|Written by Staff ID24|
|Thursday, 23 September 2004 23:05|
Tupac and Davey D - 1991
On The Line With....
One of the most interesting and intense interviews, I''ve ever conducted was with Tupac Shakur.. He had just hit it big with the movie Juice and and everyone wondering was he just acting or putting forth his real life persona in the movie.. Although I had known him for a couple of years it was hard for mne to tell.. cause he had a loaded gun on him as we spoke...If I recall it was a 38....Pac explains in this interview his then recent encounter with the Oakland Police Department which resulted in him getting beat.
Currently Pac is out on bail after serving part of a 3 year prison sentence in upstate NY. He's now with Death Row Records and has just released an lp entitled ''All Eyes On Me''. Needless to say this ;p has blown up. This early interview with 2Pac lends some incredible insight to how he was before all the trouble he's in now started happening.. Enjoy....
Excerpts of this Interview are taken from Davey D's Hip Hop Archives...Much of this originally appeared in the KMEL Beat Report Newsletter.
Tupac Shakur considers himself the ''Rebel of the Underground'' [Digital Underground] and for good reason. He stirs things up and does the unexpected. Such a person is bound to generate excitement because they have impact on both the people and situations around them. 2Pac in 1992 promises to have major impact in the world of hip hop. He's kicking things off with a sensational acting debut in the movie ''Juice'' where he stars as the character Roland Bishop. His debut lp ''2Pacalypse Now'' is beginning to cause a bit of a stir on retail shelves around the country. And if that's not enough Tupac is branching out and signing new acts to his production company including his older brother Moecedes who raps in the Toni Tony Tone song ''Feels Good. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing this outspoken and very animated individual at his apartment where he told his tale.
Davey D:Give a little bit of background on yourself. What got you into hip hop?
2Pac: I''m from the Bronx, NY. I moved to Baltimore where I spent some high school years and then I came to Oaktown. As for hip hop-all my travels through these cities seemed to be the common denominator.
You lived In Marin City for a little while. How was your connection with hip hop able to be maintained while living there? Was there a thriving hip hop scene in Marin City?
2Pac: Not really..You were just given truth to the music. Being in Marin City was like a small town so it taught me to be more straight foward with my style. Instead of of being so metaphorical with the rhyme, I was encouraged to go straight at it and hit it dead on and not waste time trying to cover things...In Marin City it seemed like things were real country. Everything was straight forward. Poverty was straight forward. There was no way to say I''m poor, but to say ''I''m poor''...
How did you hook up with Digital Underground?
2Pac: I caught the ''D-Flow Shuttle'' while I was in Marin City. I''m referring to the album 'sons Of The P'' It was the way out of here. It was the way to escape out of the ghetto. It was the way to success. I haven''t gotten off since... Basically I bumped into this kid named Greg Jacobs aka Shock G and he hooked me up with Digital Underground...
What's the concept behind your album 2Pacalypse Now''?
2Pac: The concept is the young Black male. Everybody's been talkin'' about it but now it's not important. It's like we just skipped over it.. It's no longer a fad to be down for the young Black male. Everybody wants to go past. Like the gangster stuff, it just got exploited. This was just like back in the days with the movies. Everybody did their little gunshots and their hand grenades and blew up stuff and moved on. Now everybody's doing rap songs with the singing in it.. I''m still down for the young Black male. I''m gonna stay until things get better. So it's all about addressing the problems that we face in everyday society.
What are those problems?
2Pac: Police brutality, poverty, unemployment, insufficient education, disunity and violence, black on black crime, teenage pregnancy, crack addiction. Do you want me to go on?
How do you address these problems? Are you pointing them out or are you offering solutions? 2Pac: I do both. In some situations I show us having the power and in some situations I show how it's more apt to happen with the police or power structure having the ultimate power. I show both ways. I show how it really happens and I show how I wish it would happen
. You refer to yourself as the ''Rebel of the Underground'' Why so?
