As we get ready for the premiere of the 2Pac biopic, “All Eyez On Me,” we remember the legacy, the man, the religion of Tupac Shakur himself. Before there was “Black Lives Matter” there was Tupac. Twenty years after his passing, the hip-hop legend is still remembered for his controversial lyrics and his loud, outspoken attitude. His lifestyle and his lyrics has shaped many artists today and touched on many social issues that we can relate to 20 years later. Safe to say that the man was way before his time.
Many remember Shakur for his music, others relate him to the Pac that is still “alive” somewhere on a private island, making beats for “The Next 2Pac.” Seems his fashion sense and style of rap has sparked artists like JaRule and 50 Cent. But there is one we can’t deny that has developed almost every part of the late rapper’s looks and mannerisms– new actor on the rise, Demetrius Shipp, Jr.
Photo courtesy of Complex News
Former Pac producer and close friend, L.T. Hutton, teamed up with the legendary video director Benny Boom to bring this film to life. The pair’s goal was to showcase the untold life and death of Tupac Shakur. After 5 years of perfecting a film based on one of the world’s most prominent young leader and finding the perfect lead to portray him, the film is finally set to see the light of day.
Shipp, who also bleeds that California native love, has been a fan of 2Pac as a young child. Ironically, his father was a producer of “Toss It Up” which was Pac’s first posthumous album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Even though Shipp shares the same love and admiration for Pac as we all do, he harbors more connection to the rapper than any of us. The eerie resemblance to the rapper is astonishing. When you see him, you see 2Pac.
The star on the rise was among many other Pac “lookalikes” when he auditioned for the role. Obviously, there was no competition. Shipp had been working at places such as, Target, before landing the role. Believe it or not, he never wanted to pursue acting in the first place. Like Pac, his first passion mirrored his father’s in the role of music. Though his acting exists solely from this one film. After watching the previews of this film, it’s almost safe to say he did the damn thing. Hopefully, we’re not done seeing his performances after this film. You think he can stand on his own without the constant Tupac comparison?
All Eyez on Me also stars The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira as Afeni Shakur, The Vampire Diaries‘ Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett, Dominic L. Santana as Suge Knight, and Jamal Woolard as the Notorious B.I.G. Previously, Wollard played Biggie in director George Tillman Jr.’s 2009 biopic Notorious. Hitting theaters on June 16, which would have been Shakur’s 46th birthday!
Watch the trailer for “All Eyez On Me” here now!