In His Own Words Interview
First of all 2Pac congratulations on your success...Most people
from the Bay Area couldn't be there by your side..but we felt like
with every episode you went through we were there..we saw you through
the media and we were right there. Brothers gotta a lotta love for
you here in the Bay Area and we wanna know when you're planning
on coming back?
I'm comin' back for sure..and
I love the Bay. Everywhere I go..and every episode I've been through,
I always felt like I was sharing it..both the good times and the
bad times with the Bay Area. I felt like whatever I am the Bay Area
had something to do with making me. So if I'm bad they had something
to do with making me and if I'm good they had something to do with
making me. Between the east coast, the Bay Area and LA and Baltimore,
those places made me....I owe them everything. It's not like I just
got love for one block. I got love for those communities.. I got
love for those areas because everything about those areas made me
who I am...
From the crack heads to biggest
ballers to the teachers to the principals in schools to the police
that pulled me by the arm to the mammas on the block. To everybody
who help raise me and I appreciate it...With all my fans I got a
When I started rappin' I was
talkin' about broken homes and now everybody is alright again just
because of my fans being behind me..they made it more then just
an artist thing..instead it was like them saying 'hey that's our
homeboy and we support him. I appreciate that... I went to jail
and they made me number one.. I appreciate them stickin' up for
me when everyone was kickin me when I was down... That's love and
I'll never trade that..so for the Bay and Philly and all those areas
and all those ghettos and towns..I love y'all..don't let this east
coast west coast thing get to you... I love you with all my heart
with everything. I do this for y'all....
It seems like every time
you come up something happens to bring you back down.. When you're
caught up like that what is it that goes through your mind when
you got millions of fans wondering about you?
It hurts me in one way because
they be lookin' at me saying 'Damn you got everything why are you
doing this?' In my heart I'll be saying 'Damn you know I don't wanna
go to jail..I'm trying to live.' On the other hand, I can't really
take it personal because I'm a reflection of the community... All
young Black males are going through that..It's happening with a
lot of young Black females also young white males... A lot of minorities
are going through that where they try to come up and get pulled
back five steps...
To me it's not personal because they're all going through it. The
only thing that makes it different and original with me is that
people get to watch it from beginning to end like it's a soap opera.
You get to watch mine and with everyone else they get to hide and
go to their homes and get over it. With me you see me dealing with
my greatest pains. You see me get over things....
What went through your
head when you got shot in New York and that whole complication?
I can't front. It slowed me
down. What went through my mind was 'like damn I'm shot'. I used
to believe I could never be touched. So now I'm more careful. Some
people may say I'm disrespectful..but I'm more cautious because
I have been shot. I know what that feels like. I'm not trying to
be in that predicament. I know we all have choices to make and my
choices have already been made even if I wanna change it.
What I learned in jail is that I can't change. I can't live a different
lifestyle..this is it. This is the life that they gave and this
is the life that I made. You know how they say 'you made your bed
now lay in it? I tried to move... can't move into some other bed.
This is it. Not for the courts. Not for the parole board. Not for
nobody. All I'm trying to do is survive and make good out of the
dirty, nasty, unbelievable lifestyle that they gave me. I'm just
trying to make something good out of that. It's like if you try
and plant something in the concrete..if it grows and the rose pedals
got all kind of scratches and marks, your not gonna say 'Damn look
at all the scratches on the rose that grew from the concrete'. Your
gonna say..Damn! A rose grew from the concrete? Well that's the
same thing with me.. Folks should be sayin' 'Damn! he grew out of
all that?.. That's what they should see.
Brother you must be truly
blessed to go through all these trials and tribulations you've been
through and you're still maintaining. Even now they're still comin'
after you. You got these demons and obstacles that keep comin down
harder and harder. It seems like everytime you turn around, you
got somebody knockin' on your door trying to take something from
They come harder and harder.
It's like everytime I think this is it and I go all out to beat
that and I win or I lose...I come into the next one and it's worse.