2Pac: Cause, if Digital Underground wasn''t diverse enough with enough crazy things in it, I''m even that crazier. I''m the rebel totally going against the grain...I always want to do the extreme. I want to get as many people looking as possible. For example I would''ve never done the song ''Kiss U Back'' that way.
Can talk about your recent encounter with police brutality at the hands of the Oakland PD?
2Pac: For everyone who doesn''t know, I... an innocent young black male was walking down the streets of Oakland minding my own business and the police department saw fit for me to be trained or snapped back into my place. So they asked for my I-D and sweated me about my name because my name is Tupac. My final words to them was ''f--- y''all'' . Next thing I know I was in a choke hold passing out with cuffs on headed for jail for resisting arrest. We''re currently letting the law do its job by taking it through the court system. We had to file a claim. We''re in the midst of having a ten million dollar law suit against OPD. If I win and get the money then the Oakland Police department is going to buy a boys home, me a house, my family a house and a 'stop Police Brutality Center''.
Let's talk about the movie ''Juice''. How did you get involved?
2Pac: Money B had an audition for the movie. Sleuth [road manager] suggested I also come along. I went in cold turkey, read, God was with me...The movie is about 4 kids and their coming of age.It's not a hip hop movie. It's a real good movie that happens to have hip hop in it. If it was made in the 60s it would''ve depicted whatever was ''down'' in the 60s...My character is Roland Bishop, a psychotic, insecure very violent, very short tempered individual.
What's the message you hope is gotten out of the movie?
2Pac: You never know what's going on in somebody's mind. There are a lot of things that add up. There's a lot of pressure on someone growing up. You have to watch it if it goes unchecked. This movie was an example of what can happen...In the movie my character's, father was a prison whore and that was something that drove him through the whole movie [this aspect was deleted]. It just wrecked his mind. You can see through everybody else's personality, Bishop just wanted to get respect. He wanted the respect that his father didn''t get. Everthing he did, he did just to get a rep. So from those problems never being dealt with led to him ending four people's lives.
Do you intend on continuing making movies?
2Pac: It depends on whether or not there are any good parts. I want to challenge myself.
What is your philosophy on hip hop? I''ve heard you say you don''t to see it diluted?
2Pac: Well when I said that, it made me think. It brought me to myself. Now I have a different philosophy. Hip Hop when it started it was supposed to be this new thing that had no boundaries and was so different to everyday music. Now it seems like I was starting to get caught up in the mode of what made hip hop come about. As long as the music has the true to the heart soul it can be hip hop. As long it has soul to it, hip hop can live on.
What are your plans for the next year?
2Pac: To strengthen the Underground Railroad. I have a group and a program called the Underground Railroad...The concept behind this is the same concept behind Harriet Tubman, to get my brothers who might be into drug dealing or whatever it is thats illegal or who are disenfranchised by today's society-I want to get them back into by turning them onto music. It could be R&B, hip hop or pop, as long as I can get them involved. While I''m doing that, I''m teaching them to find a love for themselves so they cxan love others and do the same thing we did for them to others. Right now we''re twenty strong. The group is going to be one that constanly evolves. The people that are in the UR are coming from all over, Baltimore, Marin City, Oakland, New York, Richmond-all over.
Is there anything else we should know about Tupac?
2Pac: Yeah, the group Nothing Gold is coming. My kids are coming out with a serious message...NG is a group coming out that I produce.. All the stuff I say in my rhymes I say because of how I grew up. So to handle that, instead of going to a pyschiatrist, I got a kids group that deals with the problems a younger generation is going through. They put them into rhymes so its like a pyschology session set to music. It''ll make you come to grips with what you actually do.. If you''re a black man, you''re going to really trip out cause they really call you out and have you deal with them...NG will make us have responsibilty again. Kids are telling you to have responsibilty...
