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  1. #76
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    http://img5.fotos-hochladen.net/uplo...zn7ufsvewb.jpg /

    Published 1999 / Writer Unknown / Story behind NY 94 / Tupac Shakur


    “Listen while I take you back (NIGGA SAY HIS NAME!) and lace this rap A real live tale about a snitch named Haitian Jack Knew he was working for the feds, same crime, different trials Nigga, picture what he said, and did I mention Promised a payback, Jimmy Henchman, in due time I know you bitch niggas is listenin, The World Is Mine…”

    Against All Odds’ Tupac Shakur


    Haitian Jack was the most feared man in the music industry. Jack, AKA Jacques Agnant, was born in Haiti to a family of privileged politicians. They were highly educated professionals. His older siblings attended medical schools and universities in the United States. His family attended parties at ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier’s mansion. After the coup, his family fled to Brooklyn, New York with limited funds and connections. Jack, speaking only French, was placed in a tough, local public school and forced to fight on a daily basis. He became one of the toughest street thugs in the history of Brooklyn, New York.

    Jack began committing burglaries during his teen years. He specialized in drug dealers’ apartments. Jack formed a gang known as the Black Mafia. He recruited the toughest street robbers in the borough. His posse consisted of thugs such as, Tut, Nubs, Stretch, and other sociopaths, all looking to cash in on the drug economy. His crew was so feared; they could walk down the lines of New York’s hottest night clubs and take every drug dealer’s Rolex and wallet without as much as a peep. Jack began befriending such people as Mike Tyson and some local professional ball players. He used his charm to get into their pockets and when that failed, he produced a firearm. He invented the ‘friendly’ extortion game in the Black community. He is said to be the only man Mike Tyson ever feared.

    In the early 1990′s, rap music could be heard on every comer of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn -a neighborhood so bad, the local residents coined the saying ‘Bed-Stuy Do or Die.’ Jack went out of his way to get to know Biggie Smalls, a young, local rap artist with a lot of promise. Tupac Shakur heard about Biggie, travelled to Brooklyn, and the two began to perform together. Tupac put Biggie on the map. Biggie introduced Jack to Tupac, a day that would forever seal Mr. Shakur’s fate. Jack felt that rap artists should pay homage to him; after all, he lived the life they exploited through song.

    Jack and Tupac hit it off. Tupac loved Jack’s street creds and the feeling of power this mobster exuded through his swagger and earned reputation. He wanted what Jack had almost more than fame and fortune. Jack provided protection, women, and marijuana. Tupac picked up the tab at all the hot clubs. Jack was unofficially managing Tupac; the two were inseparable. The duo found themselves partying at clubs such as Nell’s with the likes of Madonna and other hot stars. Jack felt that his ride with Tupac would never end.

    Jack whispered in a girl’s ear one evening at Nell’s. She smiled and walked over to Tupac. The two danced and later returned to his hotel suite. The following day she returned. Tupac took her to his room; they began having sex when Jack’s crew entered the room. The young woman became the victim of date rape. She left in tears. The police later arrived and arrested Jack and Tupac. The two hired the best attorneys and planned strategy for their defense. Jack’s attorney, Paul Brenner, decided to sever Jack’s case from Shakur’s. He got Jack a six-month plea deal. The Manhattan D.A.’s office wasn’t so kind to Tupac. He went to trial, was found guilty, and was due back in court for sentencing at a later date.

    Tupac felt betrayed by Jack. He thought they should have gone to trial together. He knew Jack could handle prison; he wasn’t so sure about himself. Tupac stopped taking calls from Jack and his crew. Tupac began clubbing again. He returned to Nell’s and made a fatal mistake: he commented on Jack’s criminal dealings to New York Post reporter AJ. Benza. After making Page Six the following day, Jack plotted his revenge.

    Puff Daddy feared Jack so much, he once handed him ten grand and his Rolex. Jacks’ crew coaxed Shakur to Quad Studios in Manhattan to lay down some tracks with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy roster. Tupac entered the lobby with one of Jack’s crew, a kid named Stretch Walker. Jack’s boys confronted Tupac in the lobby. He resisted a beat down and was shot several times, suffering gunshot wounds to the head and groin. Stretch was shot in the melee as well. Shakur felt that Puffy and Biggie had set him up. He was sentenced to prison a few weeks later. Jack’s muscle within the prison system relentlessly sought Shakur out. One day, Tupac received a visit from Los Angeles gangster and owner of Death Row Records, Marion ‘Suge’ Knight. Suge convinced Tupac to sign with his label. The east coast-west coast wars were set in motion.

    Years of violence between Bad Boy and Death Row left Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur dead. Knight’s organization had been crippled by numerous police investigations. Jack reinvented himself through The Fugees; Wyclef Jeans’ pockets were deep and Jack had both hands in them. Wyclef didn’t mind so much. Jack was a fellow Haitian and he kept all the extortion crews far away. After touring with the Fugees, Jack fell in love with Beverly Hills. He started his own management company and attached himself to artists’ publishing rights by way of fear and the gun. He broke ranks and had amassed a small fortune. Jack wasn’t happy though; he wanted more.

    In 1997, Tupac was killed in Vegas and Biggie was later murdered in Los Angeles. Haitian Jack broke ranks from his crew. Nubs was murdered, and Tut went away on a Rico. The rest were bottom feeders unable to drive through the Hills without attracting attention. Jack was solo. Haitian knew he could have problems with L.A. gang members, so he established a geographical zone to stay in. He never ventured farther north of Sunset, south of Pico, east of Fairfax, orwestofthe405. It kept him away from gang bangers and the police. Jack was getting rich, but he was also getting bored.

    Detective Bill Courtney was an undercover detective in the NYPD’s elite Intelligence Division. He was given his own unit and tasked with an impossible mission: taking the mob out of the music industry. Bill knew Jack’s rep from back in his Robbery Squad days. He had heard about Jack again while assigned to the DEA. Jack had robbed half the drug dealers in New York. Wire taps were abuzz about being done by the ‘Haitian One’, but no one knew where he had gone. His name was legendary, as the killer of Tupac. A little homework revealed that Jack had never earned his citizenship. As a predicate felon, Jack was deportable. Bill felt that if he found Jack, he could make him an offer he couldn’t refuse: join Team America or go back to Haiti.


    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.jimdo.com
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 03-11-2017 at 02:19 PM.

  2. #77
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    In September 1996, Tupac Shakur hobbled out of the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Despite dire predictions that 2Pac wouldn’t survive four bullets, the indestructible rapper came home to L.A. — paranoid and wounded but determined to break the destructive loop of violence.

    After Suge Knight returned to prison, 2Pac distanced himself from the chaos of Death Row Records. Shortly before the shooting, Shakur had formed production company Euphanasia, which gradually absorbed more of his time and energy.


    Revenues from executive producing American History X helped him buy himself out of his record deal. A beloved comedic turn opposite Jackie Chan in Rush Hour partially erased past controversies. Hollywood studio heads finally saw 2Pac as a bankable star — a sinister version of Will Smith. A Rolling Stone cover story claimed he had “finally matured,” thanks to wife Kidada Jones and her father, mogul Quincy Jones, who’d become a paternal mentor.

    Right as the South became a force, 2Pac signed with No Limit Records, shocking those who interpreted his California love as absolutism. In reality, he’d always loved all forms of rap, once telling The Source that the Geto Boys’ Grip It! On That Other Level was his favorite. Besides, Master P founded his label in the Bay Area, where he’d once attempted to sign 2Pac during his Digital Underground days. Both of his No Limit albums went No. 1; 2Pac’s duets with Mystikal were spectacular.

    Becoming a father and husband spurred 2Pac to reconcile with his enemies (save for Chino XL). His cameo on “It’s Mine,” alongside Mobb Deep and Nas, became a definitive Tunnel banger of the era, earning back East Coast respect for the rapper who once called himself MC New York.

