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Old School Archives

Revisit Tupac Shakur's 'lost' prison interview

Tupac Shakur was forced to reflect in 1995 when he was found guilty of sexual abuse, a crime which the rapper denied throughout his life despite the unanimous verdict. It even led to some conspiracy theories around the rapper. Below, we get to see Pac in a compromise position as he opens up about the pitfalls of the prison system.

Pac was at the height of his fame before entering prison and looked like he had the world in his hands. Not only was he a superstar artist, but he’d also become one of Hollywood’s most exciting emerging stars, an actor who had already established himself as a lead man despite being in his early twenties. However, the sexual abuse trial looked like it could de-rail everything, and inside those four walls, Pac was forced to examine his own actions.

Even though Shakur maintained that he didn’t commit a crime, interestingly, he burst into tears during the sentencing and apologised to the victim for any pain he may have caused, implying he felt guilt for his actions. Inside was a lonely place for him, and this rare lost interview provides a fascinating glimpse into his brain at that juncture.

“For the first eight months, I spent in solitude, for 23 hours a day I was locked down, reading, writing. I wrote a script called, Live To Tell, it’s semi-autobiographical, half me, half fiction. It’s real good, it’s my first time writing a screenplay,” Pac recalled.

He added, “I used to add things to Poetic Justice, I wrote whole scenes in Above The Rim, in Juice, I added a lot of my own words, but this was the first time I sat down to write a whole script with characters, so with Live To Tell I did that.”

However, musically Pac found it difficult to focus while inside and didn’t have the energy to create despite the expectations from those around him that he’d come out armed with new albums worth of material.

The rapper emotionally admitted, “Prison breaks your spirit. There’s no creativity, there’s none of that. I see a lot of it in other prisoners; they’ve got artists in here, they’ve got poets in here, but as far as me, it just killed my spirit. I just couldn’t write, and I only recently started writing. “With the script, it was just flashing back to my old life, so it didn’t really take much for me to be inspired.”

Pac also opened up about his childhood and revealed that his mother was in prison when she was pregnant with him, she was released just a month before his birth.

“My mom is my home,” he said from the heart. “First it was mother and son, then it was like drill sergeant and cadet, then it was like a dictator, and a little country,” he laughed. “After I moved out on my own then came back, it was like a prodigal son kind of thing, now she respects me as a man, and I respect her as a mother, and all the sacrifices she made. She’s really my friend.”

Grab a drink, and watch the most revealing interview that Pac ever gave when he was at his most fragile.