This was me on my 21st birthday in October, 1997. I got my outfit from Deb in Lincoln Mall and those frankenstein shoes probably came from Bakers. Don’t judge me, only God can, I wanted to be taller. This picture was taken 20 years ago – look at that chair and the hazel contacts. Chile, bye, you couldn’t tell me NOTHING! I was ready to take on the world, change him and determined not to end up like Brenda, with a baby. As you can tell from the pictures in the background I was a fan and loved Tupac even after his untimely demise in 1996. I’m so glad I was saved from myself. This young lady didn’t like bras, had a thing for rough necks and I wanted TuPac even though – He Got Around. At that age I was always searching for fun and all he needed to ask was – How Do You Want It? My love for Tupac and his music, to this day, has not changed.
I was so excited to see the highly anticipated and controversial biopic about my childhood boo, Tupac Shakur. Since his critically acclaimed debut with Digital Underground, I have been a fan. Upon entering the movie theatre I was ecstatic to say the least. Ambitionz as a Ridah was one of my favorite songs, by my favorite rapper and my love interest. I got our tickets for the early screening because I am a movie snob. I don’t like people talking or laughing to long or loud because you can miss an important piece. Who knew this movie would bring back so many dope memories.
All Eyez on Me was not an autobiography so I didn’t expect to learn anything new or extra about him. It showed the struggle of a fatherless, young black male approximately 20 years ago and unfortunately the same struggles exist in some men today. He was born Against All Odds to a fighter, revolutionary Mom, Afeni Shakur, who later turned to cocaine to deal with her own demons. He became 1 of Americaz Most Wanted due to his explicit lyrical content, Mom’s history as a black panther and constant run ins being an Outlaw(Z). What the movie, All Eyez on Me, did was confirmed what I believed about Tupac, that he was in a battle with himself – the highly intellectual side v. the Thug Life. In one instant his knowledge would teach the importance of our rights and history – in another his judgment often glorified violence against our own. Despite being thrust into fame, money and having an affinity for women, I often felt, in his pictures, there was a sadness behind his eyes. I believe he rapped his own death into existence – I’ve been trapped since birth, cautious, cause I’m cursed, and fantasies of my family, in a hearse (Only God Can Judge Me). The movie highlighted his many struggles that played out in the media whom he stated “are full of dirty tricks ” and LT Hutton placed it on big screen.
I firmly believe there is good and bad in each of us, it’s simply a matter of choosing which version of yourself you choose to feed. The 40 year old woman today is thankful for grace, favor and wisdom. She knows the single most important person she can change is herself. After seeing the movie, it reminded me of why I couldn’t marry or raise a family with Tupac. Though I still have an affinity for bald, intelligent men that are a little rough around the edges I prefer them more reserved like Common. (Hey boo!)
Overall, I enjoyed All Eyez on Me, it was filled with actors of all shades of melanin, which means plenty of people got a check. For LT Hutton I say, “job well done!” This movie may not have been exactly how others saw Tupac, but it was a much needed mental vacation for me back down memory lane. With the current climate of our society and culture, he didn’t want to further perpetuate the negativity and stereotypes. Tupac was not afraid to push limits, in an interview he stated, ” I may not change the world, but I will spark the brain that will.” We live in a society where people tend to overshare, I enjoyed the fact that some things were simply off limits and none of our business. The truth of the matter is we will never really know what goes on in the Hearts of Men!