September 13th, 2016
A new trailer for All Eyez on Me is out today, the 20th anniversary of the death of the film’s subject, rapper Tupac Shakur.
It shows Shakur experiencing police brutality, spending time in jail, and experiencing tumultuous relationships with women—including with his now-late mother, a former Black Panther who was in jail herself while pregnant with Shakur.
“Like all black leaders, you have a bullseye on your back,” Afeni warns her son in the trailer. “They are going to give you the tools you need to destroy yourself.”
Drugs played a haunting role throughout Shakur’s too-short life; he died from gunshot wounds in 1996, aged 25. His mother, who raised him while in and out of homeless shelters, became addicted to crack when he was a teenager. He left home, and began selling crack himself. “Hung around with the thugs,” he’d record later. “And even though they sold drugs / They showed a young brother love.”
He stopped, though—allegedly when he heard that a fellow dealer had sold to his mom.
Shakur was pained by his mother’s relationship with drugs, but simultaneously devoted to her; in his song “Dear Mama,” he sang that she “even as a crack fiend always was a black queen.” He funded a chain of day-care centers to help mothers like his own.
But drugs, and the War on Drugs and against the black community, followed him. His mother’s boyfriend, who had long been a father-figure to him died in prison at age 41, from a “crack-induced heart attack.”
And in 2010, years after his death, his mother was charged with felony possession of marijuana. She died just this past May.
The movie comes out November 11; here’s the trailer: