t have enough book knowledge, or history, or knowledge of the law to fight racism the way Chuck fought it.
But he knew he could fight it like Ice Cube. And that’s when he decided to let his nuts hang and go the thug route. And that’s when Pac started realizing his strength. He realized that out of the whole Digital camp, he was the one who cats listened to the most. He was the one who lived it the most, the one who had the most absent father, the most food stamps, the most moving around, the most being left to watch TV alone.” (Shock G – Tupac Remembered, Page 61, 62)
Yo-Yo: He was so political and would talk about how he wouldn’t turn the other cheek. His rap back then was “Brenda’s Got A Baby.” He would say it all day long. And he used to have this other rap talking about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. I always liked him because he was so militant at the time. He was a young soldier and that’s what attracted me to him. He really believed in himself all the way. He was cocky. He would always say, “I’m a skinny, big dick, cocky nigga.” (Yo-Yo – Tupac Remembered, Page 63)
Richie Rich: ”Pac would often put on a bravado for the friends in his life. But in actuality, he wasn’t a real rough guy. He was good in the role of Bishop in Juice, but in life he didn’t project all that. It wasn’t his natural aura. When I say Pac wasn’t a tough guy, I don’t mean that he was soft, I just mean he wasn’t the type of guy you’d be intimidated by. People think that he actually was like Bishop, but if you sat in a room with him, he was just a cool person.
There were times when I think he did kind of become the characters he played. Like in Poetic Justice, when he played Lucky’s character. Lucky smoked cigarettes. I remember I was on the set and I was like, “What you doing with that cigarette? I didn’t know you smoked.” He said, “I don’t smoke. Lucky smokes.” He was sittin’ there studying his lines and pullin’ on a cigarette. After the movie was done shooting, there Pac was, smoking cigarettes. I said, “I thought you didn’t smoke, I thought that was Lucky.” He was like, “Shut up, dude.” (Richie Rich – Tupac Remembered, Page 65)
Treach: ”Tupac didn’t have fear of what anybody thought. He didn’t think, “Yo, somebody might feel this way if I say this.” He felt that if he told you the truth without watering it down, you’d respect him and get a lot more out of it. Sometimes I’d be like, “Pac, shut up, these police are about to let us go.” He’d say, “Fuck that, they got to understand.” (Treach – Tupac Remembered, Page 71)
Mary J. Blige: ”Tupac stands out as a warrior. He was always fighting for a cause—to be free on the outside when in reality your freedom is inside. He was just dealing with so much. He was always making us understand that he was in the struggle with us. Through songs like “Keep Your Head Up” and “Brenda’s Got A Baby,” he tells us the truth. He dealt with the truth. He touched on women having babies too young. He touched on a lot of women not being secure with themselves. That is why a lot of women liked him. He was always in the struggle for us. And he was the only man doing that. While everyone else was calling women bitches and hoes, Pac was saying, “Keep Your Head Up.” (Mary J. Blige – Tupac Remembered, Page 73)
Karen Lee: ”One of the reasons that I loved Tupac so much was that I knew who and what he was inside. People thought he was like Bishop, the out-of-control and violent character he portrayed in Juice. His personality was actually closer to the sensitive and romantic character he portrayed in Poetic Justice. He definitely wasn’t Bishop. He wasn’t a murderer. He had respect for life but a fear for what the future seemed to hold for so many young black men. His mother had raised him with a respect for women and people…especially people in underserved communities.
Pac was chasing life, not living it. He talked about prison and death, sometimes carrying the possibility of both like a twin. I remember on his twenty-first birthday, while filming Poetic Justice, he said that he never thought he would reach twenty-one. He thought he’d be dead by that time.” (Karen Lee – Tupac Remembered, Page 76)
Russell Simmons: ”When I’d see Tupac in a violent or rough setting, like some places uptown and in Queens, he’d always be so comfortable in it. Then I’d see him in the settings of New York’s social elite. I remember Christy Turlington threw an event for El Salvador, a benefit where everybody dress in black tie. Tupac came in, and was so eloquent. He fit every environment. The same with his records—he could move the whole spectrum. He was a chameleon. He’s always gonna have presence. They’re gonna teach his poetry fifty years from now at UCLA. He’s a great poet and he’s one of the people who defines our time. He’s not going anywhere. There’s not gonna be any lack of Tupac airplay or lack of material just because he’s not here.
