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  1. #31
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    Story about Michael Miller Photography / Relationship with Thug Life Vol. 1

    Michael Miller and Paul Stewart had capped a successful Kickstarter project and planned a digital imprint of their book, a collection of photographs from the golden era of West Coast hip hop, called West Coast Hip Hop: A History In Photos. But the coffee table book garnered enough interest for a hard cover edition and fine art print show, opening this Saturday at Known Gallery.


    "I started shooting in 1988, in Paris," says Miller. "I was actually painting houses and I just happened to meet Peter Lindbergh, the world-renowned fashion photographer. He gave me my first professional camera. I helped him out on a few shoots." Miller had his first big job with Cacharel, a huge French fashion brand. He shot Linda Evangelista, Karen Mulder, and Elaine Erwin, some of the era's biggest supermodels.

    But getting access to supermodels would prove simple compared to the likes of Tupac Shakur, Cypress Hill and Ice Cube.

    Never-Before-Seen Photos of Tupac and Eazy-E From New Book West Coast Hip Hop: A History In Photos
    Michael Miller
    However, Miller, being an L.A. native and passionate hip hop fan paired with Stewart, then a street promoter who later would head Def Jam's west coast branch. The two connected the dots and forged a mutually beneficial working relationship. "The artists had to know you," Miller explains. "I met DJ Muggs when he just got off the DMC World DJ Championship, the largest in the world. His roommate was DJ Aladdin. This was all before he started Cypress Hill."

    Miller scanned over 3000 images for the book, with only 70 making the cut. Admittedly he included a few photos that were less technically clean than close to his heart. West Coast Hip Hop: A History in Photos includes exclusive stories and images. Many times, he eschewed traditional studio settings for L.A. landscapes; perfect lighting for amazing, pre-Photoshop double exposures. Miller caught The Alkoholiks in a liquor store cooler on Sunset (the cover of 1993's 21 + Over), Dre and Snoop on the boards for The Chronic, and -- wait for it -- Eazy-E with a skateboard.

    "That image is close to me, because I grew up skateboarding," explains Miller. "It happens to be a Natas Kaupas deck. Natas gave me that board. I was waiting for Eazy, just skating around and he showed up and he hopped on it for a second. He didn't actually skate, but it was cool."
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 11-17-2017 at 01:08 AM.

  2. #32
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    Despite a packed schedule of advertising jobs, being able to work on the fly helped Miller assimilate to the artists and their crews. He shot covers for the likes of Priority, Death Row, Jive and EMI Records for 20 years, essentially documenting the careers of Coolio, Mack 10, Westside Connection, DJ Quik, Too Short, Ice T, Yo-Yo, Funk Dubious, King Tee, Suga Free, Supa Fly, House of Pain and Snoop Dogg, from demo to full rotation on KDAY.

    Never-Before-Seen Photos of Tupac and Eazy-E From New Book West Coast Hip Hop: A History In Photos
    Michael Miller

    "We'd have a game plan. So when I got down to doing the work, even though I'd take Tupac to East L.A. to Pasadena and back to downtown, it worked out great. You've got Tupac with the tombstones and the guns," says Miller as he shows a particularly iconic portrait of Shakur against a graffiti wall. "I haven't really been showing people this book -- 90% of these images have been in my archives and storage. Never been used."



    The print show and book signing at Known promises to bring out quite a few of the personalities in the book and plenty of their old and new fans. Even for those who grew up seeing Miller's images of N.W.A, Dub C, Warren G and Sir Mix A lot, it will be an introduction to the photographer himself as he's been behind the scenes until now. "Mike hasn't been bragging about having this huge body of work, so people don't really know, explains Stewart, now publisher at his own Over the Edge books. " This was my dream book."

    A History In Pictures is a 200-page 9" x 12" coffee table book that collects Miller's images of many of hip-hop's most important artists (e.g. Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg, Too $hort etc.) in their '90s prime. After launching his
    career in fashion, Los Angeles-native Miller photographed his first hip-hop artist, Arabian Prince, in the late '80s. His work on a Stussy campaign won the admiration of DJ Muggs, who asked Miller

    to shoot his new group, Cypress Hill. And the rest, as they say, is history. Featuring the stories behind the photos from Miller himself as well as a foreword
    by Paul "DJ P" Stewart - former Pharcyde manager, A&R wizard, and all around West Coast hip-hop man in the mix - it's an essential Westside document

    Download
    Michael Miller’s photographs capture a unique era of West Coast culture, combining the emerging genres of gangster rap, skateboard culture, Los Angeles street culture, and the iconic personalities who help turn West Coast rap into a global phenomenon.
    Capturing intimate portraits of hip-hop legends 2pac, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Cypress Hill, as well as iconic advertising campaigns with street fashion giant, Stussy, Michael Miller photographs hearken back to a pivotal moment in history where he took rap, surf, skate, punk, and street fashion fused into one image.
    The Los Angeles-based photographer has worked in the entertainment and music industry for over 25 years, with a portfolio of over 300 major record covers, iconic supermodels of the ‘90s, and some of the biggest names in rap and jazz.


    Influenced by the techniques of Peter Lindberg, Paulo Roversi and Javier Vallhonrat, Miller has developed a unique method of cross-processing film and different chemical baths for his black and white photographs. A graduate of UCLA with a B.A. in Film and Television, Miller moved to Paris and met top agent Rene Bosne. With Bosne’s mentorship, Miller began to shoot photographs, gradually gaining jobs shooting models for John Casablancas’ agency. After moving to Barcelona to shoot campaigns fro Cacharel Paris, Miller returned to Los Angeles in 1988 to shoot for Herb Ritts’ agency, Visages. Gaining recognition within the fashion industry, the music world took notice, and by the end of 1988, Miller photographed his first rapper, Arabian Prince.




    For West Coast Hip-Hop: A History in Pictures at FIFTY24SF Gallery, Michael Miller will be presenting a series of his iconic early 1990?s hip-hop photographs, including numerous photos of 2pac, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, as well as photos of unique historical perspectives on Los Angeles street culture. Coinciding with Miller’s exhibition, we will have famed San Francisco musicians, Tommy Guerrero and ORB DJing the opening on Friday, April 27, 2012. On Saturday, April 28, from 2—4PM, Miller will be signing copies of his West Coast Hip-Hop: A History in Pictures at our FIFTY24SF Gallery.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 11-17-2017 at 12:25 AM.

  3. #33
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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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; 02-17-2018 at 04:57 AM.

  4. #34
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    The call came in on the radio just after 11:15 p.m.: Shots had been fired near the intersection of Flamingo and Koval, with possible victims. Several vehicles had made a U-turn on Flamingo and headed west. The bicycle officer who made the call from the Maxim hotel began trailing the cars, but was too far behind to catch them. He could, however, see them turn left onto Las Vegas Boulevard.

    Chris Carroll was a sergeant on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s bike patrol unit on the Strip. The 12 officers under his command rode in pairs, but Carroll was riding solo when he got the call that night, September 7, 1996. Traffic on the Strip is always slow-moving on a Saturday evening, but it was especially thick in the aftermath of Mike Tyson’s first-round technical knockout of Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand a few hours earlier. And, now, somewhere in the midst of all those vehicles was a caravan of cars, one of them perhaps carrying the shooter.

