2Pac revealed he had plans to step away from music just months before he was killed. During an unearthed interview with Entertainment Tonight to promote his movie Gridlock’d, Pac shared insights about his future in Hip-Hop, explaining that he wanted to double down on his acting career to salvage his then-controversial image.
As he continued, the rap icon spoke about his desire to star in a romantic comedy and even create his own film production company.
“To have change in my image, really, number one,” he said speaking about auditioning for Gridlock’d. “This movie is really about friendship and what unconditional friendship means. I did it basically because it was funny, and I’ve never really got to be funny.”
“We got a lot of good things happening. If I say it right now, the way my luck has been going, it’ll all fall through. Just give me a month so I can lock it down before I tell everybody. I just want to push the envelope and work, work, work. I want to move further away from the music and start wading myself into the acting more.”
Shakur also spoke about his final music plans before leaving it altogether. Around the time of the interview, the Outlawz founder’s final studio LP, All Eyez On Me, had just been released, and he admitted that it was driven by heightened “emotions.”
He explained that he wanted to develop into crafting more “thought-provoking” rhymes before stepping away, and being involved in cinema would help nurture that creative decision.
“The album that’s out now is just my emotions, it’s emotional, but it’s not thought-provoking. So I want to do some thought-provoking work with my music, and I can do that if I’m working in the films because I grow and learn more things and have more to talk about.
“If you in jail and you getting chased by the police, it’s like I haven’t gone anywhere from the block because I’m still talking about the same things, so the music reflects that. First, I gotta move out of the environment, and then I have other things to write about.”
As the interview continued, the “I Get Around” artist spoke about the inspiration to go beyond his artistic limits. He began articulating a desire to “go outside the boundaries” and grow into someone not pinned down by expectations.
“People can tell you, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that.’ But my whole mind state is: if we don’t ever go outside of the boundaries, we will never change anything, we will never begin anything, we will never start anything,” the legendary artist argued. “We’ll just keep talking about the people who did it once and told us not to go outside the boundaries. That’s just like telling Christopher Columbus that the world is flat.
“I’m doing the same thing. They’re telling me, ‘You can’t do this, you can only rap. And if you rap, you can only rap about this. You can’t act, and if you act, you can only do the Black films. You can’t be an artist or a celebrity and go out still. You can’t be an artist and still have fun and still be true.’..I don’t like that, so I try to go outside the boundaries — sometimes it’s effective and positive; sometimes it’s negative and it blows up in my face.”
Unfortunately, the man wouldn’t live long enough to see his vision fully realized. Months after the interview was conducted, Tupac Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by in Las Vegas after the historic Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon exhibition. Six days later, he died on Sept. 13, 1996 at 25 years old.