It's like the twilight zone. It's like some evil, unstoppable shit
that won't let me go. It's got it's hands on me and it wants to
see me fail. In my mind sometimes when I'm drunk or I'm just laying
down..I keep thing to myself, 'Damn is this true?.. Am I gonna fail?
Am I supposed to fail? Should I just stop trying and give up? But
then I'm like 'Naw, hold up hold on..that's exactly what they're
waiting on me to do'... They're waiting for me to give up. So now
this is just a fun little game that I cry at sometime..that I laugh
at sometime..that I smile at and have good times and bad times..But
it's a game. It's the game of life....Do I win or do I lose?. I
know one day they're gonna shut the game down but I gotta have as
much fun and go around the board as many times as I can before it's
my turn to leave...
How did you first get down
with Suge Knight and Death Row?
I used to always see Suge.
When they did the soundtrack for Murder Was The Case and I was going
through all those legal problems..He was like 'Yo give me a song
dog'. I gave him a song and I got the most I ever got for a song.
It was damn near an album budget. I got something like 200 thousand
dollars for one song and they didn't even use it. But I still got
paid for everything I did for the sound track. I remember when he
did it.. He did it not because he was jocking me, but because he
knew I was having crazy legal problems and I was a man. He had asked
me to come to Death Row and I told him I wasn't ready,. Instead
of taking it personal he did that for me and I appreciated that.
So when I was in jail just
sittin' there..I was gonna quit rappin' but then Puffy and Biggie
came out in Vibe Magazine and lied and twisted the facts. All I
wanted to do was end everything and walk away from the shit. I wanted
to get out the game. I'm trying to get out the game and they wanna
dirty up my memory. They wanna dirty up everything I worked for.
So instead of quittin' it made me wanna come back and be more relentless
to destroy who used to be my comrades and homeboys.
These guys were my closest
click. I worked hard all my life as far as this music business to
bring about east coast west coast love and make everybody feel comfortable.
I dreamed of the day when I could go to New York and feel comfortable
and they could come out here and be comfortable. So when people
ask me about this east coast/west coast thing it's not silly at
all...but you can't disrespect the love. You can't disrespect the
peace treaty.. That's just like when the Indians made deals with
the white dudes and they would just come and rape their women and
shoot'em up and leave...of course the Indians aren't gonna love
white people no more.. They're gonna want to kick up some dust until
people think about it and re negotiate the terms of the treaty and
that's where this east coast west coast stuff is at right now. We
gotta have this beef and these words and this dialogue until we
can re negotiate the terms of the treaty. I love the east coast..I
from the east coast, but they have to understand you just can't
be saying shit about us and think we're not gonna take it personally...
You just can't be calling us fakers and pretenders and non-creative
and say we can't freestyle..and we just sit back and say 'Naw it's
cool 'cause we love them because they started hip hop'. Hell no,
we're gonna take it personal, just like a kid would when his bigger
brother who ain't doing his shit steps to him. That's like a little
brother making lots of cash and the bigger brother comin' along
and sayin' 'You owe it all to me' That's wrong.. Don't be mad because
the little nigguh is comin' up
Pac you gave a lot of love
back to some Bay Area artist like E-40, Rappin' 4Tay, Dru Down and
the whole crew...talk about what made you decide to work with them
Because I can't always be in
the Bay. I know how the Bay is. The Bay is the type of place where
if you ain't there they're gonna talk about you. I wanted them to
know that I love you, I feel you and I'm gonna represent for you.
I know I gotta a certain amount of acclaim so I bring the Bay with
me... I know E-40 is what I was when I was with Digital Underground.
He is the Bay right now ..him and 4Tay. So I get them on my album
to represent the Bay. It shows we still have love and we're still
all good. By us being representatives we bring the Bay where ever
we go.. Rappin' 4Tay has always been raw to me and I like his style.