    2Pac and Biggie brokered peace after the murder of Big L reminded them how close their own rivalry had come to a bloody end. Many critics hailed their joint appearance at the 2000 Grammy Awards as a historic juncture in rap’s growing mainstream dominance. It also was remembered for 2Pac’s decision to diss Sisqo, apropos of nothing.

    During Bush’s first term, 2Pac mostly focused on his film career, directing his first feature, a drama loosely based on the plot of “Brenda’s Got a Baby.” There was a turn on Broadway, where he starred as Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, a poetic triumph for the former art student whose acting debut came at age 13, when he played Travis Younger on the Apollo stage in Harlem.

    2Pac’s proudest moment may have come during his Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech at the 2005 Academy Awards for his role opposite Tom Cruise in Collateral. Indicting the Bush administration’s corruption, war crimes and inequitable treatment of minorities, 2Pac once again became the most divisive figure in America.

    Racist epithets and calls for boycotts followed, but ultimately 2Pac’s critique was remembered for its eloquence and courage. If anyone wondered whether he’d gone Hollywood, the son of a Black Panther leader reasserted himself as one of the most important civil rights figures of his generation. His efforts to diminish inner-city poverty and gang violence earned him an invitation to address the United Nations. Even the ambassador from Slovenia learned what T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E. stood for.

    A generation of 2000s stars (Lil Wayne, Boosie, 50 Cent, Eminem) worshipped him as a god. Wayne even heeded his advice not to sign a rapper from a Canadian teen soap opera. Instead, Aubrey “Drake” Graham went on to become a producer for Guy Fieri.

    2Pac crushed his guest appearances on 30 Rock and Parks and Rec, and emerged as a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement. Twenty years after his attempted murder, he remains one of the most revered and irreplaceable figures in American life.

    To think what we could have lost.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 04-01-2017 at 01:25 PM.

  3. #78
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    The legend of Tupac "2Pac" Shakur is alive and well 20 years after the rap icon's tragic death. With a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination this week, an upcoming biopic and rumors of unreleased tracks possibly being released, 2017 is poised to possibly be the biggest year for the slain rapper as his life has maintained an impressive level of relevancy.

    Shakur's nomination Tuesday for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2017 put him in elite company, joining an accomplished group of nominees that includes Pearl Jam, Depeche Mode and Electric Light Orchestra. It's also historically important, as he would become only the sixth hip-hop addition — and only solo rapper — to be inducted after Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and N.W.A. 2017 is the first year Shakur was eligible, as artists can be nominated at least 25 years after their first record's release.

    Shakur, who also gained critical acclaim for his acting, has already been represented on the small screen this year. The Lifetime made-for-TV movie “Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le," while not focusing on Shakur, provided a glimpse into his personal life as a rapper signed to the notorious Death Row Records under Suge Knight, who is in jail waiting for his murder trial to begin.

    Adding to the anticipation of the biopic's release are the rampant rumors of unreleased 2Pac tracks kept under lock and key since his death. In a 1997 televised tribute one year after his death, MTV claimed 170 unreleased tracks and poems exist in Pac's archive. With rumors of unreleased music flying, Tupac's memorabilia has hit the market in the form of several personal remnants. A bible from his time in prison and a bullet-dented diamond pendant are both up for auction on the site Moments in Time.



    Rap and hip-hop artists have been notoriously not considered for inclusion in the Rock Hall of Fame. Last year, KISS bassist Gene Simmons protested N.W.A’s inclusion on the ballot last year, telling Radio.com that if "you don’t play guitar and you don’t write your own songs, you don’t belong there."



    Yet for many, Shakur transcended hip-hop. His cultural icon status is cemented in his rags-to-riches success, poetic lyrics and outspoken criticism of social and political events. He is also one of the most successful artists of all time, selling more than 75 million albums worldwide. Current rappers from Kendrick Lamar to 50 Cent to Drake have cited Shakur as a major influence.

    “His attitude, energy, and passion is inspiring", said J. Cole. “He accomplished more in 25 years than most other people do in a lifetime.”
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 05-13-2017 at 10:41 AM.

  4. #79
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    Tupac Shakur may be gone, but his conscious messages still linger. This time the message is not in his music and instead in one of his writings from prison. A letter penned by the late great rapper was recently uncovered, and is is not singing his traditional “thug life” tune. The letter entitled, “Is Thug Life Dead?” is a five-page message penned by the rapper to Death Row Records employee, Nina Bhadreshwar following his 1995 conviction for sexual abuse. It details his desire to swap a life of gang violence, drugs, and pain, for a more fulfilling one. The letter is currently on sale for $225,000.

    ‘Pac’s infamous “thug life” mentality, which the rapper had tatted on his stomach, was a large part of his career. Shakur produced many singles and albums dedicated to the way of life, including his “Thug 4 Life” and the album, Thug Life: Volume I. In the letter, Shakur speaks about the motto that was soon adopted by the West Coast, saying “I did not begin thug life, I personified it.” The letter lays out a plan for him and other African-American men to exit the lifestyle and cycle of violence and drugs.

    “U must play the game, not let the game play u. A regular Playa plays women, a Boss Playa plays life. A Boss Playa is a thinker, a leader, a builder, a moneymaker, a souljah, a teacher and most of all, a Man!” he wrote.



    He also advises the “homies” about facing demons. “I want all my homies 2 realize there is another level it takes heart and courage to stand alone face the demons and make change!” The rapper opened up about his own battle with depression, anger, and drugs. He mentioned the use of drugs as a coping mechanism for the pain and anger. Nearing the end of his life, Tupac was often captured in the media as aggressive and emotional. At the time he was dealing with attempted murder charges and a highly-publicized beef with Notorious B.I.G. His interview with Hot 97’s Angie Martinez was one of his most aggressive interviews.

    Unfortunately, Tupac wasn’t able to see the new lifestyle through. The West Coast rapper succumbed to gunshot wounds on September 13, 1996, six days after being attacked in Las Vegas. But for anyone who may want to take some of his advice and apply it to their own life, the lost letter is on sale on memorabilia site, Moments in Time. Read Tupac’s letter below:

    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.jimdo.com
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 05-13-2017 at 05:28 AM.

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    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    The following is excerpted from Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap by Ben Westhoff, forthcoming from Hachette Book Group on September 13, the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur's death.
    Tupac and Biggie first encountered each other in 1993, in Los Angeles. There on business, the Brooklyn-bred rapper Biggie asked a local drug dealer to introduce him to Tupac, who invited Biggie and his party to his house. There, he shared with them a "big freezer bag of the greenest vegetables I'd ever seen," said an intern for Biggie's label, named Dan Smalls, who was part of the group.

    Tupac got them high and pulled out a "green army bag" filled with handguns and machine guns. "So now, here we are, in this backyard running around with guns, just playing," continued Dan Smalls in The Fader. "Luckily they were all unloaded. While we were running around, 'Pac walks into the kitchen and starts cooking for us. He's in the kitchen cooking some steaks. We were drinking and smoking and all of a sudden 'Pac was like, 'Yo, come get it.' And we go into the kitchen and he had steaks, and French fries, and bread, and Kool‑Aid and we just sittin' there eating and drinking and laughing. And you know, that's truly where Big and 'Pac's friendship started."

    "We all thought he was a dope rapper," Tupac's longtime friend EDI Mean, a member of Tupac's affiliated group the Outlawz, told me. Tupac gifted Biggie a bottle of Hennessy. Biggie slept on Tupac's couch whenever he came back to California, and when Tupac was in New York, he came by Biggie's neighborhood, picking him up in a white limousine and throwing dice with the locals. The pair freestyled back-to-back at a concert called Budweiser Superfest at Madison Square Garden in 1993, with Biggie wowing the crowds with lines like, "Oh my God I'm dropping shit like a pigeon / I hope you're listenin' / Smackin' babies at their christenin'."