There are people who define the times from a cultural standpoint. They tell you which car is hot, which watch we wanna wear today. They offer a great kind of insight into a specific week or year. Tupac did that at times, but he also defined the spirit of something that’s timeless. His songs were timeless. Until you end poverty or until you end suffering, you’re always gonna need a Tupac song to describe what’s really inside you.
Tupac is exactly like kids who don’t have his worldwide platform, who lose their lives to violence or to drugs. He is a child who exemplifies what happens when we don’t pay attention to giving people opportunities, education, and a sense belonging in society. Tupac is an example of the kids we have to protect” (Russell Simmons – Tupac Remembered, Page 81, 82)
Pee Wee: ”2Pac was very good at freestyling. And yeah, he was one of the tops and he could do it very well. But i know for a fact, 2Pac was a writer and that’s what impressed me about him way back then. It was like, him and the Deal Funky Homosapean were the 2 guys i knew that were constantly writing, kept notebooks full of raps and added to them all day every day. So, he freestyled a lot of stuff but, Pac has always been a writer man.
Man real fun, loud, wild dude, very smart, ghetto, man, regular guy, not a criminal, not a thug at all. Much more of a militant, than a thug, the way the, you know, media kinda portrayed him out to be. He wasn’t a gang banger, he was a cool dude, real fun like to laugh.
He was really into his art, he was into acting and writing, into poetry, very serious dude, man and you know, fun at the same time. Liked to joke around give you a hard time so you give him a hard time back. Just a real fun dude man. He did not act shy around me man. He was just like a regular, just a regular dude man. You know, like your homie down the street. He was really just, this regular dude. Not this arrogant dude, you know people say, “Man, well he turned out to this.” Or “Was he like that?” No he was, Pac was a cool dude man.”
He said, “He who writes for the billboard charts and something something something and not from the heart shall fade away” Yep you might blow up, but if you got no substance, no good quality about what you talking about because you mean it, then you’ll just fade away. But if you talk true things, they’ll stick around, they’ll mean something. And i guess in hindsight, that was the reason for, you know a lot of people would say, “Man, 2Pac it’s like he could tell the future.” And it wasn’t really, I never took like he could tell the future. I took it like, he knows what he’s talking about things that are logical you know, kinda like saying, “Man, ok yeah if you jump up you gotta come down.”
”So he would say things about real issues, that were very logical and the things would end up happening. Well it’s because it made sense not because he can predicted the future. He told the truth, the truth doesn’t change.” (Pee Wee Of Digital Underground)
Jasmine Guy: ”While he stayed at my place, he read all of my books. He was an avid reader, but it’s almost like he didn’t want people to know that. He wanted a certain image. Sometimes, I’d feel like I knew a whole different person. I’d read a Vibe article and think, “That doesn’t sound like him.” But that was just Pac. He could relate to a lot of different kinds of people.”
I think one thing it’s important to know about Pac was that he was able to have long-term relationships and friendships with women. And that he still means so much to his friends. If he were just screwing around with these women, people wouldn’t remember that. That’s not stuff you cry about after someone is gone. You’re sad that you can’t talk to him anymore. You think to yourself, “What about that movie? What about the book he was gonna write? What about his future, his dreams, his center? What about the charity benefit he was gonna do?” (Jasmine Guy – Tupac Remembered, Page 8)
Big Syke: ”He was also known for some political-type shit. This nigga was running around makin’ a movement. Changing shit. So that’s what I think he gave the blacks, especially the youth. You know words are powerful. And the more of them you know, the better you gonna be.” (Big Syke – Tupac Remembered, Page 93)
Gobi: ”He was a big praiser, but he also had a very, very short fuse and like things to be done yesterday. l If they weren’t he would lose his cool.He wanted his own production company, his own people, his own movies, and his own music. He wanted autonomy. But it felt like the powers around him didn’t want that. So there was this tug of war going on.
