I can’t be the only one who saw the comments on social media. If I’m honest I must admit I agreed. After seeing the trailer for All Eyez On Me to be quite frank, we weren’t impressed. Maybe because it was Tupac. TUPAC. I emphasize his name, because sometimes the world of cinema has a way of producing extremely TERRIBLE biopics for the celebrities we cherish the most. From Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B to Whitney, we realized these production companies weren’t loyal and desperately waited for someone to get it right (shout out to B.E.T. for The New Edition Story). Welp, it’s safe to say you can’t judge a movie by it’s trailer (see what I did there?), because All Eyez On Me was phenomenal. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Here are 5 reasons why:
- It was directed by a Black man, Benny Boom. That statement says A LOT. I can’t imagine a Black man doing an injustice to the story of Tupac, just like I can’t fathom a Black woman creating a crappy Oprah biopic. Besides Boom was once a rapper, but now has a career as a director and producer. It’s also clear that Boom was a die-hard fan of Pac’s and wanted to tell the good, bad, and ugly of Tupac’s life. Benny did it for the culture and did it right.
- It was released on Tupac’s 46th Birthday. Tupac would have been 46 years old today. This project started in 2011. They could have rushed production to release it by his 40th or 45th birthday, but they took their time. Being “first” is irrelevant. It’s about being the best. Six years was worth the wait and a perfect way to celebrate what would have been Shakur’s 46th birthday.
- Casting. Demetrius Shipp Jr. was BORN to play the role of Tupac. Look at the resemblance. Scary! Rumor has it that Shipp’s father worked with Tupac on his album The Don Killuminati for the song “Toss It Up”. I’m THISCLOSE to starting another rumor that Shipp’s father worked with Tupac’s mother Afeni on the creation of Tupac, because MY GOD, a doppelgänger doesn’t get as perfect as this. The casting for the entire cast was phenomenal as well. Danai Gurira captured the spirit of Afeni Shakur and brought her to life. Annie Ilonzeh was casted for the role of Tupac’s fiancé, Kidada Jones. After googling pictures of Jones, I’m sure Ilonzeh was born to play the role of Kidada as well. Meanwhile everyone in the theater kept saying Jarrett Ellis (Snoop Dogg) voice imitation of Snoop HAD to be a voiceover, because it sounded JUST like him. Yes, I was in a theater full of Black people who talked through the entire movie. Best subtitles ever. They also casted Jamal Woolard for the role of Biggie which was perfect, because Woolard played Biggie in the NOTORIOUS film (2009) which was great for consistency. Just perfect.
- They had the rights to Tupac’s music. Deborah Cox ain’t never did nothing to me, so I’m gonna say this as loving as I can: She should have NEVER tried to sing Whitney’s music for Lifetime’s original film Whitney. Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t you agree that the best thing about a Whitney Houston biopic would be Whitney Houston’s music?!?! Not Whitty Huton. Hearing Pac’s voice mad All Eyez On Me come alive even more and even caused me to shed a tear or two. #ThugLife
- Details. Myleik Teele says “Details make the difference” and boy was she right. It’s the little things that create perfection. The wardrobe. Was that the same COOGI sweater Suge Knight wore in Vegas the night Tupac was murdered? Re-enacted footage mirrored actual footage. The lingo. The set designs. EVERYTHING made sense and brought back memories, which is what a biopic should do.
A few thoughts:
- Suge Knight is a bad person.
- Afeni and Tupac Shakur should be in our history books along with Dr. King and Malcolm X. It only makes sense.
- It’s been over 20 years since the death of Tupac and a suspect has never been arrested for the murder. Crazy.
- I wish the East Coast vs. West Coast beef in rap music NEVER happened.
Now that that’s off my chest All Eyez On Me is in theaters TODAY! Go check it out and be sure to let me know your thoughts.
“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?” -Tupac Shakur