On the twenty-four year anniversary of the Sunset Park movie premiere, Fredro Starr reflected on the time he met Tupac Shakur, and when Suge Knight offered him to join Death Row records.
April 23, 1996, the Sunset Park premiere took place at the Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15 located in Los Angeles California. The film was produced by Danny Devito, who’s wife Rhea Perlman portrayed the head coach of the high school boys basketball team. Hip Hop artist Fredro Starr played the character of Tyrik “Shorty Doo-Wop” Russell, who was the point guard for the team.
“I remembered that day. It was a sunny day, like a typical California day,” Fredro Starr recalls. “I remember on the way to the movie preimere, we was in the limo and I told the limo driver, ‘Pull over! Pull over!’. There was a big Sunset Park poster like right by the highway. So, I told him to pull over and we took a picture.”
At that particular moment, Fredro realized how big the magnitude of the film was. Next up, the premiere, which was nothing short of any big time movie premiere. Filled with paparazzi, red carpet, and celebrities.
Right at the start of the film, as the credits appear on screen, one of those celebrities would walk in, much to the surprise of the young actor and member of Hip Hop’s Onyx. “Tupac walks in, with Suge Knight, and the whole Death Row. It’s like everybody just stopped when they walked in.”
“Tupac was there because he was on the soundtrack. He had a song on the soundtrack,” Fredro Starr said via his YouTube channel. Tupac Shakur would appear on the Sunset Park soundtrack on the song titled ‘High Till I Die’, which was produced by Tony Pizarro.
The soundtrack itself also featured the likes of Onyx, MC Lyte, Xscape, Adina Howard, Big Mike, Tha Dogg Pound, Mobb Deep, Queen Latifah, and Junior M.A.F.i.A.
Not knowing in advance that Tupac was invited to the premiere, Fredro Starr was left speechless. To make things even more interesting, Tupac would go on to seat, 2 rows behind Fredro. “So, like the whole time the movie is playing, I’m looking back watching him watch the movie. He’s having a great time, smiling, popcorn and all that.”
“I’m like oh sh*t this is crazy. This is Tupac. This is Death Row Tupac,”
Fredro recalls. “He always called me his little brother, ‘Waddup little bro’. But, I’m born the same year as him, 71.”
Fedro Starr Recalls Meeting Tupac, Asked To Sign With Death Row
After the movie, everyone went to the lobby, and this is where the photo of Tupac Shakur and Fredro Starr was taken. “That was the time that me and Tupac took a picture, and he was like, ‘What’s up little bro’. So, after the picture Suge Knight said, ‘Yo, let’s take a walk. Me, you and Pac, let’s talk a walk in the parking lot’.
At this point, Suge Knight would offer Fredro Starr the opportunity to sign with Death Row records. An offer that Fredro was unsure of taking, especially after seeing Tupac’ reaction. “I look at Pac and he looking at me like he not really co-signing this sh*t. Like he giving me that look like nah bro you don’t wanna be here.”
Fedro Starr never got back to Suge Knight, and was later advised by close friend and star of ‘Moesha’, Brandy, not to join Death Row records.