When I was in jail I used to always listen to stuff so when I got
out we clicked and did the song. Now he's in jail and I gotta do
what he did for me. When I was in jail he used to send out shout
outs and show support, so now I support 4Tay. Everybody pray for
him and send letters. I hope the brother gets out of jail as soon
as possible.. [Rappin' 4Tay was released in July '96]. You know
its a struggle for every young Black man... You know how it is only
God can judge us.
Now is the east coast /west
coast beef, really both coasts? Or is it Bad Boy and Death Row ?
It's not both coasts. What
it is..is the people on the East coast are real proud and real cultural
and real strong like we are on the west coast. What happen was Biggie
came at a time just like Hitler did with the Germans. Biggie came
at a time when they were open to somebody saying 'We're the master
race and these guys [west coast] are nothing. They're pretenders
and this is why we're not makin' it in the business. It's because
of these guys. This is why we're not doing nothing.
So the east coast really not
hatin' us or knowing anything about us..have just been listening
to their supposed to be leader. They were listening to the person
who's supposed to be representing' for them... They didn't know
that what they were doing was ending our culture. We [west coast]
held it down for you all. That's how I felt. I was in tears.. When
LL was out there dancin' with women in silver suits which I'm not
mad at..because I might do that one day.. But when the East coast
was trying to be creative and test other boundaries we were holdin'
it down with this hardcore shit. It might not have been what you
[east coast] wanted but it kept rap alive for years. It kept money
comin' in. It let them [the world] notice us. So how could you [east
coast] look at us and say 'You're not good enough'? We're from a
broken home. Y'all [east coast] didn't teach us this.. we ain't
got no subways and graffiti.
In spite of the gangs and all
of that we still came up with this culture. I feel like we never
got what we deserved. I took it personal because I'm from the East
coast and I know about that culture but I know about this [west
coast] culture because I was here when it was being put down...So
now I'm doing what the East coast would've did if the west coast
did this to them... I'm riding..for my side. You're wrong..It's
Recognize us. The only way
the east coast is gonna recognize us if for us to do it on record,
by money, by sales and by representing. Just like KRS-One...when
PM Dawn got on stage and he had been talking shit about him..what
did KRS-One do?....[He bum rushed him] So why are people telling
me I'm wrong for doing what I'm doing. They love KRS-One.. He is
hip hop..am I correct? I'm mad at Biggie and I'm rushin' the nigga.
What's the problem?
As soon as the east coast separate
themselves from Biggie we will do shows in the east.. Everything
is beautiful..But so far the east coast has been with him. Everything
I read..every letter I read. every interview I read .nigguhs keep
saying 'Fuck 2Pac..Biggie Biggie this and Biggie Biggie that like
he's representin' everyone from the east coast.That's why I attack
the way I do.. I'm a general and I'm a smart general and I'm not
gonna attack at no blind soldier. I'm gonna attack those who attack
me. The only reason why people was mad was because I came out of
jail and made this a reality. When I got out of jail the east coast
west coast shit was really started. California Love, when I was
singin' put it down. and now nigguhs is mad because money is fucked
up, attitudes have changed..it's not as safe as it used to be. Nigguhs
gotta think about their business and that's what I wanted to happen..Now
let's go to the table..Let's talk..Let's make peace..let's work
it out...let's give the community the money.
So are you saying a conversation
with Puffy and Biggie would...
I wouldn't sit down and have
a conversation with Puffy and Biggie..because that's like Scarface
sitting down with the dude he's hoping to rule. They are not on
my level..but I can sit down with the OGs and from there [back east]
which we are doing. People need to now we're not beefing with the
East coast.. We're about to start Death Row East with Eric B and
all the OG nigguhs out there. We got Big Daddy Kane.. Christopher
Williams..we're trying to get Bobby Brown.
We're trying to get the East coast Death Row to be like the West
Coast Death Row and make it major. We're not doing that until we
get this business settled.. Even while we're doing this we're trying
to get Wu-Tang.. I feel as though they represent the east coast
the way we represent the west coast and I love them. If everybody's
raps is what they really think then everybody should understand
what I'm doing. It's gangsta shit..It's warrior shit.. and it's
all by the rules of the game. I'm calling for dialogue. I'm gathering
attention for dialogue which is what you do in a struggle for power.
