When the name Tupac Shakur is uttered many words may come to mind such as “poet”, “rapper”, “militant”, “thug life” and “activist”, but there is much more to the slain artist that so many around the globe have come to know and love.
This is why individuals such as director Benny Boom, producer L.T. Hutton and countless actors, background artists and the like have come together to create a film tribute in the ever thriving city of Atlanta.
All eyez on screen: In the new Hollywood of the South
All Eyez On Me is scheduled to be released on June 16, which would have been Shakur’s 46th birthday. The film features a star-studded cast of actors, some of which are familiar with the Atlanta scene. The film stars up-and-coming actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Shakur, The Vampire Diaries’ Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett and The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira as Afeni Shakur, the mother of the rapper and a historical icon in her own right.
Much of the film was shot on location in places that people in the metro-Atlanta communities eat, play and work at every day. For example, that iconic House of Blues concert, which was Shakur’s last live recorded performance on July 4th, 1996, was replicated in February 2016 in the Six Flags Atlanta area. Other scenes, such as classroom scenes, were filmed in the Atlantic Station neighborhood.
These shoots and various casting calls allowed Atlanta’s citizens to relive one of the most memorable decades of all time while celebrating one of “the greatest artists of all time”, in the words of The Rolling Stone magazine.
The anticipation: The legend, his life and the silver screen
Now that the film is in post-production and is a few days away from its much-anticipated release, there is a lot of promotion and advertising around town. As intended, the film will give viewers an in-depth look into the life and career of Shakur that is beyond skin deep.
Audiences will be allowed to see the profound, political and intellectual side of the artist. The film will also re-enact Tupac’s life, popular music videos and tracks as well as his early beginnings growing up as the son of Afeni Shakur, a paralegal and leader in the New York chapter of the Black Panther movement of the 1960’s.
Friday, June 16th audiences everywhere will be able to relive another page of musical history, while taking part in cinema homage to an individual who revolutionized the genre of hip hop and the global community as we know it.