Director Allen Hughes believes part of Tupac Shakur’s greatness may have played a role in his downfall.
Hughes is currently gearing up for the release of his new documentary series, “Dear Mama.” According to Hulu, the series promises to be an “intimate wide-angle portrait of the most inspiring and dangerous mother-son duo (Tupac and Afeni Shakur) in American history, whose unified message of freedom, equality, persecution and justice are more relevant today than ever.”
In an interview with “Hell and High Water” podcast host John Heilemann, the Menace II Society director recalled the late rapper as an artist and activist who found himself lost in the persona of a gangster. When comparing Shakur to Death Row label mate Snoop Dogg, he stated that the Long Beach emcee was the only one being their true self.
“Tupac on the other hand, while he came up in the inner city or the urban f**ked up ghetto, he’s not a street kid. He’s an artist and an activist. He’s a performance arts kid and he’s delusional. He’s just delusional in a positive way. You have to be delusional to be a great artist,” he said.
Elsewhere in the interview, he added that “to be a great artist, to be in the arts, period, it comes with delusions. You’re delusional. If you’re fortunate, maybe a third of your delusions become art. Two thirds of it is bulls**t, and I think we saw two thirds of Tupac’s delusions that weren’t the art.”
Hughes went on to conclude that the “All Eyez on Me” rapper fed off of the attention he received from fans. “The thing I think Tupac was addicted to the most was, when I think back, when he’s in a room like this and he sees us all reacting to whatever he’s saying, especially her (pointing to a woman in the room), any woman, if they’re smiling, he goes to 10. You thought 10 was the level. He’s at 50 now. And he’s so charismatic that he lost himself in his power to move a room.”
The rapper succumbed to injuries after being shot multiple times while in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1996. He was 25 years old. To this day, his discography and influence on rap have endured the ever-changing music landscape. View the clip of Hughes discussing the rapper’s below.
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