What's going on with Dre
and how does that effect Death Row ?
Dre is doing his own thing..
It doesn't effect us..My take on what happened was that Snoop went
on trial for murder for his life..somebody said Dre was in the car..
The jury believed that c we needed Dre to be able to say he wasn't
there..once they would've saw that he wasn't there that would've
saved Snoop's whole case. They would've saw that the witness was
lying. Dre never showed up. He said he was too busy. That's how
they told me..When they told me that I was like no matter how dope
he is and Dre was one of my heros in the music industry..If he's
not down for his homeboys.. I don't wanna be a part of him or around
him. Plus I feel that what was done in the dark will come to light.
There are secrets that everybody's gonna find out about.. and you'll
know what I did it. I swear to god y'all we are living by the rules
of the game.
Hey Pac why don't you talk
about the project you are doing with Jodeci right now...
My next single is gonna be
'How Do You Want It' , Amerikka's Most Wanted, 'Hit 'Em Up' and
'California Love' .. the version people couldn't buy. Hit 'Em Up
is a song which is a classic hip hop record..meaning it's a straight
battle record to all the Bad Boy staff.. It's to Puffy, to Biggie
to Lil Kim..to all of them.
What about Mobb Deep?
My little homies is attacking
them. That's why I'm not even addressing the Mobb Deep issue. They're
not even on my level. I find it disrespectful that they would even
think they can attack me or the West Coast... So I don't even address
those busta ass fakes.. Please print that.... It is on and poppin'.
If you don't see me rushin' them that means it's cause they bowed
Those Mobb Deep fools they don't want it.. Chino XL, Mobb Deep ,
Bad Boy, Biggie , Lil Ceasar, Junior Mafia all of them is on our
hitlist and I'm getting with them with my new click called The Outlaws.
They're some Jersey dudes who are keeping that east coast flava
poppin' . It's some west coast dudes, southern dudes.. It's the
epitome of what I represent. I got Big Syke from Thug Life ...
We got 'How Do You Want It'
with Ron Hightower doing the directing with me and we got all porno
stars. I got Nina Hartley from the Bay..and all the big time people.
It's the dirtiest nastiest video I've ever done. I got a playboy
version and a regular version. We got nudity. It's the most amazing
video you'll ever see.
We just did the video for 'Amerikka's
Most Wanted' which is the classic dis video. We got 'Piggy' and
We're doing videos fro 'All
Eyes On Me', 'I Ain't Mad At Ya', 'All About You' .. The record
company got all the money in the world so we're just gonna put it
When things get real slow,
we'll release a home video with 'Ambitions Of A Rider', and a couple
of the hardcore songs....I just did a remix to 'What's Your Phone
Number' with all new lyrics. We took that MC Lyte beat from her
new song she has out..[Keep On Movin' Up] It's so freaky you won't
believe it... I got a whole new album out...waiting for the sound
track. It's clean..all positive..all in the vein of songs like 'Keep
Your Head Up'. and 'Brenda's Got A Baby'.. It's that type of stuff.
I just put out a hardcore double album.. and next I'm gonna put
out an introspective album.. It'll be like a 'Me Against The World
pt 2' That's what I think my fans are looking for... I'm gonna show
that I appreciate your support. ...
So you worked with Janet
Jackson.. I was wondering if you can hook me up with her number?
If anybody finds Janet, tell
her I'm looking for her. That's why I said that shit in my song
'My Minds Made Up', but give me Janet. I feel like she got shit
twisted and people gone made her my enemy. She ain't my enemy..
I ain't mad at her. I want her to know that. It ain't even like
that. She met me at a time in my life when I was real immature.