    Carroll rode north to intercept them. “I’m thinking, ‘How am I going to stop these cars?’” Carroll says. “Usually on bikes, we used whistles and things like that, or we could call for a vehicle to help us. But as I’m riding toward them, I’m thinking, ‘These guys are on the run, there’s multiple cars and I’m heading nose-to-nose with them.’”

    *****

    The details surrounding Tupac Shakur’s death have been recounted dozens of times in the nearly 18 years since the night he was shot in Las Vegas. Newspaper and magazine articles, books, documentaries and websites have recapped, analyzed, scrutinized and commodified the rapper and actor’s unsolved murder, ranging from sober accounts to wild-eyed conspiracy theories. There are even those who still hold onto the belief that Shakur is not really dead, with reports over the years having him living in Cuba, New Zealand, Tasmania or rural Pennsylvania.

    When Shakur died six days after the shooting, at age 25, he was swiftly elevated from star to legend. In this trajectory, he joined other celebrities who died in their prime: James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain. The premise of what might have been captures the imagination; and the intensity of what was never quite lets go.

    John Singleton, who directed Shakur in the 1993 movie Poetic Justice, has co-written and will direct a feature film about the controversial hip-hop star, with production scheduled for later this year, and a Tupac-inspired musical, Holler If You Hear Me, is set to open on Broadway on June 19. But even with all the attention given to Shakur’s life and death, there remains one account of the night of the shooting that has not been heard before: from the police officer who was first on the scene.

    The songs of Tupac Shakur will be used as material for a new Broadway musical, scheduled to debut in the 2013-2014 season. Holler If Ya Hear Me will be co-produced by the late rapper's mother, Afeni Shakur.

    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.jimdo.com

    "Tupac was a prophet and I want everyone to see that," director Kenny Leon told Broadway.com. Although Shakur "is not a character" in the production, his music will be used to tell a "present-day" story, written by Todd Kreidler.



    Holler If Ya Hear Me reportedly centres on the story of two childhood friends, "struggling to reconcile the challenges and realities of their daily lives with their hopes, dreams and ambitions".
    It is not set in any of the places most closely associated with Shakur – New York, his birthplace; California, his longtime home; or Las Vegas, where he was murdered in 1996. Instead, Leon and Kreidler are telling the contemporary tale "of a midwestern industrial city" such as Detroit or Cleveland.
    Last week, the Hollywood Walk of Fame announced that Shakur, just 25 when he died, would receive a posthumous star on the landmark LA street, honouring his career. The rapper's albums have sold more than 75m copies.

    Rolling Stones / BY DANIEL KREPS November 30, 2015

    Eight months after director John Singleton parted ways with the Tupac Shakur biopic – and just a month after his replacement Carl Franklin quietly stepped away from the film – producers have recruited another director to helm the long-in-the-works movie.
    Music video vet Benny Boom will now take over the project that's working with an incredibly tight deadline: If the film doesn't go into production by year's end, 2Pac's big screen music rights will revert back to the rapper's mother Afeni Shakur, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

    Tupac Shakur Tupac Shakur Video Director Seeking Funds for Rapper Biopic »
    "I am blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime," Boom wrote on Instagram next to a photo of the rapper. "Telling the story of this revolutionary, artist, visionary, genius, soldier! I will make him proud and uphold the legacy." The filmmaker has previously directed videos by Nicki Minaj ("Beez in the Trap"), Busta Rhymes ("Touch It"), Lil Wayne, Keyshia Cole, 50 Cent and many more, as well as the 2009 film Next Day Air.


    Despite the success of Straight Outta Compton, a film that proved that a hip-hop biopic could thrive at the box office, production on the Shakur film has slowed due to creative differences and ongoing lawsuits.
    The film was originally scheduled to begin production in June with Singleton as director, but despite a finished script, the biopic was put "on hold." That was followed soon after by Singleton's loud exit.

    "The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren't really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur," Singleton wrote in April.
    "They have no true love for 'Pac so this movie will not be made with love, and that's why my ass isn't involved! If Tupac knew what was going on he'd ride on all these fools and take it to the streets...but I won't do that. I'll just make my own project." Singleton then promised to spearhead his own 2Pac film.

    Out of Time and House of Cards director Carl Franklin was then tasked with reining the Shakur biopic, but he left the project last month after a pair of producers filed a $10 million breach of contract lawsuit against the production company Morgan Creek.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 01-06-2018 at 10:28 AM.

  5. #35
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    Reisig and Taylor Photography / Embodiment / Tupac Shakur

    Artists Chris Reisig and Leeza Taylor, whose creative and life partnership spans nearly 25 years, continue their exploration of the photographic medium with each new body of work.
    Their art practice reflects the life they have forged together, their children and the friends that are adsorbed into the family.

    Like many of REISIG AND TAYLOR' collaborative projects, the physical and emotional
    landscape of their own domestic space, becomes the point of departure for their artistic vision.

    In the series Naked, REISIG AND TAYLOR use lenticular photography to document a circle of family friends over the course of 10 years within their Los Angeles home.

    The subjects as well as the process engage the viewer. The portraits become a study of a youthful generation’s often irreverent, self-possessed comfort with their physical selves
    in front of a lens and their unraveling of the boundaries between privacy and publicity, intimacy and friendship.

    The images of REISIG AND TAYLOR succeed in reinterpreting the singular, handmade prints of photography’s earliest history while utilizing twenty first century technology.

    They bring their mastery of traditional darkroom techniques and computer generated image making to the labor intensive, digital application of lenticular printing first developed in the 1940s.

    REISIG AND TAYLOR marry tradition with the contemporary to create images with the uncanny ability to reveal secrets hidden in plain sight. The resulting prints challenge the cutting edge while retaining a classicism that is lush and seductive.



    http://www.bilder-upload.eu/upload/d...1510897253.jpg

    Beatles’ fans might debate whether new mash-up album “LOVE” is tantamount to sacrilege, but other genres have slightly fewer issues when it comes to taking a bit of post-career artistic license. Take US hip hop, for instance, where bullet wounds buy you status (see: Fiddy Cent, The Game) and milking dead cash cows has become something of an art form.


    Overdosing/being shot provided a welcome career boost for both ODB and Notorious BIG, but the undoubted daddy of beyond-the-grave rap remains Tupac Shakur. Since his brutal slaying more than ten years ago, Pac has been vastly more successful in death than he ever was in life – selling some 75 million records, having a performing arts college named after him, and the dubious honour of a number one collaboration with Elton John.


    “Pac’s Life” is the latest album (the 6th since his death) to grease the production line and cement his deification as the Lady Di of gangster rap. However, despite production makeovers by the likes of Swizz Beatz and guest appearances from Snoop, Ludacris and Chamillionaire, this collection of previously unreleased tracks only confirms that: (a) Tupac was a much better actor than he was a rapper; and, (b) the well of posthumous of material is beginning to dry up.

    With editorial control handed over to his mother, Afeni, the few passable moments are backward-looking, and beyond the resurrected G-Funk that staples together “Whatz Next” and “International” there is little here to enhance his reputation. And while mum’s gushing sleevenotes whittle on about Tupac’s spirit watching over the project and suggesting possible collaborators, you can’t help thinking that the man himself is probably ready to rest in peace.

