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All Eyez On Me: The Movie and the Man

Last month, the Tupac biopic, All Eyez On Me, finally hit theaters. It was released on what would’ve been the rapper’s 46th birthday, June 16th. There has been a lot of hype and curiosity surrounding this movie. Naturally, because Tupac was such a three dimensional person and often regarded as the greatest rapper of all time, so the movie should reflect that.

When the movie first arrived in theaters, there were some people saying that they hated the movie and that it was terrible. This disappointed me because I had high hopes for this movie. Also, the day before the movie came out, Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was one of Tupac’s closest friends, said that a lot of the scenes with her in the movie never happened. That made me skeptical of wanting to see the movie, but then I heard a lot of other people say that the movie wasn’t nearly as bad as people made it out to be. They said that the movie was actually good. So after a few weeks of back and forth, I finally decided to go and see the movie for myself.

I side with the latter half of the people that I referred to in that the movie wasn’t nearly as bad as people made it out to be. I feel that Demetrius Shipp Jr. did a great job as Tupac. He looked like him and had his mannerisms down pact. I wished that his voice could’ve been a bit more raspy, but he sounded like Tupac for the most part. Also Dominic Santana, who portrayed Death Row boss Suge Knight did a great job. He really made me believe that he was Suge Knight.

Danai Gurira also did a great job as Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur. One of the best scenes in the movie is when Afeni visits Tupac in prison. Their interaction was one of the most powerful scenes in the movie. As she was leaving the prison, one of Tupac’s most famous songs, “Dear Mama,” was playing. That moment made me teary eyed. Another part of the movie that I loved was Tupac’s performance at a college in Atlanta. He performed “Keep Ya Head Up,” which is my favorite Tupac song. I thought that was well done. I appreciated the fact that they touched on Tupac’s relationship with his fiancee, Kidada Jones, because some people didn’t know about that.

Granted, this movie wasn’t perfect. Considering Jada Pinkett-Smith’s comments, I pretty much side-eyed every scene that she was in. Now Kat Graham did a great job so my judgement was no fault of hers. I blame the producers for that. Also the performance of “Hail Mary” at the House of Blues made me upset because that never happened. The single “Hail Mary” was released posthumously. I watched Tupac’s performance at the House of Blues and they could’ve had him perform any one of the songs that he did that night. Now they had him perform “Hit Em Up” because that song touched on the beef between him and The Notorious B.I.G. I just didn’t understand why they added the “Hail Mary” part. I understand that “Hail Mary” is one of Tupac’s most popular songs, but sadly a performance of that song never happened.

One other issue that I had at first was the pace of the movie in how it went back and forth between Tupac’s time in prison and the other moments in life. As the movie went on, I understood why they did it that way because it all came full circle in the end.

There were some things that were left out and I understand that they couldn’t include everything or else it would’ve been a 4 hour movie. Overall, the movie was good and I would recommend that people watch it. In the meantime, the library has all of the movies that Tupac starred in our catalog. Also the library has most of the albums that Tupac released, including the double album, All Eyez On Me. What is your favorite Tupac song? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy watching and listening!


Kayla works at Squirrel Hill as a Clerk, so when you come up to the customer services desk you might see her face! When she’s not at the library she enjoys reading, watching TV & listening to music. You might also find her at your local Starbucks, because she loves her Frappuccinos.

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