    Despite the Garden cameo, Biggie still wasn't much known outside of Brooklyn. Tupac, by then a platinum‑selling rapper and movie star, acted as a mentor. Biggie and other young rappers assembled in recording studios or hotel rooms to hear Tupac lecture about how to make it in the game. "'Pac could get up and get to teaching," said EDI Mean. "Everyone was transfixed on this dynamic individual, and soaking up all the information we could soak up." But Tupac devoted special attention to Biggie, grooming him and letting him perform at his concerts. Biggie even told him he'd like to be a part of another of his affiliated groups, called Thug Life. "I trained the nigga, he used to be under me like my lieutenant," Tupac said.

    Tupac claimed to have directly influenced Biggie's style. "I used to tell the nigga, 'If you want to make your money, you have to rap for the bitches. Do not rap for the niggas,' " he said. "The bitches will buy your records, and the niggas want what the bitches want." As proof that Biggie had heeded his advice, Tupac cited the difference between his early track, the aggressive "Party and Bullshit," and softer songs from his debut Ready to Die like "Big Poppa," which appealed more to the ladies: "Soon as he buy that wine, I just creep up from behind / And ask what your interests are, who you be with?"

    But before Ready to Die came out, Biggie worried he could miss his shot, considering that the new label he was signed to, Bad Boy—owned by his manager Sean "Puffy" Combs—hadn't taken off yet. Things weren't happening for him quickly enough, he complained. He asked Tupac to take over as his manager, in hopes Tupac could advance his music and film career as rapidly as he'd done his own. "Biggie looked like he was wearing the same pair of Timberlands for a year, [while] 'Pac was staying at the Waldorf‑Astoria and buying Rolexes and dating Madonna," EDI Mean said.

    But Tupac declined the offer. "Nah, stay with Puff," he told Biggie. "He will make you a star."



    In New York to shoot the 1994 film Above the Rim, Tupac became enmeshed with a group of notorious Queens toughs. He was modeling his character Birdie—a gangster involved in youth basketball programs—on a Haiti-born high roller called Jacques "Haitian Jack" Agnant.

    Tupac had noticed Haitian Jack at a Manhattan club, surrounded by women and champagne, and asked for an introduction. They also spent time at a Queens bar, where Jack would bring through celebrities including Madonna, Shabba Ranks, and Jamaican musician Buju Banton. (Tupac briefly dated Madonna, after Rosie Perez introduced them at the 1993 Soul Train Awards in LA.) Biggie, who ran in the same circles as Haitian Jack and his associates, warned Tupac to keep his distance from him, to no avail. Tupac liked Jack's swagger. He introduced the rapper to high-end jewelry and Versace duds, as well as the local gangstas who called the shots. "[H]e loved the respect and recognition I got in New York, and I think he wanted that same respect," Haitian Jack said.

    The two were partying at a Manhattan club called Nell's in November 1993, where Tupac met a 19-year-old woman named Ayanna Jackson. They got close on the dance floor and went back to his suite at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. Four days later ,she met up with him at the hotel again, only to encounter not just Tupac, but Haitian Jack, Tupac's road manager Charles "Man Man" Fuller, and another man who was not identified. There, she alleged, the group gang-raped her and forced her to perform oral sex. Tupac claimed he left the bedroom when the other men entered and fell asleep. She called the police, and Tupac, Haitian Jack, and Fuller were arrested. The police also found guns, which Tupac later claimed belonged to Biggie.

    The prosecution alleged Tupac, charged with sexual abuse, sodomy, and illegal weapons possession, had offered up Jackson "as a reward for his boys." Tupac denied this, but after the trial told Vibe he blamed himself for "doing nothing" to protect Jackson from the other men. Before the trial began, Tupac's and Fuller's cases were severed from Haitian Jack's; in a deal that Tupac and his lawyer deemed too good to be true, Jack pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and avoided jail time. Believing Haitian Jack was a snitch, Tupac told a New York Daily News reporter that Jack had set him up. (Ayanna Jackson and Haitian Jack have denied this.)

    Calling out a reputed gangster in the press is not sensible. But, ironically, after spending so much time with Jack and his ilk, Tupac had begun to feel invincible. He went wherever he wanted, wearing flashy jewelry worth thousands of dollars. Secure in his street credentials, he was convinced that nobody would mess with him.



    http://img5.fotos-hochladen.net/uplo...tdaugwpbv8.jpg

    Supporting his extended family and paying lawyers for his interminable string of court cases, Tupac's bank accounts withered. In late 1994, he agreed to record a guest verse for a rapper named Little Shawn, who was close with Puffy and Biggie. The invitation came from Little Shawn's manager, Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond, whom Tupac had met through Haitian Jack, and Tupac was to be paid $7,000.

    On November 30, 1994, Tupac arrived stoned to Quad Recording Studios in Times Square. He came with three associates, none of whom were bodyguards, and encountered three other men he didn't know, wearing army fatigues. This was fashion from Brooklyn—Biggie's home—so Tupac assumed they were with him. He felt better about the situation when Biggie's affiliated rapper Lil' Cease yelled down to him that Biggie was upstairs recording. Puffy was there, too.

    But before Tupac's crew could get on the elevator, the men in army fatigues drew 9mm guns and ordered them to the floor. Instead, Tupac reached for his own gun. He was shot, beaten, and robbed of his jewelry. He played dead, and the assailants left, at which time he staggered into the elevator and rode it upstairs. When the doors opened, he saw a group including Puffy, Biggie, and Henchman. Tupac said the crew looked surprised and guilty, but Puffy claimed they showed him "nothing but love and concern."

    Tupac believed the incident was more than a random heist. "It was like they were mad at me," he said. He claimed to have taken five bullets, including shots to the head and through his scrotum, though forensic evidence suggested he likely shot himself.

    Bill Courtney, a retired NYPD cop who also worked hip-hop cases, believed the stick-up was a response to Tupac's Daily News comments against Haitian Jack. "A message was being sent to him not to name-drop," he said.

    "Nobody came to rob you," Henchman told Vibe in 2005. "They came to discipline you."

    Puffy and Biggie denied their involvement in the crime, or any prior knowledge of it. Haitian Jack also claimed he wasn't involved, and following a separate conviction was deported to Haiti in 2007.

    On December 1, 1994, Tupac arrived to a New York City courtroom wearing bandages and confined to a wheelchair, and was pronounced guilty of sexual abuse in the Ayanna Jackson case, though acquitted on the sodomy and weapons charges. Sentenced to a minimum of a year and a half in prison, pending appeal, his bail was set at $3 million.

    Unable to raise bail, Tupac served most of his time at Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York. Me Against the World, Tupac's third album, was released soon after his prison sentence began. Tupac considered making it his swan song; he was tired of all of the music industry drama. But his passion reignited after a disturbing rumor began to sink in, one that came from people he trusted: that Biggie knew in advance about the Quad studios shooting.

    "He owed me more than to turn his head and act like he didn't know niggas was about to blow my fucking head off," he said later. And even if Biggie hadn't set him up, he should at least have been able to find out who did it. "You don't know who shot me in your hometown, these niggas from your neighborhood?"

    The way Tupac saw it, his own friend had betrayed him—a friend whom Tupac had helped to acquire fame and fortune.


    While in prison, Tupac asked his wife Keisha Morris (whom he had married while incarcerated) to relay a message to Suge Knight, the head of the volatile label Death Row Records: He was broke and needed help. On top of the lawyers' fees and everything else, his mother was losing her house.

    "Suge sent $15,000 and put it on his books," Reggie Wright Jr., Death Row's head of security, told me. Tupac was jubilant and sent Suge another message, that he'd like to see him.