One of our last conversations I had with him, he said, “You know, in six months or a year from now, people aren’t going to recognize me, ‘cause I’m gonna act like such an adult.” He said, “I’m gonna be so mature and, in fact, you know what? I’m going to put all this bullshit aside. And one day I might even go for politics. I might even run for mayor of Los Angeles ‘cause these politicians are the biggest corrupt gangsters in the business.”
I got to see him as he was transforming. I always say like, ya know, uh maybe it’s a bad example but it was almost like he was a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, right before my eyes. Because you know, he was, he was changing his ways. I think even though for, for a good portion of time for a good portion of years, his thug image and thug life was so prominent and relevant and uh a means for him to express himself and be accepted. But i think he was ready to shift into the next phase of Tupac. And i think the net phase of Tupac was more, the entraponuer, the actor, the politician, the business man, there was so much he was planning on doing.
Research about the Panther 21 Trial, research Afeni and her Black Panther involvement of what she actually did. Because the fruit never falls far from the tree. Where do you think Tupac got “2Pac”? Everything that Tupac is, where do you think it came from? It came from Afeni Shakur. Didn’t come from his father, he didn’t even know he had a father until the age of 23. He didn’t even know the name Billy Garland until he was 23. So for 23 years, I, I wouldn’t even say that. For 25 years, his major role model and influence in life, where he gets all of his genius. Where he gets all of his power and strength. That all comes from Afeni. (Gobi – Tupac Remembered, Page 94)
Iris Crews: ”Tupac was a prolific reader. During the trial he’d buy newspapers and read them in between court sessions. He’d read the Daily News and the Post, which surprised me because the Post is such a racist paper. Sometimes he’d read the Times. And he used to sit in court and and write on his legal pad. One day he wrote down some poetry of Robert Frost’s. I looked at what he was writing and said, ‘Give me that,” because I was so surprised. He would always be reading in the hallways when we were in court between sessions.”
There were always children from his family around, and he would tell me, “See these kids here, they rely on me.” So that was the responsibility that this young man felt from the age of nineteen, twenty, twenty-one years old, not just for his sister, but all the kids from his extended family.” (Iris Crews – Tupac Remembered, Page 90)
Kevin Powell: ”He was so articulate, so intelligent. He was obviously a very handsome cat. He had an allegiance to his fans, but he also had this allegiance to the streets. He appealed to a lot of different people. Tupac had Two personalities. One was really about the people. He was serious and socially conscious. And then the other part was not able to turn that corner. That was the last time he and I talked.” (Kevin Powell – Tupac Remembered, Page 99, 100)
Preston Holmes: ”I was talking to one of the other actors from Juice the week that Tupac was in the hospital in Vegas, and he said he and another main character in Juice felt that after the movie came out, Tupac had decided to in some ways have Bishop become his public face, because of the way people responded to that character in the movie. I don’t know how true that is, but it wouldn’t surprise me because everything that Tupac did was calculated. And I think he was an actor enough to be anything he wanted to be, or felt it was necessary to be. For instance, when he was at Death Row years later, I thought he was out-Death-Row-ing the Death Row people. He became the face of Death Row. Wherever he went, people fed off his energy and passion, and that’s why he was always out front.
By the time we did Gridlock’d, he was also somebody who had been through a lot of negative stuff. He had been shot in New York. He had been in jail. He had signed with Death Row. By the time we finished Gridlock’d, I’m convinced that he had made a change. I think it was a change he had started thinking about while he was incarcerated. I think Death Row and that whole experience…I think he saw that necessary means to an end. And I’m pretty sure that by the time he was shot in Las Vegas, he had already started to implement the plan to extricate himself from Death Row. He did and said things that made me know he was headed in a new direction.” Preston Holmes – Tupac Remembered, Pages 103 & 104)
Lisa Lopes: ”Tupac stood for the truth. Being real. He was a tragic hero and a legend in his own right. He represented both sides of the coin. He was from one exstreme to the next. There was almost no in-between. He is probably one of the most honest, the most truthful, realest entities that I have ever encountered. He would call it how he saw it. He wouldn’t hold back. But he had a very big heart. A very, very big heart. It was to the tenth power.” Lisa Lopes – Tupac Remembered (Page 100)
Snoop Dogg: ”We talked like we were two presidents. Like Clinton and Malcolm X. Like on boss shit. Like we’re the leaders and our soldiers are our soldiers. And if we have a problem with each other we stay within the structure of being organized and being military-minded. He was strategic about all his moves, being in the studio, how we need to conduct ourselves. How we need to act. Everything. So a lot of the things that happened were very well planned out.