    While there’s nothing bizarre as last year’s Bob Marley/Notorious BIG duet, “Pac’s Life” is - at best - an ill-befitting tribute, and can surely only be of interest to the most die hard of fans.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 06-19-2018 at 01:21 AM.

  6. #36
    Black Jesuz LesaneParishCrookz's Avatar
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    By now, Tupac Shakur is etched in our collective memory as simultaneously an imperfect saint and a perfect outlaw. In photos, you feel it. Simultaneously idealized and crucified in the public sphere, Tupac’s photographic legacy tells the story. The 20th anniversary of his death in Las Vegas just passed on September 7th. He was only 25-years-old. Los Angeles-bred photographer Mike Miller captured the iconic double middle finger shot just a year earlier as part of his album cover shoot for Tupac’s Thug Life album. He still has over 70 scans in the vault that no one has seen of Tupac.

    For Miller, the shoot embodied style, humor and urgency. One can imagine Tupac cracking up while giving the double middle finger to the camera. To a hip hop outsider, the pose can seem menacing but look closer and you start to understand there was a lot of humor in between the layers of raw aggression of the pose.

    “Style, the extension of the exquisitely personal into the public sphere, is something he had from the beginning,” wrote Zach Baron in GQ last year. “Other rappers imitated his easy, comfortable masculinity, his loose clothes, his confidence, his tattoos. He had the kind of aura others wanted to borrow. He’d wear things seemingly at random: vests, flannels, denim jackets, camo jackets, Henleys over other Henleys. Casual, almost incidental clothes to which he lent permanence.
    Shakur was defiance, one of those men who expressed it in both verse and style.”

    Born and raised in Los Angeles, Miller grew up in the punk, surf and skate scene, which eventually grew into a love of hip hop. He would go on to photograph West Coast hip hop in its infancy starting in the late 1980s when he snapped shots of his first rapper, Arabian Prince. Fashion campaigns for Stussy and others followed and soon, DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) asked Miller to photograph the group while they were still shopping a demo. The rest as they say is history. Miller’s book West Coast Hip Hop: A History In Pictures features Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Too Short, Cypress Hill and the list goes on.

    Mike Miller: Tupac was at the height of his career when we shot this. We first met up at Runyon Canyon where he had a condo. Tupac was very charming, present and highly intelligent. There was probably around 15 people in his crew. We all caravanned from location to location. He told me in private that he was happy to be able to make an album with all his homies that he grew up with.

    We first went to this hubcap place in South Central LA and you can see those in the background of some of the images, but then people started coming out of the woodwork so we had to leave. People recognized him everywhere and we did have gang situations where it was gnarly, but nothing serious that day. We spent 12 hours shooting around LA — East LA, Watts/Compton, downtown LA. For the shoot, he immediately turned on. He and his boys. Then we went to an abandoned train yard which is where we got the double middle finger shot. That was more like an outtake but when I looked at, I knew.

    I was happy there were so many good shots, but the image on this contact with the double flip off resonates with so many people that I’ve encountered. People have told me they had the double flip off poster on their walls when they were kids or up in dorm rooms. That image on the contact sheet really stood as a powerful image. That was shot with cross process film so there’s no color correction.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 11-17-2017 at 01:15 AM.

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    Michael Miller

    Over the past 25 years Michael Miller has built an expansive portfolio. It includes over 500 major label album covers, iconic supermodels of the 90's and some of the biggest names in rap, rock and jazz.

    Michael was born and raised in Los Angeles and recalls the only radio station that came in clear where he lived during his teenage years was AM 1580 KDAY. As a Santa Monica High School student in the midst of the punk, surf and skate scene, he was listening to Run D.M.C., Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick.

    Michael graduated from U.C.L.A. with a B.A. in film, theater and TV. After college, he took a trip with friends to explore Paris where he met then boxer turned top agent Rene Bosne, who in time became his roommate in Paris and introduced him to his first camera. Michael began landing jobs shooting models for John Casablanca and later relocated to Barcelona, Spain where he began to build an impressive portfolio shooting for major campaigns as Cacharel Paris.



    Influenced by the techniques of Peter Lindberg, Paulo Roversi and Javier Vallhonrat, Michael developed a method of cross processing film and using different chemical baths for black and white photographs. He was on to something that was still undiscovered in the U.S., sharing his method with fellow photographers such as Anton Corbijn.



    Miller returned to LA in 1988 and was immediately picked up by Herb Ritts agency Visages, shooting three advertisements in American Vogue in the first month. His recognition for technique and style in fashion photgraphy gained him attention in the music industry. By the end of 1988, he had photographed his first rapper Arabian Prince.

    Impressed with his major campaign for Stussy, producer DJ Muggs (7A3, Cypress Hill) asked Miller to photograph the demo for a new project titled Cypress Hill. He became a heavily sought-after photographer for the hip hop community.

    Michael continues shooting for advertisement campaigns, major publications, celebrities and musicians. His inaugural show, "West Coast Hip Hop, A History in Pictures" displayed 43 photos, the majority of which have never been shown to the public. He currently live with his wife and two daughters in LA.

  8. #38
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    Slipknot have wrapped up the touring cycle for 2014's standout effort, .5: The Gray Chapter, which yielded anthemic new cuts like "The Negative One" and "The Devil in I" among others. With frontman Corey Taylor's focus currently on Stone Sour's forthcoming album, Hydrograd, and subsequent tour, he's clued fans in as to how long they'll have to wait on Slipknot to release their next record and what musical direction he's looking to take on it.

    "Nothing's going on," Taylor told Metal Wani (audio below) when asked about Slipknot's current status. "We ain't doing s--t for two years. I'm doing Stone Sour. Clown's doing his movie thing. Everybody's kind of doing their own thing right now. So we're just kind of letting ourselves have some time away, which is cool. Sometimes you just have to do that — sometimes you have to go away and let people miss you. So that's what the plan is right now — just us kind of hanging out, letting everybody kind of catch their breath and then we'll figure it out from there."

    Regarding the next Slipknot album, Taylor expressed, "I know I want to write something violent, to be honest. I want to do something that feels uncomfortable. I want go somewhere where we haven't been in a long, long time. I don't know what that means, but I think when I hear it, I'll know what it is."

    With this promise, it seems to be a guarantee Taylor and co. won't draw any more "Nickelback lite" comparisons. Chad Kroeger, frontman for the Canadian rock powerhouse, threw the diss at Stone Sour in a recent interview, irked by comments made by Taylor about Nickelback in the past. He also went on to call Slipknot a "gimmick" because they wear masks onstage. Taylor later fired back and also told Metal Wani he felt Kroeger's move was simply to get attention, adding, "I think it's just him being really sad in his life and, honestly, I wish him well, but you went about the wrong way to try to get some attention, buddy."


    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.de
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 11-17-2017 at 05:03 AM.

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    If there is one emotion that everyone can equally feel from watching the Benny Boom-directed Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me, it’s anger. Anger derived from various reasons -- from poor film execution to residual trauma stemming from Pac’s murder and a dearth of facts surrounding both. Any anger here is equally justified.



    Over the last four years, we’ve witnessed an uptick in biopics stemming from the lives of hip-hop and R&B stars. The assumption was that the floodgates would have opened around 2009, when the Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious arrived. However, given the extent of the critical backlash from those who actually lived through that era, the general consensus was that the approach to documenting lives within "urban" music was considerably half-baked and brought back to the drawing board.