I was comin' up and going through a lot. Now she probably sees me
in a whole different light. Maybe not and maybe she will. I want
that opportunity. When I see Janet, I 'm gonna try to make right
where we made wrong.
Let's talk on some other
things like your new movie and soundtrack you're working on?
We got a movie called 'Gridlock'
coming out which is a mainstream movie. It's me coming back into
the theaters with Tim Ross from Pulp Fiction.. I don't know who
it is, but there's a big name female in the movie. I'm the music
supervisor for the sound track. It's my first chance ever doing
something like this... We got Allanis Morresset and all these other
big name alternative groups . It's supposedly people I would never
get with.. I got them all on the sound track just to show what kind
of range I got.. I'll be putting that type of sound track out and
then I'll be putting out a rap sound track. I'm gonna do it like
a 2Pac album with me doing a whole bunch of solo songs and Snoop
on there doing some songs. This is just to show I have a business
mind as well as a creative mind. I can make my way in this business
What's the one thing you
would like people to know about you?
2Pac: Number one, when I dis
y'all..meaning like when you come up to me and I'm not giving you
the type of reaction that you think I should give you, it's not
because I'm ungrateful... It's because I'm nervous. I'm paranoid,
I just got out of jail. I've been shot, cheated lied and framed
and I just don't know how to deal with so many people giving me
that much affection. I never had that in my life. So if I do that
..don't take it personal..Try to understand it and see it for what
Now I understand what its truly
like to be a fine female who goes to a club and all the guys just
rush you before you're ready to be rushed. Everyone is touching
you before you're ready to get touched. So now I have a better understanding
of what it's like to be a woman..I have a better understanding of
fans not making you do things. I'm gonna do it because I love y'all..
I do appreciate what you did ..But if you make me do it..then I
don't wanna do it.. I don't care how many albums you brought. My
fans to me are people who follow me who are down for me..who understand
me and no matter what people say, they know me...because they've
followed me through my career.
A lot of people just brought
my album.. I buy albums all the time. I just buy them to listen
to...If you brought my album, you brought it for the music. You
didn't buy it so when you see me, I just break down and start eating
you out. I don't like that.. Don't start extorting me for an autograph.
I'm real. I give autographs when I want to...I wanna be in this
game for a long time. I don't ever wanna hate the fans That's what
these other nigguhs do. They might give you autographs all the time,
but they hate you. They never even look at you like people. I do
look at you like people. That's why I feel like I can look you in
your eye and say 'Yo I don't feel like doing that right now.. I
don't feel like signing no autographs. and you should understand.
I look at you like a human being. Let's kick it..Lets not take pictures..let's
kick it. Do that.. I want some females to do that... Every female
wanna come up to me and show me how much they're not attracted tome..
Do the opposite cause these ghetto girls..these minority women..they're
the only women I can get cause every one else is scared of me. Their
parents tell them not to mess with me.. Y'all can't fade me. Y'all
can't turn on me Don't change on me.. Stay down for me..'cause I
stay down for you and don't extort me unless you intend to do it
Five years from now what
do you see yourself doing?
I see myself having a job on
Death Row...being the A&R person and an artist that drop an
album like Paul McCartney every five years. Not that I'm like Paul
McCartney but there's no rapper who ever did it so that's why I
use him as an example... But I wanna do it at leisure. My music
will mean something and I'll drop deeper shit. I'll have my own
production company which I'm close to right now...I'm doing my own
movies. I have my own restaurant...which I got right now with Allanis
or Suge or Snoop. I just wanna expand. I'm starting to put out some
calendars for charity. I'm gonna start a little youth league in
California so we can start playing some east coast teams..some southern
teams ...I wanna have like a Pop Warner League except the rappers
fund it and they're the head coaches. Have a league where you can
get a big trophy with diamonds in it for a nigguh to stay drug free
and stay in school. That's the only way you can be on the team.
We'll have fun and eat pizza and have the finest girls there and
throw concerts at the end of the year. That's what I mean by giving
April 19, 1996 | KMEL