    Few places in the US were farther away from Los Angeles than Dannemora, New York, where Tupac was incarcerated, but Suge began coming out. Further, Death Row offered him something no one else seemed to be able to deliver: release. Death Row's lawyer David Kenner pledged to help Tupac with his case and began working to spring him on an appeal bond.

    Suge didn't just try to recruit Tupac to his label, he offered him a place in his family, the most powerful and out-of-control family in hip-hop.



    http://img5.fotos-hochladen.net/uplo...qt1sw5kxu0.jpg
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 05-24-2017 at 12:32 AM.

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    Born 2 Revolutionise Executive Director Krizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesaneParishCrookz View Post
    The following is excerpted from Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap by Ben Westhoff, forthcoming from Hachette Book Group on September 13, the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur's death.
    Tupac and Biggie first encountered each other in 1993, in Los Angeles. There on business, the Brooklyn-bred rapper Biggie asked a local drug dealer to introduce him to Tupac, who invited Biggie and his party to his house. There, he shared with them a "big freezer bag of the greenest vegetables I'd ever seen," said an intern for Biggie's label, named Dan Smalls, who was part of the group.

    Tupac got them high and pulled out a "green army bag" filled with handguns and machine guns. "So now, here we are, in this backyard running around with guns, just playing," continued Dan Smalls in The Fader. "Luckily they were all unloaded. While we were running around, 'Pac walks into the kitchen and starts cooking for us. He's in the kitchen cooking some steaks. We were drinking and smoking and all of a sudden 'Pac was like, 'Yo, come get it.' And we go into the kitchen and he had steaks, and French fries, and bread, and Kool‑Aid and we just sittin' there eating and drinking and laughing. And you know, that's truly where Big and 'Pac's friendship started."

    "We all thought he was a dope rapper," Tupac's longtime friend EDI Mean, a member of Tupac's affiliated group the Outlawz, told me. Tupac gifted Biggie a bottle of Hennessy. Biggie slept on Tupac's couch whenever he came back to California, and when Tupac was in New York, he came by Biggie's neighborhood, picking him up in a white limousine and throwing dice with the locals. The pair freestyled back-to-back at a concert called Budweiser Superfest at Madison Square Garden in 1993, with Biggie wowing the crowds with lines like, "Oh my God I'm dropping shit like a pigeon / I hope you're listenin' / Smackin' babies at their christenin'."

    Despite the Garden cameo, Biggie still wasn't much known outside of Brooklyn. Tupac, by then a platinum‑selling rapper and movie star, acted as a mentor. Biggie and other young rappers assembled in recording studios or hotel rooms to hear Tupac lecture about how to make it in the game. "'Pac could get up and get to teaching," said EDI Mean. "Everyone was transfixed on this dynamic individual, and soaking up all the information we could soak up." But Tupac devoted special attention to Biggie, grooming him and letting him perform at his concerts. Biggie even told him he'd like to be a part of another of his affiliated groups, called Thug Life. "I trained the nigga, he used to be under me like my lieutenant," Tupac said.

    Tupac claimed to have directly influenced Biggie's style. "I used to tell the nigga, 'If you want to make your money, you have to rap for the bitches. Do not rap for the niggas,' " he said. "The bitches will buy your records, and the niggas want what the bitches want." As proof that Biggie had heeded his advice, Tupac cited the difference between his early track, the aggressive "Party and Bullshit," and softer songs from his debut Ready to Die like "Big Poppa," which appealed more to the ladies: "Soon as he buy that wine, I just creep up from behind / And ask what your interests are, who you be with?"

    But before Ready to Die came out, Biggie worried he could miss his shot, considering that the new label he was signed to, Bad Boy—owned by his manager Sean "Puffy" Combs—hadn't taken off yet. Things weren't happening for him quickly enough, he complained. He asked Tupac to take over as his manager, in hopes Tupac could advance his music and film career as rapidly as he'd done his own. "Biggie looked like he was wearing the same pair of Timberlands for a year, [while] 'Pac was staying at the Waldorf‑Astoria and buying Rolexes and dating Madonna," EDI Mean said.

    But Tupac declined the offer. "Nah, stay with Puff," he told Biggie. "He will make you a star."



    In New York to shoot the 1994 film Above the Rim, Tupac became enmeshed with a group of notorious Queens toughs. He was modeling his character Birdie—a gangster involved in youth basketball programs—on a Haiti-born high roller called Jacques "Haitian Jack" Agnant.

    Tupac had noticed Haitian Jack at a Manhattan club, surrounded by women and champagne, and asked for an introduction. They also spent time at a Queens bar, where Jack would bring through celebrities including Madonna, Shabba Ranks, and Jamaican musician Buju Banton. (Tupac briefly dated Madonna, after Rosie Perez introduced them at the 1993 Soul Train Awards in LA.) Biggie, who ran in the same circles as Haitian Jack and his associates, warned Tupac to keep his distance from him, to no avail. Tupac liked Jack's swagger. He introduced the rapper to high-end jewelry and Versace duds, as well as the local gangstas who called the shots. "[H]e loved the respect and recognition I got in New York, and I think he wanted that same respect," Haitian Jack said.

    The two were partying at a Manhattan club called Nell's in November 1993, where Tupac met a 19-year-old woman named Ayanna Jackson. They got close on the dance floor and went back to his suite at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. Four days later ,she met up with him at the hotel again, only to encounter not just Tupac, but Haitian Jack, Tupac's road manager Charles "Man Man" Fuller, and another man who was not identified. There, she alleged, the group gang-raped her and forced her to perform oral sex. Tupac claimed he left the bedroom when the other men entered and fell asleep. She called the police, and Tupac, Haitian Jack, and Fuller were arrested. The police also found guns, which Tupac later claimed belonged to Biggie.

    The prosecution alleged Tupac, charged with sexual abuse, sodomy, and illegal weapons possession, had offered up Jackson "as a reward for his boys." Tupac denied this, but after the trial told Vibe he blamed himself for "doing nothing" to protect Jackson from the other men. Before the trial began, Tupac's and Fuller's cases were severed from Haitian Jack's; in a deal that Tupac and his lawyer deemed too good to be true, Jack pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and avoided jail time. Believing Haitian Jack was a snitch, Tupac told a New York Daily News reporter that Jack had set him up. (Ayanna Jackson and Haitian Jack have denied this.)

    Calling out a reputed gangster in the press is not sensible. But, ironically, after spending so much time with Jack and his ilk, Tupac had begun to feel invincible. He went wherever he wanted, wearing flashy jewelry worth thousands of dollars. Secure in his street credentials, he was convinced that nobody would mess with him.



    http://img5.fotos-hochladen.net/uplo...tdaugwpbv8.jpg

    Supporting his extended family and paying lawyers for his interminable string of court cases, Tupac's bank accounts withered. In late 1994, he agreed to record a guest verse for a rapper named Little Shawn, who was close with Puffy and Biggie. The invitation came from Little Shawn's manager, Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond, whom Tupac had met through Haitian Jack, and Tupac was to be paid $7,000.

    On November 30, 1994, Tupac arrived stoned to Quad Recording Studios in Times Square. He came with three associates, none of whom were bodyguards, and encountered three other men he didn't know, wearing army fatigues. This was fashion from Brooklyn—Biggie's home—so Tupac assumed they were with him. He felt better about the situation when Biggie's affiliated rapper Lil' Cease yelled down to him that Biggie was upstairs recording. Puffy was there, too.

    But before Tupac's crew could get on the elevator, the men in army fatigues drew 9mm guns and ordered them to the floor. Instead, Tupac reached for his own gun. He was shot, beaten, and robbed of his jewelry. He played dead, and the assailants left, at which time he staggered into the elevator and rode it upstairs. When the doors opened, he saw a group including Puffy, Biggie, and Henchman. Tupac said the crew looked surprised and guilty, but Puffy claimed they showed him "nothing but love and concern."