    In 2013, VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story gave new hope to the televised hip-hop/R&B biopic, yet Lifetime’s assembly line of poorly produced and casted biopics -- that included the cringe-worthy Aaliyah and Whitney Houston ones -- knocked that dream down a few pegs. Conversely, BET’s masterfully executed TV biopic series The New Edition Story garnered massive praise along with Hollywood’s critically acclaimed N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton.



    For nearly a decade, there had been talks over the possibility of a Tupac Shakur biopic. Pac was perhaps hip-hop’s most enigmatic figure -- both alive and posthumously. While both his and the Notorious B.I.G.’s deaths still remain unsolved, Tupac’s holds considerably more weight. A handful of the population still believes he’s alive, given the amount of material still being released from his catalog and the Machiavellian theories he presented right before his death. Placing a camera anywhere near Pac’s life would be open season for considerable dissection. The open-endedness of that tale was enough to demand a graduated level of research to tie up the accessible loose ends.





    However, the interpretation of Tupac’s life in All Eyez On Me left many bewildered. A 22 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes punctuates that sentiment, with artists like 50 Cent calling the film “trash.” Meanwhile Pac tattoo-bearing artist The Game defended the film on Instagram, posting a captioned review: “#AllEyezOnMe SUPPORT it. Go see it. Tell a friend. I love the movie & ANYBODY with a negative review of this film or anything bad to say about PAC….. I’m gone say it since he can’t….. F--K YOU #ThugLife #RIP2Pac #RIPAfeni #CaliforniaLove.” MC Hammer also retorted against the backlash, calling the film a “truthful portrayal.” The Internet rap cognoscenti is divided on the subject: half attack the accuracy of the film, the other half praise that we even made it this far after many false starts in the forming of a Tupac biopic.

    Both sides are not incorrect. All Eyez On Me is monumental for even being created. Sure, so was Straight Outta Compton -- considering a blockbuster film was made about the leaders of Gangster Rap -- but it was crafted by two men still alive to assist in the narrative (Ice Cube and Dr. Dre). Tupac died at the age of 25, two years shy of the 27 Club, yet lived many lives during those two and a half decades. For that reason, All Eyez On Me had to jam-pack significant moments into two hours and twenty minutes. Needless to say, some important points were missed.

    Leading man Demetrius Shipp, Jr., in many parts, was a dead ringer for Tupac, especially in the scenes filmed around Pac’s final year of life. The recreation of music videos like “I Get Around” and “Brenda’s Got A Baby” were accurately executed, along with Pac’s Digital Underground era. The bond between Tupac and his mother Afeni Shakur (played by Danai Gurira) was highlighted, and while many presumed they were tight from songs like “Dear Mama,” watching it unfold visually was powerful. The mention that Tupac’s godmother was Assata Shakur was a valuable punctuation, especially given Assata’s current role in the social consciousness of America and the #HandsOffAssata movement. Also Hill Harper’s role as the journalist who interviews 'Pac for his historical prison video series was solid, moreso because Hill Harper is an actual writer. These are just a few of the bright points in the film.

    The knee-jerk criticisms of the film are derived from the poorly crafted script in tandem with the goofily executed pivotal scenes like Tupac dancing with his mother at a family barbecue following her release from rehab, right down to him laying on the pavement apparently taking his last breath (concrete facts tell us he died seven days following his shooting… in a hospital).

    Key moments in Tupac’s life were also missing. The infamous spitting into a reporter’s camera while wearing the Detroit Red Wings jersey was left out of the film, despite being the archetypal reference point for 'Pac’s bada--ness (along with his equally infamous middle finger from his wheelchair after being shot at Quad Studios and following his rape trial -- included in the film). While the movie showed Tupac filming Juice, Above The Rim, and Gridlock’d, his largest role as Lucky in Poetic Justice was not included, perhaps as subtle shade toward director John Singleton, who was set to direct All Eyez On Me before Boom. There was also a brief mention of 'Pac losing the role of Shariff in Menace II Society, yet the altercation with the Hughes brothers was nowhere to be found. In promo shots for the film, the notorious photo of Faith Evans posing with Tupac shows Evans holding up a West Side hand gesture, which was incorrect. Thankfully, it was changed for the film, yet the scene where 'Pac meets Faith is reenacted like they were friends for years. Faith Evans has gone on record as saying that was the first night she met Tupac, introduced by Treach (who is not even given a real role in the film). While there is an interview with Angie Martinez (played by Lian Amado), it’s the interview where Snoop attempts to diffuse the beef between Death Row and Bad Boy. Meanwhile, one of the greatest hip-hop moments included Angie Martinez traveling to Los Angeles to interview 'Pac in an attempt to end the East Coast / West Coast war. That interview was nowhere to be found.


    Haitian Jack, the nefarious club promoter connected to 'Pac’s Quad Studios shooting as well as the catalyst for his rape trial, is called “Nigel” in the film (played by Cory Hardrict), leaving anyone with a cursory knowledge of both events completely confused. The same could be said for Puffy’s blip of a role (Combs is played by Stefon Washington). Jada Pinkett-Smith, played in the film by Kat Graham, has already publicly condemned the film for its glaring inaccuracies about her relationship with Tupac.


    (Graham later said she consulted Pinkett-Smith before the film and that she offered "nothing but support.") However, the film pairs them together in several make-believe settings, yet couldn’t pair them in the real-life setting of 'Pac guest starring on A Different World as Pinkett-Smith's character Lena’s bad boy ex-boyfriend, Piccolo. Tupac’s relationship with Kidada Jones (played by Annie Ilonzeh) was understated in many ways. While the film showed Jones pleading with Tupac not to leave the hotel on the night of his fateful murder, it was barely noted that the two were engaged to be married when he died.



    The character development of two vital people in 'Pac’s life was unforgivably ill conceived. Suge Knight (played by Dominic L. Santana) is seen more as a tough mentor and not the psychological master manipulator that previous ideations of Knight have portrayed. Jamal Woolard reprises his role of the Notorious B.I.G.



    (carried over from Notorious), but is seemingly less invested in the role, considering the film barely highlights 'Pac and Big’s friendship and what their falling out did to hip-hop.

    The greatest issue is that both Tupac’s life and death have been laid out for 21 years like this rap fairytale with a tragic ending, and All Eyez On Me did nothing to remedy that. Despite being so deeply rooted in Shakespeare (as we learn from the film), Tupac wasn’t Othello nor was he Hamlet. He was a living, breathing man who changed the face of hip-hop with his charisma and bold subject matter. Reducing him to a character (often cartoonish) is both an insult to real-life facts and Pac’s legacy as a whole. The microscope would inevitably be focused harshly on any film adaptation of his life, but perhaps too many eyes molded this film into a questionable story and not a chronicled series of true events starring a legend who was taken from us way too soon.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 01-27-2018 at 04:52 PM.

  10. #40
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    Bob Dylan

    "I got a chance to photograph Bob Dylan in 1999," Clinch reveals. "It was kind of a dream come true.



    I didn't even think he'd show up, I just didn't believe it. I was really prepared and I booked this place called the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

    That's not only where the Rat Pack played all the time in the Coconut Grove room, but Robert Kennedy was assassinated in the kitchen there. It was really cool because there's a lot of different styles and locations. I thought, 'If I have Bob Dylan, I want to make the most of it.'


    "Little did I realize, he'd be so enthralled by the fact that all that history had happened there. We wandered all around this hotel and got a history lesson by the guy that was our host. Dylan was completely into it, so he stuck around for a really long time.
    "On the way over to the shoot I get a call from his publicist and he said, 'Bob wants to know if you are familiar with Litle Walter.

    HTTP://www.andreaspennophotography.jimdo.com

    ' I said, 'Yeah, I'm a big fan of Little Walter. I play harmonica myself.' He says, 'There's a famous photo of him on one of his records and he's holding the harmonica and it's Hollywood lighting.' I said, 'Yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about.

    In fact, I have that CD here at the shoot.' He was like, 'Oh, great.' They show up and Bob's psyched that I knew what he was talking about. When I was waiting for them to arrive, I set up this old school, Hollywood-style lighting. He pulls out this old chromatic harmonica, which was really beautiful. I then proceeded to shoot in that style.
    "They've been using this photo on all the posters they have at all the Dylan shows. This photo has been reproduced, like, a million times. Since 1999, they've used others there and again, but this has been the staple and I'm super proud of that. From that shoot I had stuff in Love and Theft and some of the singles. Talk about an honor of placement for your photography, to have pictures in a Bob Dylan record."

    Danny Clinch

    Kanye West

    "I was shooting Kanye for XXL and we were at the Brooklyn Museum," Clinch recalls. "We were outside and it was during the summer. This class, it looked like a school trip or a summer camp trip with teenagers, came walking by. They were all completely just blown away that Kanye was there. All the kids were laughing and taking pictures of him. I ended up doing a portrait of them all together, but at the end of the day I felt this photograph was a really great moment. I thought it had a lot of great energy and it shows the excitement that someone like Kanye can bring out in people. The woman's face is just amazing. She's looking back at her friends like, 'Can you believe this?'"
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 02-03-2018 at 02:19 AM.

  11. #41
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    2Pac’s invention of a group he called “Thug Life” stands as his best work at that time since his debut (2Pacolaypse Now).



    Although this album is under the moniker of 2Pac, it really isn’t only him involved. Thug Life consists of Tupac Shakur, Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme Shakur (of relation), and Rated R. ‘Volume 1’ was their first release and unfortunately only for the Shakurs and co.

    ‘Volume 1’ was originally intended to be released under 2Pac’s label named Out The Gutta, but they had to scrap most of the original version due to heavy criticism within the media on the self-proclaimed nature of gangsta rap. Even with most of the original being scrapped (some say they are unreleased) ‘Volume 1’ packs a huge punch with each individual contributing to some extent.

    With so many contributors on one album, which include the producers on each track the album becomes very diverse. The main constant on most of this album is by far 2Pac at the helm of each track; nearly every track on this album involves 2Pac, except “Don’t Get It Twisted” and “Street Fame”. Most of the album really has a soulful feel to it. The opener “Bury Me A G” features the entire cast with Natasha Walker contributing for the backing vocals. The track is given lots of diversity; each member has a distinct voice which makes it interesting and fresh.

    The main verse:
    “I ain’t got time for bitches
    gotta keep my mind on my motha***en riches
    even when I die
    Momma don’t cry
    bury me a g”;

    The background music that is involved with this track has a nice calm atmosphere that makes it extremely easy-going.

    “Don’t Get Twisted” is the only track that doesn’t involve Tupac, surprisingly it works well. Mopreme Shakur, Macadoshis, and Rated R discuss the intricacies of being a ‘thug’ as a 24-7 ordeal. This type of shift from the intro to a lot more aggressive vocal style and beats does make it a bit difficult to appreciate. Fortunately it gets easier as the track goes through. More laid back tracks such as “Pour Out A Little Liquor”, “How Long Will They Mourn Me”, and “Cradle To The Grave” are masterful with their political, social, and gangster-affiliated problems involved for each member.

    Volume 1 has a mixture of ‘soft’ lyrical content about problems; others that involve aggression for the most part fail. 2Pac is obviously the best rapper in the entire group as the album showcases through and through. “Under Pressure” is the best aggressive track within the album and 2Pac leads through the most of the song except for the main lyric line that’s sung by Stretch:

    "When tha Pressures on it's a hit
    Ski mask
    Extra Gats
    bring tha clips
    don't nobody move when we walk tha streets
    they stay silent
    cause talk is cheap”

    There are a few major problems in this album, mostly the production. Since there are different producers involved in this such as Thug Music, Jay & Mopreme (of the group), Johnny “J”, Nate Dogg & Warren G, Jay Choi and Big Syke, Easy Mo Bee, and Stretch. Obviously, this causes a bit of an inconsistency within the music. “*** Don’t Stop” involves a good lyrical vocal performance by various contributors and female background vocals, the beat well…it’s a bit to be desired. It gets redundant and quite boring. “Street Fame” is really hindered by the absence of 2Pac leading the charge and the other members have a difficult opening. The vocals are muffled and inattentive, along with an odd bass noise by producer Stretch it’s just a mediocre track compared to the previous before it.

    Thug Life’s ‘Volume 1’ showed that 2Pac could carry an entire group in most cases. Other members involved in tracks contribute extremely well when 2Pac leads the pack. Volume 1’s only probably appears rarely where 2Pac is absent or the production fails miserably to carry the vocal performances of the tracks. “*** Don’t Stop” and “Street Fame” are extremely perfect examples of how things just don’t work. For the most part Thug Life’s first effort and only known in existence is excellent. Not exactly adding to the diversity of hip-hop or “gangster rap” at the time, but still contributing to its relatively soon-to-be mainstream breakthrough. Topics discussing death, friends, family, pride, drugs, and general social problems associated with being trapped in the lower class are discussed.

    Recommended:
    Bury Me A G
    How Long Will They Mourn Me"
    Under Pressure
    Str8 Ballin’
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 12-28-2017 at 12:39 PM.

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    Death has always generated serious revenue for the music industry. Die a young and violent – or drug-related – death, as an artist, and you can be guaranteed posthumous tributes and a garland of sales that were perhaps unachievable in real life.



    Tupac Amaru Shakur, however, blows holes in many a theory concerning a currency of death that’s even stronger than any other form of monetary exchange. He foresaw his own death, on record at least, as early as ’94’s ‘If I Die Tonight’ (off ‘Me Against The World’), and alluded to his demise even earlier. And, for such a prolific artist, he drove himself even further to leave as many examples of his distinct worldview as possible in the archives.

    ‘Until The End Of Time’ announces itself as another double album of previously unreleased tunes, the fourth, after a life cut short by that fateful Las Vegas shooting in September 1996. And it’s in some ways a mixed bag, not being as subject to heavy quality control as recordings released in his lifetime, but remains instructive even after all that. Mostly committed to tape, as it would seem, around the time of an escalation in the feud with Notorious B.I.G., several songs here are companion pieces to the controversial ‘Hit ‘Em Up’ and the posthumous ‘Makaveli’ album.


    And yet again, to reduce 2Pac’s career to a series of confrontations would be disingenuous. The scion of a Black Panther and a man of many contradictions, his main thrust was still to shed light on lives lived in America’s many concrete projects by African Americans systematically blighted by various psychoses, drugs, rivalries and the heavy psychological legacy of past history. 2Pac tells of how they cope, how he copes, how he reacts, how they react, what he advocates and the lengths everyone is driven to, to not only survive, but claw back some sustenance from an American Dream revealed to be an American Illusion.

