We’re nearly two weeks away from the release of one of 2017’s most-anticipated films, All Eyez On Me. The biopic was created in the name of Tupac Shakur, an artist/actor who was murdered in Las Vegas on Sept. 13, 1996. The “Ghetto Gospel” rapper continues to inspire those who aim to follow in his footsteps.
Although early screenings of the movie have received praise from fellow entertainers like Snoop Dogg, The Game and Diddy, one person who had a friendship with the “Dear Mama” rapper spoke candidly about his criticism of the film’s backers. As highlighted by The Root, John Singleton posted a lengthy explanation on Instagram on why he decided to step away from helming the biopic.
Real talk! The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur. I won’t say much if you want you can read my articles in Hollywood Reporter on authenticity in Black Storytelling … To Pac’s real fans just know I am still planning a movie on Tupac … It doesn’t matter what they do mines will be better… Tupac was much more than a hip hop artist … He was a black man guided by his passions … Of most importance was his love of black people and culture … Something the people involved in this movie know nothing about… Real talk! How you gonna make a movie about a man when you suing his mother to get the rights to tell his story?! They have no true love 4 Pac so this movie will not be made with love! And that’s why my ass isn’t involved ! If Tupac knew what was going on he’d ride on all these fools and take it to the streets… But I won’t do that … I’ll just make my own project. What Yall think about that?!!
Now, the biopic’s director, Benny Boom, broke his silence on Singleton’s opposition in an interview with GQ. “I know John, and this is the first time I’m speaking about it publicly. But I feel like we have brothers who you think are supposed to support, and they don’t support,” he said. “The community we have of directors of color is very small. I’m not saying you’re supposed to go out and cheerlead for everybody. But there needs to be support. And support sometimes just means not saying anything. I would never take shots at my brother. I’m not gonna do that because I know how detrimental it is, especially to someone who laid the groundwork and opened up doors. I respect John for that. John was nominated for an Academy Award as director, for screenplay and director. Brother [Barry] Jenkins won Best Picture, but we still don’t have the Best Director win.”
Boom also expressed his disappointment with Singleton’s early criticism and added that even Tupac had his rift with the Boyz N The Hood creator. “But Tupac was not happy with every single person he came in contact with by the end of his life, and we know this,” Boom said. “The Hughes brothers, John. There’s several people out there who he spoke openly about not being friends with.”
Although Boom said he never met Tupac, he feels leading the reel from a fan’s perspective was necessary.
“I think me knowing him and respecting him as a fan from the outside made me the person that was needed to make this movie,” he said. “[Some of] the directors involved in the project had intimate relationships with Pac. They knew Pac, they were friends with him, or had worked with him before. There was a lot of stuff that would not have made it such a clean slate and the objective approach to filmmaking we’re able to do here. I think the historical importance of Tupac is a hard story to tell, and needed to be guided by somebody who had his best interest at heart in the storytelling, and not be self-serving in any way, shape, or form.”
Ahead of the film’s release on June 16, view the trailer below.