    Tupac believed the incident was more than a random heist. "It was like they were mad at me," he said. He claimed to have taken five bullets, including shots to the head and through his scrotum, though forensic evidence suggested he likely shot himself.

    Bill Courtney, a retired NYPD cop who also worked hip-hop cases, believed the stick-up was a response to Tupac's Daily News comments against Haitian Jack. "A message was being sent to him not to name-drop," he said.

    "Nobody came to rob you," Henchman told Vibe in 2005. "They came to discipline you."

    Puffy and Biggie denied their involvement in the crime, or any prior knowledge of it. Haitian Jack also claimed he wasn't involved, and following a separate conviction was deported to Haiti in 2007.

    On December 1, 1994, Tupac arrived to a New York City courtroom wearing bandages and confined to a wheelchair, and was pronounced guilty of sexual abuse in the Ayanna Jackson case, though acquitted on the sodomy and weapons charges. Sentenced to a minimum of a year and a half in prison, pending appeal, his bail was set at $3 million.

    Unable to raise bail, Tupac served most of his time at Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York. Me Against the World, Tupac's third album, was released soon after his prison sentence began. Tupac considered making it his swan song; he was tired of all of the music industry drama. But his passion reignited after a disturbing rumor began to sink in, one that came from people he trusted: that Biggie knew in advance about the Quad studios shooting.

    "He owed me more than to turn his head and act like he didn't know niggas was about to blow my fucking head off," he said later. And even if Biggie hadn't set him up, he should at least have been able to find out who did it. "You don't know who shot me in your hometown, these niggas from your neighborhood?"

    The way Tupac saw it, his own friend had betrayed him—a friend whom Tupac had helped to acquire fame and fortune.


    While in prison, Tupac asked his wife Keisha Morris (whom he had married while incarcerated) to relay a message to Suge Knight, the head of the volatile label Death Row Records: He was broke and needed help. On top of the lawyers' fees and everything else, his mother was losing her house.

    "Suge sent $15,000 and put it on his books," Reggie Wright Jr., Death Row's head of security, told me. Tupac was jubilant and sent Suge another message, that he'd like to see him.

    Few places in the US were farther away from Los Angeles than Dannemora, New York, where Tupac was incarcerated, but Suge began coming out. Further, Death Row offered him something no one else seemed to be able to deliver: release. Death Row's lawyer David Kenner pledged to help Tupac with his case and began working to spring him on an appeal bond.

    Suge didn't just try to recruit Tupac to his label, he offered him a place in his family, the most powerful and out-of-control family in hip-hop.



    http://img5.fotos-hochladen.net/uplo...qt1sw5kxu0.jpg
    This was a great read bro..
    "I mentioned to him (Kastro) about Makaveli Board and he said that Makaveli Board is family to him"

    I can't keep worrying bout the things in my life I can change
    Dear Lord give me the strength to fight the evil in this game
    Ooh I close my eyes and get down on my knees
    Pray to the heavens protect my family
    If I leave that's good enough for me

    -Big K.R.I.T- Good Enough

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    THX @Krizzle

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    Andreas .P. Design & Modellierungs Corp.LTD / Dan Winters Photography


    Dan Winters is a great photographer who produces gripping work. His lighting Style is amazing, and he has a way of pulling emotion out of his subjects that will leave you breathless.



    Today we look at one of his famous portraits of Tom Hanks, and try to reproduce it. Our model is Sam Luna who is also a great musician. He is getting into doing modeling and we shot a few different looks for his book.

    We start off by analyzing Dan’s lighting style, and the figure out how to reproduce it. Keep in mind everything we do is a guess, but that is part of the fun. We encourage you to find a photo you like and imitate it. It can be a great learning exercise! Just be sure to credit the person responsible.



    After working on the lighting, we take to Photoshop to Color the image similar to Dan’s and give the Background a bit of life. I think it turned out great!


    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.jimdo.com
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 05-31-2017 at 05:04 PM.

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    Artbound's editorial team has reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. After putting two articles up for a vote, the audience chose this article to be made into a short-format documentary.

    Thumb through a stack of major Los Angeles hip-hop albums from the late 1980s through mid-1990s and you might notice one name credited on all of them: Michael Miller. During the West Coast's hip-hop scene's ascension into global fame, the photographer ended up being the go-to lensman for countless album covers and publicity stills. Miller's output is staggering, and would be hard to believe if not for his recent, self-published book documenting all of it: "West Coast Hip-Hop: A History In Pictures."

    In it, Miller compiles literal portraits of California hip-hop during one of its most vibrant eras. That includes the giants of the scene such as Tupac, Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg but also lesser-known artists such as the Whooliganz, Funkdoobiest and a group originally called the Atban Klann (better known by their later name: Black Eyed Peas).

    Miller grew up on the Westside, attending Santa Monica public schools while living in Malibu, back when he says it was still "really country." His teen years were impeccably timed; not only was he classmates with Rob Lowe and Sean Penn, but as an avid skater and surfer, Miller ended up befriending members of the Dogtown skating crew, the Z-Boys, especially Tony Alva.

    Miller graduated from UCLA in the mid 1980s and decamped for Europe, first to compete in downhill skiing before ending up in Paris, where he briefly made ends meet by painting houses. His entry into photographer was a bit of a fluke, he says. He and a friend, "were after one thing and it [was] to date models and it's where my photography first started." Whatever his original motives, Miller quickly proved gifted for the craft and within months, was traveling across Europe to shoot campaigns for Cacharel and other major fashion houses.

    When he returned home to L.A., his fashion work caught the eye of record labels such as EMI and by the late 1980s, he was shooting artists as varied as girl rockers The Go-Go's and Heart, to jazz players such as Stan Getz and Herb Alpert. Miller, however, grew up a hip-hop fan, listening to 1580 AM, KDAY, the first 24 hour hip-hop station in the country. As a teen, he used to spin late-night shows on KBOO, literally an underground radio station housed in a Malibu basement. In 1989, he snapped his first rap-related cover, for the original N.W.A. group member, Arabian Prince and his debut solo album. That began Miller's long history of shooting the key figures on the West Coast rap scene, thoroughly compiled in "West Coast Hip-Hop" and the subject of his in-progress documentary about the influence of this region's hip-hop culture on the rest of the world.

    "West Coast Hip-Hop" includes extensive background testimonials to almost all the photos, providing crucial personal and historical context. During the course of our interview, we asked him to expand on the backstories to a few of his most iconic images and here's what he shared.

    MM: I'm living over here on Stanley [Ave.]...and there's a knock at my door and Coolio comes with his hair like that and I go, "a star is born." Coolio is gangster. He was gnarly. I mean, he was a great person, but his face...look at the image. It's scary! But again, he loved me. I did all his covers.

    Where did you take that photo? It took me a long time to realize it wasn't some kind of abstract illustration; it's razor wire.

    MM: That was a great demo[lition] yard. [I told Coolio], "get on the ladder, put your head in the barbed wire, just put your head in the middle of the barbed wire." I got in the barbed wire and shot through it. It was spontaneous, it wasn't a premeditated photograph, it was "let's go." The art director, his name was Erwin [Gorostiza], a couple of years later he tells me, "oh, the photo won awards." He never told me [at the time].

    MM: I got an old naval demo yard locked down in San Pedro. Acres of gas towers and broken down warehouses. Warren's all mellow and he [insists], "I got to do a shot on 21st and Lewis where I grew up. That's going to be my cover." So we drive to 21st and Lewis [in Long Beach] and it's in the middle of the day. The worst possible light you can have. I just shoot. You just gotta go for it. The art direction was unbelievable. [Director] Steve Carr put a black strip on top and reversed the palm trees. The cover's one of my favorites. They really nailed it. They added another photo of them on a wall. I shot [that] in the alley by his house.