    Check ‘Everything They Owe’, an indirect call for reparations; the pessimistic but realist title track; and even ‘When I Get Free’ (which dates from his jail sentence) and one picture forms. Browse through ‘Let ‘Em Have It’, ‘Niggaz Nature’ and the lascivious ‘Thug N U, Thug N Me’ and a more sexual element is conjured up. Listen closely to the self explanatory ‘Letter 2 My Unborn’, ‘Words 2 My First Born’ and the celebratory ‘Lil’ Homies’ and his concern for the ghetto youth, especially those from broken homes, is evident.


    So, even the fact that these 29 tracks, including 3 remixes, have sometimes been re-produced, re-jigged and finely honed production-wise doesn’t diminish the original effort involved. And despite the sometimes repetitive formula of the rap-flow, there’s still a large jigsaw (of a life) to be unravelled here. Plus, unbelievably, Death Row Records threaten even more posthumous releases.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 01-06-2018 at 11:13 AM.

  13. #43
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    Tupac Shakur was one of the most dynamic, influential and self-destructive pop stars of the Nineties. The rapper's husky voice described his stark contradictions, setting misogyny against praise of strong women, hard-won wisdom against the violence of the "thug life" — words he had tattooed across his torso. The critical and commercial successes of his music (as well as his modest achievements as an actor) were continually overshadowed by his legal and personal entanglements. In Tupac's world, art and reality became tragically blurred, culminating with his 1996 murder in Las Vegas.

    Shakur was the son of Black Panther Party members Billy Garland and Afeni Shakur (Shakur is Arabic for "thankful to God"), who was in jail (and later acquitted) on bombing charges while pregnant with him. Sometime after his birth, he was named Tupac Amaru, for an Incan chief whose name translates as "shining serpent."

    Shakur spent his earliest years in the Bronx and Harlem, and at age 13 made his acting debut in a production of A Raisin in the Sun at an Apollo Theatre benefit for Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign. He spent the rest of his childhood moving around the country with his mother. He attended the Baltimore School of the Arts before dropping out and settling, at the age of 17, in Marin County, California.

    The rapper then successfully auditioned to become a dancer and roadie for the rap group Digital Underground and simultaneously worked relentlessly on his own material. He appeared on that group's This Is an E.P. Release EP (1990) and Sons of the P (1991). In 1991 he signed with Interscope and released the album 2pacalypse Now (Number 64 pop, Number 13 R&B, 1992), a musical mixture of inner-city portraiture and messages of racial strength. An underground hit, the album spawned the single "Brenda's Got a Baby" (Number 23 R&B).

    Shakur also became a successful actor in the early 1990s, appearing in Ernest Dickerson's Juice (1992) and Above the Rim (1994), and giving a critically acclaimed performance opposite Janet Jackson in John Singleton's Poetic Justice (1993). Despite a promising start and wide praise for his performances, the rest of his film work was far less acclaimed; he ended his acting career as James Belushi's sidekick in the mostly ignored Gang Related.

    Shakur's second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (Number 24 pop, Number 4 R&B, 1993), yielded the hits "I Get Around" (Number 11 pop, Number 5 R&B, 1993) and "Keep Ya Head Up" (Number 12 pop, Number 7 R&B, 1993). He also released an album as part of the short-lived Thug Life group in 1994.

    Even longer than Shakur's hit list, though, was his police blotter. In 1992 the rapper was arrested after a six-year-old California boy was killed by a stray bullet discharged during a scuffle between Shakur and two others. (A lawsuit filed by the boy's family was later settled out of court.) He was then charged in Atlanta with shooting two off-duty police officers in October 1993. Charges in both cases were dismissed. The following month Shakur and two members of his entourage were charged with sexual abuse following an incident in a New York luxury hotel.

    In early 1994 he was found guilty of assault on Menace II Society codirector Allen Hughes and served 15 days in jail. By the end of the year, the rapper was found guilty of the sexual assault only a day after being shot by muggers in the lobby of a New York recording studio. He was later sentenced to one and half to four and a half years in prison. While his 1995 album Me Against the World (Number 1 pop, Number 1 R&B) headed to the top of the charts, Shakur headed for prison. Shakur became the first artist to reach Number 1 on the Billboard charts while serving a prison sentence. The hit single "Dear Mama" (Number Nine pop, Number Three R&B) suggested a depth of feeling that led some critics to reassess the rapper and his work.

    By now Shakur was a lightning rod for a highly publicized West Coast vs. East Coast hip-hop feud. Shakur was released after serving just eight months of his sentence, the result of a parole arrangement and a $1.4 million bond paid by Death Row label CEO Marion "Suge" Knight. The rapper signed with Death Row in late 1995, soon releasing the dark, two-disc All Eyez on Me (Number 1 pop, Number 1 R&B, 1996). On the album, Shakur attacked his enemies with furious threats of violence, while speaking of his own early death as inevitable. The album also included "How Do You Want It" (Number 1 pop, Number 1 R&B), "California Love" (Number 6 pop) (with Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman), and "Hit 'Em Up," on which Shakur claimed to have slept with the Notorious B.I.G.'s wife, singer Faith Evans.



    Then, on September 7, Shakur was shot near the Las Vegas Strip while riding in the passenger seat of Knight's BMW. The shooting came about two hours after a scuffle that involved Shakur and Knight in the lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel (an incident that ultimately led to Knight, 31, being handed a nine-year prison sentence for violating his parole). Six days later Shakur died from his injuries. He was 25. No arrests were ever made. In addition, despite calls within the hip-hop community to halt the violence, the Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a similar fashion six months later. No murder charges have been filed in either murder.

    Like Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix before him, Shakur was soon the subject of a flood of posthumous album releases (and rumors suggesting that he faked his death). The first release was The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (Number One pop, Number One R&B, 1996), released under the pseudonym Makaveli. It was followed by R U Still Down? (Remember Me) (Number Two pop, Number 1 R&B, 1997), released on Amaru/Jive, an imprint headed by his mother.

    In 1997 his estate began a war of lawsuits against Death Row, complaining of $150 million in unpaid royalties, demanding the return of more than 150 unreleased master recordings, and a voiding of the rapper's contract with the label. A 1998 settlement awarded the tapes to Shakur's estate, which sanctioned the release that year of Greatest Hits (Number Three pop, Number One R&B); it includes "Unconditional Love" (Number 73 R&B, 1998) and "Changes" (Number 32 pop, Number 12 R&B, 1999). "Do for Love" (Number 21 pop, Number 10 R&B, 1998) appears on R U Still Down? In 2001 the fourth posthumous collection, Until the End of Time, debuted at Number 1.

    With 2002 came another subpar collection, Better Dayz, a guest-filled affair that combined leftover verses and remixes from Shakur's "Makaveli" period. The collection did spawn one hit single, "Thugz Mansion" with Nas and J. Phoenix, and fans' insatiable appetite for unreleased Tupac material helped Better Dayz reach double platinum status. The soundtrack to the documentary Tupac Resurrection followed in 2003, with producers like Eminem and Johnny "J" remixing tracks from throughout Tupac's career. Eminem's production also served as the backbone for 2004's Loyal to the Game, a collection of unreleased Tupac verses combined with guest spots from the likes of Elton John, G-Unit and Slim Shady himself. Loyal to the Game topped the Billboard Top 200 upon its release.

    To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Shakur's death, 2006's Pac's Life fused 13 more unreleased Shakur recordings with top notch production from Swizz Beatz and Sha Money LX. T.I. and Ashanti contributed to the album's most notable single, "Pac's Life," while Tupac admirers like Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and Chamillionaire also appear. The two-part greatest hits collection Best of 2Pac followed in 2007 with a minimal chart impact. In 2008, the rights Death Row's master tapes were sold to new ownership, and with it another batch of unreleased Tupac recordings were unearthed, all but ensuring more posthumous releases in the new decade.

    Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001). Daniel Kreps contributed to this story.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 01-22-2018 at 07:17 AM.

  14. #44
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    How do you feel after everything you¹ve been through these past few weeks?

    Well, the first two days [after the shooting] I had to go through what
    life is like when you¹ve been smoking weed for as long as I have and then
    you stop. Emotionally, it was like I didn¹t know myself.



    I was sitting in
    a room, like there was two people in the room, evil and good. That was the
    hardest part. After the first two days, the weed was out of me. I made up
    my mind I wasnt going to smoke any more.



    That¹s when I started finding a
    little peace in myself and I started figuring out what was going on. Then
    every day I started doing like a thousand pushups for myself and reading.
    I was reading whole books in one day, and writing, and that was putting me
    in a peace of mind. Then I started seeing my situation and what got me
    here. Even though I¹m innocent of the charge they gave me, I¹m not
    innocent in terms of the way I was acting.

    Could you tell me specifically what you mean?

    I mean Im just as guilty for not doing nothing as I am for doing things,
    you know what I¹m saying? Not with this case, but just in my life, my
    career. I feel like I had a job to do and I never showed up. I was coming
    late, if I did show up. I was so scared of this responsibility that I was
    supposed to hold, that

    I was running away from it. But what I see now is
    that whether I show up for work or not, the evil forces are going to be at
    me. There¹s going to be people that still know what I¹m capable of doing,
    and they want to see me fall. They’re going to come 100 percent, so if I
    don¹t be 100 percent pure-hearted, I¹m going to lose. And that¹s why I¹m
    losing.

    The writer bell hooks says you have a legacy that most rappers don¹t. You
    can listen to an Ice-T or an Ice Cube, but they don¹t connect to the
    political movement like you do. Is that what you¹re talking about?

    Yes. I never was a gangster rapper. When I got in here, all the prisoners
    was like ³Fuck that gangsta rapper.² I¹m not a gangsta rapper. I rap about
    things that was really happening to me. I got shot five times, you know
    what I¹m saying? People was trying to kill me. It was really real like
    that. But, as far as the legacy,

    I don¹t see myself being special, I just
    see myself having more responsibilities than the next man does. My job is
    not from nine to five, it¹s 24-7. People look to me to do things for them,
    look to me to have answers. I wasn¹t having them because my brain was half
    dead from smoking so much weed. I was trying to numb myself out.

    I¹m not trying to tell everybody put down the weed. Some people can smoke
    weed; I couldn¹t. I was totally gone. It was like recovery for me when I
    got in here, like being in my own 12-step program. I had to face my own
    demons; I had to face everything about myself that I didn¹t like. Now I
    love myself again. I felt like I was in jail when I was out of here. I¹d
    be in my hotel room, smoking too much weed, drinking, going to clubs, just
    being numb. That was being in jail to me. I wasn¹t happy at all on the
    streets. Nobody could say they saw me happy.

    When I spoke to you a year ago, you said that if you ended up in jail,
    your spirit would die. You sound like you¹re saying the opposite now.

    Because that was the addict speaking. The addict knew if I went to jail,
    then it couldn¹t live. The addict in Tupac is dead. The excuse-maker in
    Tupac is dead. The irresponsible person in Tupac is dead. The vengeful
    Tupac is dead.

    The Tupac that would stand by and let dishonorable things
    happen is dead. God let me live for me to do something extremely
    extraordinary, you know what I¹m saying? and that¹s what I have to do. I
    can¹t slack off. Even if they give me the maximum sentence, that¹s still
    my job.

    Can you take us back to that night at Quad Studios?

    The night of the shooting? Sure.

    Try to tell us everything that was going through your head, as someone
    who¹s lived through being shot.

    Okay. Ron-G is a DJ out here in New York. He¹s like, ³Pac, I want you to
    come to my house and lay this rap down for my tapes. You¹ll be
    representing woop-de-woop.² I said, ³All right, I¹ll come for free. I¹ll
    be down there.² So I went to his house, me and my homeboy Stretch.

    You went up to the Polo Grounds?

    me, Stretch, and a couple other homeboys. After I laid the song, Then I
    got a page from this guy Jimmy telling me he wanted me to rap on Little
    Shaun¹s record. He¹s Little Shaun¹s manager, and he¹d been asking me for a while to rap on this record because it¹s going to be a song with me and
    Notorious B.I.G. on Bad Boy Records and all this.

    He said ³we need you.²
    Now this guy I was going to charge, because I had no connections with him.
    I could see that they was just using me out of the blue they wanted me to
    do this song.

    So, I said, ³All right, you give me seven Gs and I¹ll do the
    song.² So He said, ³All right, I¹ve got the money. Come.² When I got
    finished with Ron-G Jimmy paged, like, ³You¹re on your way?² I said, ³Yes,
    I¹m on my way.²

    I stopped off to get some weed, smoked the weed, and he
    paged me again. ³Where you at? Where you at? Where you at? Why you ain¹t
    coming?² I¹m like, ³I¹m coming, Man, I¹m on my way, hold on.² I wasn¹t
    thinking, Why they want me here so bad?

    We got lost looking for the studio in Manhattan. And I called him like,
    ³Where the hell is the studio?² Jimmy said, ³Where you at?² I told him
    where we were at, which is right around the corner. He was like, ³How long
    is it going to take you?² I was like, ³Five minutes. We¹ll be there in
    five minutes.²

    How did you meet Jimmy?

    I met Jimmy through some other rough characters that I knew. I knew he was
    from the streets, and he was trying to get legitimate and all that, so I
    thought I was doing him a favor. But now when I called him back for
    directions, he was like, ³I don¹t have the money.² I said, ³If you don¹t
    have the money, I¹m not coming.²

    And He hung up the phone then called me
    back. He said, ³I¹m going to give you the money out of my pocket. I¹m
    going to call [Uptown Records CEO] Andre Harrell and make sure you get the
    money, but I¹m going to give you the money out of my pocket.² So I said,
    ³All right, I¹m on my way.² We parked the car in the garage, and as we¹re
    walking up to the building, somebody screamed from up the top of the
    studio.

    It was Little Caesar, he¹s like Biggie¹s side man. That¹s my
    homeboy, I¹ve been knowing him since before Biggie came out. So I was
    like, ³What¹s up, yo.² He said, ³I¹m coming downstairs, I¹m coming
    downstairs. I¹m gonna kick it with my man Pac.² As soon as I saw him, all
    my inhibitions about this could be a setup was relaxed. Because I was
    like, ³Oh, Biggie must be here. All of them is here.²



    Then I noticed that Stretch was looking down, he wasn¹t angry. My
    cousin‹my sister¹s boyfriend Zane, I keep calling him my cousin because
    it¹s love like that‹he was more upset than anybody there. He was like,
    ³Yo! There¹s going to be a problem up here!² And I was calming him down. I noticed that Andre Harrell wouldn¹t look me in my eyes.

