Lionsgate Films just snagged the rights to an upcoming biopic based on the life of the Tupac Shakur. Titled All Eyez on Me, after his 1996 album of the same name, the film’s release date is set for June 16th, which is perfect, as it happens to be the birthday of the late rapper himself. Naturally, the film will follow the life and times of Shakur. The movie is being directed by Benny Boom and produced by Morgan Creek Productions and will be starred by Demetrius Shipp Jr., Kat Graham, Jamie Hector, Grace Gibson, Jamal Woolard, Dominic L. Santana, and Lauren Cohan (not gonna lie; didn’t expect Maggie from The Walking Dead to be in this).
Though starting from humble beginnings as a New York MC and occasional backup dancer, the future Death Row Records artist later came to be known worldwide as one of the great legends of the hip-hop world, still revered by the music community to this day. His career ended along with his life however. At the height of his fame, Shakur had frequently been involved in an ongoing feud between East and West Coast rappers. That feud came to a head on September 13th, 1996, when Shakur was fatally shot while driving from a Las Vegas hotel with frequent collaborator Suge Knight. Six days later he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead, but his legacy lived on. Even after his untimely death, Tupac Shakur has managed to sell over 75 million copies worldwide. Not bad for a man currently living it up in that thug mansion in the sky (Don’t get the reference? Look up Thug Mansion and listen to it, it’s a great song).
The release of this film is timely given that Tupac is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April of this year, one of only six hip-hop artists to ever be granted the honor. I’ll be keeping that in mind when I go check out All Eyez on Me this June 16th.