Tupac would always be on my side during my court case. He’d show up in court with a suit on, representing. It was that genuine love. He was the type of individual where if he loves you, he loves the shit out of you—but if he hates you, he hates the fuck out of you. There was no in-between. He was a cool dude with a sweet personality, not on nothing soft, but on some real man shit as far being sentimental enough to understand certain things in life. Like the whole thing when he convinced me to stay with my wife and my son—he didn’t have no kids or no particular woman but he still understood that meant more than anything to me, more than any record we made, any chicks we may have got at, videos we did, or trips we took.” (Snoop Dogg – Tupac Remembered, Page 112)
Step Johnson: ”I have never seen anybody else who knew where his or her life was going. Who knew what life meant. I will go to my grave saying that this kid had a premonition…that he knew. He was so dedicated to his music, Pac could stay in the studio 24/7 for six months and never think about coming out. He knew things that the average person didn’t know. There is a thin line between insanity and genius, and he walked that line very closely. Because at any minute he was a genius like you wouldn’t believe. And at any minute he could be totally, totally nuts. So you really had to know him.
I knew him before Death Row and during Death Row. I saw the changes in his life. He was always the same person but walking that thin line. You don’t threaten him. You don’t challenge him. You don’t sell him a wolf ticket ‘cause he will buy it. I don’t care who you are, how big you are, I don’t care if you’re the police. If you come at him and challenge him, 6’5”, 300 pounds, or 5’2”, 85 pounds, if you challenge him, he’s gonna take the challenge. That’s just the way he was.
He had a lot of love in his heart. He loved his people.” (Step Johnson – Tupac Remembered, Pages 114 & 115)
QD3: ”At the end of his life, I think he’d found who he wanted to be and he was working toward it. Basically, he wanted to be more mature person who could execute on all the great ideas he had. I think he was almost there, but I also got a really manic feeling from him. Like real manic in the studio. I’d give him a ballad and he would yell at the top of his lungs on it. But that’s part of what made him great.
Pac was a first mind type of person, by that I mean he listened to what ever came to his mind first and went with it so just being around him and seeing him write so quick or make important decisions in a heartbeat was always impressive nonstop…He was just trying to be as real with people as possible without bullshit and if they couldn’t take it he didn’t care, you gotta respect that.” (QD3 – Tupac Remembered, Page 117)
Leila Steinberg: ”Pac’s voice was—and still is—international. He was part of a movement, separate from the artist, he was really consciously a political voice. We had serious plans. He understood that he was a political vehicle and a political voice because of his birthright. He believed his art was his tool.” (Leila Steinberg – Tupac Remembered, Page 124)
Kastro: ”I never knew Tupac was a rapper until he came back to New York from Baltimore to visit us. He was into L.L. Cool J back then. He’d come with his friend Mouse, his beat-box man. He and his man would be beat-boxin’, they’d be rockin’ it. He liked Eric B and Rakim, but it was L.L. that he was really trying to be like a little.” (Kastro – Tupac Remembered, Page 149)
Young Noble: ”Tupac was the most genuine dude I’ve known in my life. The most genuine, the most giving, and the hardest working. He was a young dude and he had a lot of responsibilities. I always think about how young he was when I knew him. He was only twenty-five, and he had so much on his shoulders. Sometimes I think, “Damn, I wish we were the dudes we are now back then.” He used to be damn-near a father figure to us. We were young and dumb. Pac was the general. All of us were soldiers, but he was the general.” (Young Noble – Tupac Remembered, Page 156)