    He wasn¹t affected. And I had been going to dinner with him these last couple of
    days. He had been inviting me to the set of New York Undercover, telling
    me he was going to get me a job there.

    Everybody was like real standoff-ish. Puffy was standing back. I knew Puffy. He knew how much stuff I had done for Biggie before he came out. Biggie was claiming Thug
    Life before he came out. But when his record came out, he claimed Junior
    Mafia, he just forgot.

    He still showed me love, but it wasn¹t the same.
    And When I was with Biggie, he was like, ³**** New York. **** Brooklyn.
    I¹m going to come to the West coast, I¹m going to be with Thug Life. Puffy
    isn¹t doing **** for me. ******s aren¹t looking out for me. I¹m down with
    Tupac. You¹re true to this ****.²

    And then all of sudden, he was all about
    New York. I was hurt by that, but at the party he showed me love, so I
    forgot about it.

    But then I¹m up there, Puffy was standing still and
    nobody approached me. Andre Harrell, when I was looking him in his eyes,
    he would turn his head away.

    People saw blood on you but no one said anything?

    Nobody. Then they started telling me, ³Your head! Your head is bleeding.²
    And then I started feeling my head.

    But I thought it was just a pistol
    whip. I still didn¹t know I had got shot in the head. I still didn¹t
    believe it. Then the ambulance came, and they took off my pants. My pants
    had the keys to my girlfriend¹s house, a 100 dollar bill that they didn¹t
    take, and my wallet with a lot of information, credit cards, everything. I
    gave my pants to Stretch.

    Then the Police came. First cop I looked up to
    see was the cop that took the stand against me in the rape charge. He had
    like a half-smile on his face, and he could see that the ambulance is
    looking at my balls, and he said, ³What¹s up Tupac? How¹s it hanging?² And
    I was like, ³Oh, ****.² “
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 02-17-2018 at 04:47 AM.

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    We had a show to do in New Jersey at Club 88. This dude said, ³I¹ll be
    there with a limo to pick you up at midnight.²

    Jack and them was all going
    to come. We went shopping, we got dressed up, we were all ready. Jack was
    saying, ³Why don¹t you give Ianna a call.² I had given Ianna Jack¹s
    Skypager number, because she kept calling and leaving messages on my
    machine. I said, ³Call them, they¹re my road managers.² That¹s what I used
    to call them. All they wanted was for me to act like they was my road
    managers. I said, ³Call Jack. If he says it¹s cool, I¹ll see you again.²

    So we were all sitting in the hotel drinking‹me, Jack, everybody. Biggie
    and them are on their way. Stretch is on his way. Biggie had already been
    in my hotel room. ******s had been in my hotel room. ******s had left all
    types of weapons in my hotel room, and they were like, ³I¹ll be back to
    get them when we go to Club 88.² So I¹m waiting for the show, I swear on
    everything I love, may God be my witness, I wasn¹t even thinking about
    this chick no more. I had never done a show in New Jersey and I was hot in
    New York. I was like, this is going to be the night. Hella females, I¹ve
    got Biggie with me, the whole crew, it¹s going to be on. Jack was like, ³I
    called her. I mean she called me and she¹s on her way.² And I was like,
    Who?

    ³Ianna. She¹s coming here tonight.² I wasn¹t thinking about her no second
    time. We were sitting there watching TV, the phone rings, and she¹s
    downstairs. Jack gave Man-man, Charles Fuller, some money to pay for the
    cab, and I was like, ³Let that ***** pay for her own cab.² She came
    upstairs looking all nice, she was dressed all provocative and ****, like
    she was ready for a prom date. All the ******s was in there when she
    walked in the room. She gave Jack and Rick a hug, talked all nice to
    everybody.

    So you’re saying everyone from your past is cut off?

    Except Treach, [designer] April Walker, a few people. The ones that stay
    true to me now. And if they my friends, then please don¹t let them get
    upset. If they my friends, stay my friends. But like Karl Kani, I did
    their whole photo shoot for him, I didn¹t ask for no money. I said, ³Karl,
    all I want is the clothes. When you get the clothes, send them to me.² He
    didn¹t send me ****. He sent me **** from three seasons ago. I had to go
    to the store and buy them, you know what I¹m saying?

    What are your plans after prison?

    I¹m going to team up with Tyson when we get out. Team up with Monster Cody
    from California. I¹m going to start organization called Us First. I¹m
    going to save these young ******s because nobody else want to save them.
    Nobody ever came to save me. They just watch what happen to you. That¹s
    why Thug Life to me is dead. If it¹s real, then let somebody else
    represent it, because I¹m tired of it. I represented it too much. I was
    Thug Life. I was the only ****** out there putting my life on the line and
    doing it. Just like in here.

    I got into this big beef with this ****** because he wanted to see the
    captain. He called her a *****, talking about he gonna kill her. I¹m about
    to set it off on this ******. And all the black dudes in here was
    defending me. They was ready.




    The first night I got to Riker¹s Island, they put me in dorm two and I was
    supposed to protected in here, right?



    I¹m surrounded by ******s. Then
    there was a blackout and all the guards ran into a little bubble. They
    left me in there by myself. When the lights came back on, this ****** in
    here doing a hundred and forty years walked up to me, showed me his shank,
    said, ³I did not like you when you came in here. I was going to kill you.
    But after I heard you talk, I got love for you.² They wanted me to die.
    That¹s what this whole **** is about, for me to come in here and get hit.

    Has anybody else been there for you?

    Since I¹ve been in here I got about forty letters, you know. I got little
    girls sending me money. Everybody telling me that God is with me. People
    telling me they hate the dudes that shot me, they¹re going to pray for me.
    But I did get one letter, this dude telling me he wished I was dead. But
    then I got people looking out for me, like Jada Pinkett, Jasmine Guy,
    Treach, Mickey Rourke. My label, Interscope Records, has been extremely
    supportive. Even Madonna.

    Yeah, can you talk about your relationship with Madonna and Mickey Rourke?

    I learned too late, but I was letting people dictate who should be my
    friends. I felt like because I was this big, Black Panther type of ******,
    I couldn¹t be friends with Madonna. And so I dissed her, even though she
    showed me nothing but love. It wasn¹t like sexual, it was just friendly. I
    felt bad because when I went to jail I called her and she was the only
    person that was willing to help me. Of that stature. Same thing with
    Mickey Rourke, he just befriended me.

    Not like black and white, just like
    friend to friend. And he¹s a grown man, so I felt embarrassed and I just
    want to apologize formally to Madonna and Mickey Rourke. And from now on
    it¹s not going to be a strictly black thing with me. I even apologized to
    Quincy Jones about all the stuff I said about him. I¹m apologizing to the
    Hughes BrothersŠ but not John Singleton. He¹s inspiring me to write screen
    plays because I want to be his competition. He lied, he stole my idea for Higher Learning.
    Last edited by LesaneParishCrookz; 02-17-2018 at 04:53 AM.

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