Tupac: Hellraiser (The Source, 1994)
March 9, 1994
Sunset Boulevard, LA
Same day: On March 9, 1994, Tupac was interviewed of MTV News reporter Abbie Kearse in Beverly Hills
When you’re a rap star you never know when something’s gonna jump off. It’s one of the reasons you roll so thick. There’s the constant threat of being ‘tested’ by that one fan who is sure he can replace you or at least brag to his hood about how he robbed or humiliated you. Ask any number of artists, each will have at least a half dozen stories about the peculiar combination of awe and animosity particular t hip-hop and its audience.
There’s a Shell gas station located on this eternally upscale strip of Sunset Boulevard, around the corner from La Montrose, the hotel Pac lives at when in town. Pac throws his rental Lexus LS 300 coupe in park and rushes into the gas station’s convenience store for magazines and munchies.
While he’s browsing, a group of five brothas from some Crip hood recognize him. One of them decide to fuck with Pac.
“Where you from?”
It only takes Pac a second to place the thinly-veiled hostility in his voice, but it’s the middle of the afternoon, he’s all alone, and he really just wants a little reading material. Under ordinary circumstances (at least when you’re talking to a Crip in Los Angeles), the question carries enormous weight—as in ‘What set are you from?’ i.e. what’s your gang affiliation? Pac is more from Oakland than most places, but he’s definitely not down with banging.
“No you aint, you from Baltimore. But you don’t never claim it. I know cause my homeboy used to take care of you.”
“Well your homeboy lied, cause ain’t nobody take care of me while I was in Baltimore.”
Teenage customers, completely unaware of the escalating confrontation, interrupt, asking Pac for his autograph. While he’s hitting them off with his signature he hears the nigga he’s been beefing with tell his boys, ‘I’m finst to jack this nigga!’
Pac glances a pair of scissors in his peripheral and grabs them, facing homeboy. “Well come on nigga, let’s do this!”
The Korean merchant behind the counter gets nervous and picks up the phone. The four other Crips, who look sorry that they brought their trouble making homeboy out the hood, back up towards the double glass doors.
The Crip with the homie in Baltimore tags Pac in the eye and runs out of the store. Pac chases him around his car before he jumps in and they speed out of the lot and down Sunset.
Later, MTV conducts an interview with 2Pac at which Madonna attends and watches from off camera.