    They all grew up there. There's so many rappers and superstars that were on 19th and Lewis and all over the place. Snoop did his first "Doggystyle" video, with all the dogs running after him, in that alley.

    In 1989, Miller was hired to shoot an album cover for WC and the Maad Circle. The shoot ended up being on L.A.'s downtown Skid Row. W.C. on L.A. skid row, 1989 | Photo by Michael Miller.

    MM: Every shoot, there's a concept. I try and get that out of the artist. WC came to me and was like "I want a census worker counting people on Skid Row." So I went down to skid row at 12:30 at night and it was a gnarly situation. All of the sudden, out of the shadows, there's this dude sweaty, just running by full speed, "fuck you Hollywood motherfuckers, get the fuck out of here, I'ma fucking kick your ass." We walk around the fence and he's throwin' up a set and WC's like, "yo homie! That's my crew!" And they started talking and -- boom -- best friends. Immediately, it just switched. These guys are intense. But when you're down with them, it's just all love. We ended up becoming buddies with Scrap Loc. He's in that photo.

    MM: He was huge. I was nervous to say the least. I tried to keep my enthusiasm under control. That one, we were over by, I think it was 51st and Santa Fe and it was an old train yard. I got a lot of great shots of him that day. After this shot, there there was abandoned train tracks and railroad cars. We went inside, my assistant got Burger King. We went inside and we all kicked it in the old train.

    Then we went over to Elysian Park and it was dangerous so when things got a little heavy, we'd just move. Nothing dramatic happened, we ever had any physical altercations but we did have gang situations where it was gnarly. With Tupac, he attracted everyone. Like, "Tupac's in the neighborhood, let's go!" If some gangsters came out of the woodwork, he knew. He'd be like, "let's go. Hop in the van, let's get out of here."

    www.andreaspennophotography.de
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 06-17-2017 at 06:32 AM.

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    Andreas . P . Design & Modellierungs Corporation.LTD

    http://www.fotos-hochladen.net/uploa...5ncd47rlz0.jpg


    [Intro: Kastro]
    Dear Lord, as we down here, struggle for as long as we know
    In search of a paradise to touch (my nigga Johnny J)
    Dreams are dreams, and reality seems to be the only place to go, the only place for us
    I know, try to make the best of bad situations
    Seems to be my life's story
    Ain't no glory in pain, a soldier's story in vain
    And can't nobody live this life for me
    It's a ride y'all, a long hard ride

    [Verse 1: 2Pac]
    Somebody wake me, I'm dreamin'
    I started as a seed, the semen
    Swimmin' upstream, planted in the womb while screamin'
    On the top was my pops, my mama screamin' stop
    From a single drop, this is what they got
    Not to disrespect my peoples, but my papa was a loser
    Only plan he had for mama was to fuck her and abuse her
    Even as a little seed, I could see his plan for me
    Stranded on welfare, another broken family
    Now what was I to be? A product of this heated passion
    Mama got pregnant and papa got a piece of ass
    Look how it began, nobody gave a fuck about me
    Pistol in my hand, this cruel world can do without me
    How can I survive? Got me askin' white Jesus
    "Will a nigga live or die?" cause the Lord can't see us
    In the deep dark clouds of the projects, ain't no sunshine
    No sunny days and we only play sometimes
    When everybody's sleepin'



    I open my window, jump to the streets and get to creepin'
    I can live or die, hope I get some money 'fore I'm gone
    I'm only 19, I'm tryna hustle on my own
    On the spot where everybody and they pops tryna slang rocks
    I'd rather go to college, but this is where the game stops
    Don't get it wrong cause it's always on, from dusk to dawn
    You can buy rocks, Glocks or a herringbone
    You can ask my man, he's a mind reader
    Keep my 9 heater all the time, this is how we grind
    Meet up at the cemetery then get smoked out
    Pass the weed, nigga! That Hennessey'll keep me keyed, nigga
    Everywhere I go niggas holla at me, "Keep it real, G"
    And my reply 'til they kill me: "Act up if you feel me!"
    I was born not to make it, but I did
    The tribulations of a ghetto kid, still I rise



    [Chorus: Ta'He]
    Still I (still I), I rise (I rise), please, give me to the sky (to the sky)
    And if (and if), I die (I die), I don't want you to cry

    [Verse 2: Yaki Kadafi]
    I stay sharp as always
    Runnin' your bricks with blitz, through your project hallways
    Dumpin' crews like two's, nigga, all day
    Secrets of war prepare me for the worst
    A life that's lavish, full of cabbage or a life that's in a hearse
    But now my dreams, it seems though
    Be placin' triple beams and things, bro
    Diamond pinkie ring got the loot poppin' out my jeans

    [Verse 3: Napoleon]
    Now I plan to keep my Glock cocked
    If trouble was searchin' for me, then why not?
    Show 'em what I'm made of, plus raised on, on my block
    Chancellor Ave, where many turn to the street
    Thugs snatchin' bags, we out for power, makin' cash
    It wasn't fast, it'll make me mad, I'm just like him
    My homie on the corner with his gat tucked in
    Youngins, they buckin' somethin'
    The life he lead's the life he don't need, don't we all know?
    He tryin' to rise up and we just go doe, still he rise


    [Verse 4: Young Noble]
    Dreams of lost hope
    I hit the strip broke where the fiends get coke
    And still I rise, now I float, cowards ghost
    Whenever we come around, I'm runnin' down
    Clutchin' a pound, live as sirens, duckin' the sound
    I used to hustle with my moms 'til the sun came
    My homie Harm doin' time from this drug game
    Stolen cars, war scars, born a outlaw
    Behind bars, go to sleep just to see the stars
    Freedom is ours, though we trapped on a firm block
    Crackheads only 10 learn to duck cops

    [Verse 5: Yaki Kadafi]
    In '96 my Glock's my plastic, passion for blastin' bastards
    No faces for open caskets, peelin' your cap backwards
    You cowards ain't prepared for pistol practice
    I send my missiles through your mattress
    Leavin' holes in your body like a cactus
    While me and my crew be boppin' more greens than topic
    And loot to keep the seams in my motherfuckin' jeans poppin'
    Leavin' your spleen to pick up
    Half of you niggas is softer than a Snicker
    Let's go to war and see who draw quicker
    And still I rise, and still I rise…
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 06-30-2017 at 12:43 AM.

  11. #86
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.jimdo.com


    Four albums in and Iowan metal crew Slipknot are still terrorizing the mainstream. I have no idea how they ended up there: this is heavy, heavy stuff. But their latest disc, All Hope Is Gone, ended up at #1 on the Billboard charts, so they must be doing something right. With a renewed focus on his side, singer Corey Taylor is overjoyed at the album, his fans and recent victories like the aforementioned #1 and a headlining gig at Madison Square Garden. The masked men are hitting up Canada with some tour dates supporting the disc, so we took a minute to catch up with Taylor and all things knotty.

    What are you up to?

    I'm very, very tired. Today I got up at 6:45 because I had to take my son to school. I made breakfast and lunch for him, packed the lunch, took him to school, came home, cleaned the house, went and worked out, came back here, made myself lunch and now this is the second of two interviews I'm doing today.

    That's so not rock'n'roll.
    Well, neither am I. What are you going to do?

    So how's everything going in Slipknot land?

    It's going good, man. Everybody seems like they're in a good place, but you know how we are. That could all go away in a ten-second period. Just the fact that my phone's not blowing up with emergencies and panic attacks... I'm loving it.

    Now that All Hope Is Gone has had a bit of time to sit, how are you feeling about it?

