During A Tribe Called Quest’s appearance on Drink Champs earlier this year, Q-Tip touched on one of the most talked about stories surrounding 1993’s “Poetic Justice.” In the classic film, Tip and Tupac Shakur were casted as love interests for Janet Jackson’s character. But while Q-Tip was able to kiss Jackson, who was his real-life ex-girlfriend, with no issues, Pac on the other hand had been requested to take an AIDS test. “I don’t know what that decision was on her part to be like, ‘He has to get a AIDS test,'” Tip recalled in the interview. “But she was definitely, ‘Well, if I’m going to kiss with him, he definitely has to.”
Around the time of the film’s production, Pac voiced out his opinion on the matter, telling MTV that he didn’t disagree to take the test. However, the request did rub Pac off the wrong way. “I did not disagree if we were really going to make love,” the outspoken rapper would tell MTV in 1993 about his initial response to the request. “But if I’m gonna do a love scene with her just like somebody else did and they didn’t take a test, I’m not taking a test.”
Fast forward to Drink Champs this week and director John Singleton, who helmed the film, spills the bills and reveals that not only was the test his idea, but it was also a publicity stunt.
“No that was not serious,” he revealed. “That was a joke that we used to have on set, because the real talk is Tupac was attracted to Janet, I was attracted to Janet. We’re on the set, we’re both trying to flirt with her and then I was like, ‘I don’t know if I should have him kissing on my actress when you’ve been f—king around, because you know Pac was just coming and going then.’ Then, I was like better yet you gonna have to do an AIDS test before y’all do this love scene [but] it was a joke.”
So what started off as a joke, ended up becoming a huge talking point for pop news at the time. “Poetic Justice” would arrive in July 1993 and dominate the box office with an estimated 12.1 million in ticket sales.
“It was just me … talking shit,” Singleton added. “Then it was like, Oh we should just use this and put this out. So that’s what we did. It was a publicity thing. It was just us talking shit on the set and it was an inside joke.”
You can see the full episode of “Drink Champs” Thursday, June 15 at 11 P.M. The conversations get deep as John Singleton speaks on his career, directing Tupac, working with Michael Jackson, his acclaimed films, partying with Big Pun, and more.