Tupac Shakur Takes On the World in New ‘All Eyez on Me’ Trailer
Tupac Shakur was a complicated man: he had the world at his feet while carrying its weight on his shoulders, he was a thug menace to some and an inspirational poet to others, a commercial titan who chafed at the notion of bringing money into a white-owned record label system. The legendary rapper’s life was marked by inner conflict until it was tragically cut short in a 1996 drive-by shooting, leaving him dead on the pavement at 25 years old. Though the gifted M.C. was taken from us far too soon (god, imagine what Tupac’s midlife-crisis album would’ve sounded like) he left behind a stirring life story just begging for a biopic.
All Eyez on Me was originally slated for a release back in the fall of 2016, but delays pushed it to a June 16 release — the date that would’ve been Tupac’s 46th birthday. After a preliminary trailer surfaced last year, the movie understandably quieted down, but returns today in grand fashion with an even more explosive sneak peek. Music video veteran Benny Boom has mounted what appears to be an empathetic portrayal of the polarizing figure, a man who attracted the attentions of the F.B.I., railed for Afrocentric revolution, and tussled with psychotic impresario Suge Knight (Suge, if you’re reading this, please don’t have your guys dangle me off a balcony.) The trailer tracks Shakur’s speedy ascent to the top of the rap heap, his embattled relationship with East Coast rival Biggie Smalls, and his far-reaching effects on the American cultural mainstream, where gangsta rap introduced a violent new language of social reform.
Novice actor and Shakur doppelganger Demetrius Shipp Jr. has a hefty task ahead of him in the lead role, reconciling the rapper’s radical message with his peaceable intentions. Judging from the newly released trailer, though, he’s gonna be okay. California love to one and all.