    I go through these phases where I just have to put it on. At first, I would start with the front half; now I listen to the back half. It just sounds great. You know how that is, you get an album and fall in love with the first five songs and then you throw it on again and realize the last five songs are killer.

    With All Hope Is Gone, you returned to a bit more of a heavier sound. Did that just feel like the right thing to do?

    It just happened. We've never been the band that sits down and says, "We're going to sit down and make this kind of album." We throw shit at a wall and see what sticks, basically. With this album, everything felt dark. Everything felt really heavy.

    http://andreaspennophotography.blogspot.de/

    So would you say the album comes from a good place or a bad place?

    It's heavy, it's aggressive, it's dark, but you sound very positive about it.
    I think all great albums have that; it's all in the delivery. The lyrics I was writing were kind of both ways. I was raging on a political sense, and I've always had something against religion, but at the same time a lot of the stuff I was talking about started in a dark place but inevitably ended up in a positive place. I've always tried to put that in there, just saying,



    'Yeah, shit's fucked up right now but it can be okay and this is why and this is how.'

    So it's just something that I think is overlooked. We catch a lot of shit for being dark and whatnot but unless you're a real fan people miss the point where we're like, 'But it's alright. It's okay to be fucked up. It doesn't have to always be that way.' On this album, it was a great balance. That's what we finally found.

    And then the album goes to #1 on Billboard. What does that mean to you?

    It's very weird, man. When we were in the studio, I was the first one to say, "This album's going to be #1." Kinda just talking shit, but at the same time, you hope for it. You don't want to hope too much, but it's definitely one of those things on your list of "holy shit, this would be fucking awesome." So when it did go #1, it fucking blew me away. I was so fucking excited. I was really happy; I called everybody I knew and told them. I was very proud of that.

    Everybody talks about how it felt to win the Grammy. But fuck the Grammy. That's seven old people sitting in a room deciding whether or not they've heard of your band. For me, it's always been more about the albums, the gold albums, the platinum albums, people showing up at your show.

    That's your audience coming out and saying, "We fucking love what you do. We all do." The album was the same way; our fans gave that to us. We worked hard and we earned it but our fans gave that to us just as much as fucking SoundScan did.

    Speaking of the live show, you recently headlined Madison Square Garden. How did a band that sounds like you guys do that?
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 06-26-2017 at 03:52 PM.

  12. #87
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    Demetrius Shipp Jr gives a very accomplished impersonation of Tupac Shakur in this long and solemn hagiography, similar in its piety to the 2003 documentary Tupac: Resurrection. It has similar material – with similar scenes and similar tropes – to F Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton, about NWA, but with less passion and less energy.

    The same old story is rehearsed: the brilliantly talented rapper becomes a very rich and aggressive uber-celebrity obsessed with respect, who then gets involved in a deeply charmless and unedifying bi-coastal feud with rival rapper Biggie Smalls, played here by Jamal Woolard, who also in fact played Biggie in the 2009 film Notorious. Eventually, Tupac is killed, in a shooting that is still unsolved.

    Nick Broomfield’s 2002 documentary Biggie and Tupac was more interested in throwing light on what actually happened. There is an amusing moment here when Tupac rips into the now all but forgotten Republican figure Dan Quayle (vice-president to George HW Bush) for creating a moral panic around his lyrics. The rest of this dull feature is concerned simply with bolstering Tupac’s sainthood.

    Oscar-winning film-maker Steve McQueen is set to direct a full-length documentary about Tupac Shakur.



    According to Deadline, the 12 Years a Slave director will be working with the rapper’s family on the authorized project. The film will be a collaboration between Amaru Entertainment, a company created by his mother Afeni Shakur, and White Horse pictures.



    Producers include Jayson Jackson of What Happened, Miss Simone? and Nigel Sinclair, whose credits include Rush and The Woman in Black. Gloria Cox, Tupac’s aunt, will act as executive producer.

    “I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist,” McQueen said. “I attended NYU film school in 1993 and can remember the unfolding hip-hop world and mine overlapping with Tupac’s through a mutual friend in a small way. Few, if any shined brighter than Tupac Shakur. I look forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man.”

    This year will also see the release of Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me while Johnny Depp is set to headline LAByrinth, about the murders of both Tupac and Notorious BIG. McQueen’s credits also include Hunger and Shame, and he’s currently working on a big screen adaptation of British TV thriller Widows starring Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Andre Holland, Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez and Robert Duvall.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 07-02-2017 at 03:37 AM.

  13. #88
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    Often considered the weakest of 2pac's early career, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z is a 1993 release, with 2 major hits and higher album sales than his debut, 2pacalypse Now, but often criticized for the production and some of the lyrical content. In my opinion, this is a rather unfounded opinion. The production is a changed feature, but this is not a bad thing. The lyrics on this album are primarily the same political and social commentary found on his debut, only with a few variations into general Thug Life and the occasional moral message that would find its way into Pac's later material.

    This album is definitely full of great moments. The bass solo that closes off Holler If Ya Hear Me is a well written piece of music, that shows that rap albums are not all about the actual rapper, but also the beats that back it up. Great beats are also found in the songs Souljah's Revenge, Peep Game and Last Wordz, which also featured guest stars Ice Cube and Ice-T, two other extremely successful rappers of 2Pacs generation. These are factors that definitely add to this album's integrity, and even top some of his better work's beats.

    The production on this album is often maligned, as either feeling flat or too underwhelming. This album, however, is intended to sound more organic, and appeal to both the commercial and the underground hip hop fans. As such, 2pac himself is mixed a little further back than on his past album or his later albums, so the music was also more audible, with everything being on the same level mixing. This, in my opinion, really works when coupled alongside the thug and political lyrics on display here, and is a really tight production job when stacked against the album that preceded it.

    The lyrics are, of course, the meat of every hip hop album, and on here they are absolutely top notch. This was a journey into the mind of a street man, speaking his opinions at everything from the Government (Point The Finga), to the oppressed (Keep Ya Head Up). In the case of the latter, this was a rarity in earlier 2pac, in which the lyrical content was mainly the thug inside 2pac being allowed to speak more, so it is a nice variation. Much rap gets maligned too often for talking of nothing but guns and girls, and 2pac truly was unique for his day in that he was not afraid to speak on every subject, without ever holding anything back. 2pac has always been the artist to speak out on whatever he thought, and this is a great example of that.

    The flow of 2pac on this album is virtually untouchable, given that he was extremely rusty on his debut, this was a large step up. Album opener Holler If Ya Hear Me was the perfect introduction into 2pac's rapping style, and also one of the tightest flows he ever came up with on his earlier releases. Throughout the duration of this album, he goes through a number of different speeds and styles, and pulls them all off well, with this being one of his better performances, flow-wise.



    Keep Ya Head Up was one of 2pac's hits, and it really is not hard to see why, with some cracking lyrics and an incredible flow, with a tight beat to top it all off. Last Wordz is extremely curse happy, but is also one of the best on the album, with some ingenious lines, and the perfect usage of the two pre-mentioned guest stars. Holler If Ya Hear Me has a fairly quick flow to it by 2pac's standards, and really works, coupled with the intense lyrical content, making this one of the standouts.

    Unfortunately, this album is not all incredible. Point The Finga in particularly sticks out like a sore thumb, with the lyrics not being up to scratch throughout, despite having some nice lines. Another criticism to make would the fact that it almost relies on profanity at times to carry it through, with curses and slurs throughout, alongside a fair amount of cliched use of talking about guns and throwing offense at the police.

    On the whole, this album really did not feel like too much of an evolution to his debut. Flow-wise and in terms of variation it is light years ahead of 2pacalypse Now, but in terms of production and the actual meat of the lyrics, this really is a step down from 2pacalypse Now, which was an absolute masterpiece, despite being a little underwhelming. All early 2pac releases are plagued with the same problem that the listener goes in having heard either the big singles or just having generally high expectations of the album, and it falls well short of their expectations, with the cracks showing too much. And this really is shown on here. In particular, there are the lines on here that are similar to the first album are lines such as "tell me whose the biggest gang of niggaz in the city" found on Soulja's Revenge, which was also found on the debut album in the song I Just Dont Give A ***. This, in my opinion, was just lazy on the behalf of 2pac Shakur.

    In general, 2Pac is both a loved and hated artist. This was a man who was not afraid to admit that he was a thug, but was determined that nobody else should make the same mistakes as he did, with many moral messages included in songs such as his later hit Changes. The man had extremely high sales and critical reviews. However, there was also the thug side of him that is universally despised, including the rape allegation that nearly ruined his career. Love him or hate him, however, Pac was a lyrical genius, and this album is a good album to display this, although not as good as later releases. For a hip hop listener, this is definitely worth a go, but for the rest of the music community, give this a miss, as his later material is far more accessible, when he stopped talking so much about the ghetto and more about more varied subject matter. However, the definitive early 2pac release would be the first one, 2pacalypse Now, which is a fantastic release, and slightly better than this. 3/5


    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.jimdo.com

  14. #89
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    All Eyez on Me” is one of the most useless music biopics ever made—it’ll be too confusing for newcomers and too underwhelming for those familiar with the work and the life of rap prophet Tupac Shakur.

    Directed by Benny Boom with minuscule passion and a ruthless 140-minute running time, “All Eyez on Me” is a production that coasts on the bare minimum of biopic requirements, boasting a lead who looks very much like Tupac but nothing that can’t be learned from a Wikipedia page, or better yet, the 2003 documentary “Tupac: Resurrection.” As it merely seeks to canonize a complex figure who was far more interesting than perfection, “All Eyez on Me” dehumanizes an important man.

    Although the movie is wholly allergic to nuance, there is some shred of an emotional arc that arises with the relationship Tupac has with his mother, Afeni Shakur (Danai Gurira). She appears throughout the movie as a force that challenges Tupac in one way or the other. Gurira too has to work with rotten dialogue and cliche situations, but it’s the one glimmer that feels like an expression instead of a duplication.

    For everyone else, including Tupac, Boom’s biopic is more concerned with information than humanity, and eventually Boom’s shallow dedication to showing us recognizable moments or outfits becomes plainly goofy. I especially loved the man who played Snoop Dogg and then lip-synced his dialogue with that of the real Snoop’s voice (or it sounded very much like it). The soundtrack soon enough elicits more giggles than head bobs, with the movie cramming in as many songs as possible, despite having no problem skipping around a short career timeline from album to album, underestimating the creation of such pivotal songs in the process.

    Boom’s counterproductive answer to the flawed aspects of Tupac is to deny that very complexity and to make him a type of savior, which often makes “All Eyez on Me” only plainly terrible. However, that defiance of ambiguity becomes mortifying and offensive when Boom contextualizes a controversial sexual assault case—the before, during, and after—within a biopic’s fact, in which the survivor is shown intimately dancing with Tupac to R. Kelly’s “Bump & Grind” nights before, and Tupac is presented as sleeping in a different room when she was gang-raped by men he claimed to barely know. Boom even has the audacity to speak for the woman after Tupac was sentenced, when he cuts to her celebrating with her lawyer and then smirking at Tupac. Juxtaposed with the movie’s walking butt close-up establishing shots and the way that women are plainly either mother figures or sexual objects, it’s enough to make you throw up.

    For whatever Boom and his collaborators may know about Tupac, especially as they present “the untold story” (to reference marketing), it’s clear with their narrative agenda and values that they’re looking far past what makes Tupac so important. This is a man whose life deserves scrutiny, to explore the many issues that he faced as a young black male artist making record history with a bold definition of Thug Life and a fiery ego that clashed with his self-proclaimed sensitivity. Even more, the story of Tupac is one that deserves true artistry. A Tupac film needs to match the vigor you feel in his freight-train rapping, which did more than just tell you what to think. It allowed you to see his world for yourself.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 09-18-2017 at 01:43 AM.

  15. #90
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    A hip-hop gamechanger, a revolutionary's son, an actor, an ex-convict, a platinum-selling artist, a sensitive truth-teller, a "Thug Life" tattoo-sporting tough guy, a black man, a martyr – Tupac Shakur was all these things and more. It was never a matter of whether or not the 25-year-old musician deserved a biopic so much as why it took so damned long to make it happen. (Would that it were so simple: You can read a detailed history of the project's long, winding and incredibly bumpy road to becoming a reality.) There was just one anxiety-inducing question that kept buzzing in the back of our skulls: Was this eventual big-screen take on Shakur going to be an epic look at a complicated legend's life and times – a Gandhi of gangsta rap iconography – or merely a slightly larger Lifetime TV movie filled with hysterics and greatest-hits moments. We now have an answer. It was not the one we wanted.

    Less a biopic than a pop-up Wikipedia page, All Eyez on Me covers the bases of Shakur's story: the early schooling in Shakespeare and militant sloganeering, the formative mistrust of authority, his big break with the Digital Underground, the discovery of his voice, the near-derailment due to his shooting and scandals and incarceration, and the self-destructive free-for-all of the Death Row years. As a bonus, you also get characters who exist solely to spout exposition and/or infomercial taglines ("Well, Interscope was founded as a haven for artistic expression!") and the sort of clunky, nuance-free filmmaking that keeps pushing the Camp-o-meter into the red. What's M.I.A. is a real sense of what made Shakur so vital – then and now – or any idea why we superfans and stans still rightfully look at his work as a hip-hop high point. You want the movie equivalent of "Hit 'Em Up." You get something that would've been deemed unfit for Loyal to the Game.

    Don't blame Demetrius Shipp Jr., the newcomer who nabbed the Tupac role. Never mind that he bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Shakur; what's impressive is how he manages to nail the rap star's rage and swagger, the street smarts and the crazy-sexy-cool vibe. Even when director Benny Boom and a trio of screenwriters keep weighing him down with dramatic dead weight, Shipp keeps his head up. He does his best to convince you that this was a man who was deeply conflicted about whether to start a movement or just keep sipping the Moët. If he doesn't quite have the star power that the real Tupac did, the actor does have screen presence to spare.
    And when the movie briefly allows Shipp to get onstage and drop a few verses, you wish it hadn't skimped on the actual musical aspects in favor of half-baked attempts at pathos involving Shakur's mother Afeni (The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira.) Or having a didactic journalist (Hill Harper) play devil's advocate with an imprisoned Shakur over everything from rap lyrics to responsibility, social consciousness to C. Dolores Tucker's tsk-tsking. Or questionably staging an encounter with Ayanna Jackson, who'd accuse the musician of sexual assault, like a slo-mo R&B video. By the time Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana) enters stage right and we start slouching towards tragedy, All Eyez on Me already feels like it's been looking at its subject with one eye closed.

    Which, for those of us who've been waiting for this for a long time, is a major letdown. Tupac rapped about shooting his enemies and sleeping with their wives; he also sang that "even as a crack fiend, Mama/you always was a black queen, Mama." Any attempt at contextualizing why or how that mix of in-your-face aggression and sensitive hood journalism came from the same place gets buried under sloppy sentimentality and soap operatics. This is a movie that's content to superficially scroll through hits and misses and headlines without diving deeper. It's biopic-making by numbers, and for anyone happy enough to simply see Shakur get the sinner-saint screen treatment, maybe that's enough. As for the people banking on Tupac getting his own Straight Outta Compton-level movie, well – we ain't mad at cha, All Eyez on Me. Just majorly disappointed.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 09-18-2017 at 01:46 AM.

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