Q&A With Tupac Shakur: "I Am Not a Gangster"
By CHUCK PHILIPS, Times Staff Writer
Six days after his release from a New York prison, Tupac Shakur is holed up in the control booth of a dimly lit Tarzana recording studio.
2Pac & Sway 1996
2Pac On KMEL's
interviewed by Sway..4/19/96 transcribed by Davey D
An Interview With Tupac's Mom Afeni Shakur With Davey D
This interview took place one week before the one year anniversary of 2Pac's untimely death.. His mother, Afeni Sakur who has been the subject of so much of 2Pac's work talked very passionately about her son.. During the interview his Godfather Geronimo Pratt rolled through.. and his sister Set also stopped through....
Davey D: The First thing I want to do is thank you for granting us this interview. We''re up on the anniversary of your son's un-timely death. There are so many of us that are still in the shock, so many of us who can''t believe it and so many of us within the Hip Hop Generation that are trying to heal from this. And one way we can bring about this healing, is to continue to study and learn about Tupac. I guess the best way to really do that is by talking to you his mom, Afeni Shakur. You''re the person who can provide us with that bridge of information. After all, you''re the woman who raised him, you''re the person who helped shape him, and helped make him into the person whom we''ve come to admire. I guess the first thing I would like you to do is let our listeners know who Afeni Shakur was. You were a member of the Black Panther Party, you were pregnant with Tupac while in jail, as one of the infamous New York 21. Who is Afeni Shakur?
Afeni Shakur: Basically, first let me just say Peace and Respect to all of the listeners, and all of the people who care about my son, who care about his work and who care about his music. And the first thing I would like to do is give encouragement to Brothers & Sisters who are artists or trying to be artists. From the bottom of my heart, I encourage them to work on their art and to not allow anyone or anything to keep their artist spirit down. And that to me is really important.
And then having said that, let me say that I was a member of the Black Panther Party. I joined in 1968. When I joined, I wasn''t a student. I did not come off the college campuses like a lot of known Panthers did. I came from the streets of the South Bronx. I had been a member of the Disciples Deads, which would have been the women Disciples in the Bronx.. What the Panther Party did for me, I used to always say it gave me home training. The Party taught me things that were principles to living, and those principles are the principles I think most Panthers have tried to pass on to their children and to anybody else that would listen to them. You know that one of those principles was like don''t steal a penny, needle or a simple piece of thread from the people. It's just general basic things about how we as individuals treat a race of people, and how we treat each other as a people! And those are the things I think the people recognize in Tupac....
We discovered, that within the BBP, that is you try and live by these principles and you have attached to those principles a willingness and a desire to protect and defend your family and your people.. also if you have a large mouth and your willing to speak openly about those things, that you are going to be the victim of all kinds of attacks. That's basically what has happened to all of us. Tupac was and remains in my mind a child of the BBP. I think that I always felt that even through this society that they had destroyed the work of the BBP. I always felt that Tupac was living witness to who we are and who we were. I think that his life spoke to every part of our development and the development of the Party, and the development in this country that I don''t think will die.
Davey D: One of the perspectives that people have put forth about Tupac was that he was a gangster.. and that, he was somebody who invited trouble.How do you address that? How should, especially those of us within the Hp Hop Generation perceive 2Pac?
Afeni Shakur: First of all, the difference in people's temperment and my temperment, our temperment is such that is just like you were asking me about a song ''Wade in the Water, God Gonna Trouble the Waters''. We want the waters troubled. We are trouble makers, it's what we are here for. We don''t make apologies for it. Why would we? We are revolutionaries, the children of Revolutionaries.... I believe that this is true, basically of young people in any Generation. And that's just true naturally. For us, we''re trouble makers, because why wouldn''t we be trouble makers in a society that has no respect for us. That has no respect about what I began talking you about. The fact that it is a miracle that we sit here. I don''t think that we are suppose to be anything but trouble makers. Tupac use to comment on people who critized him for cursing, as a matter of fact he said this is just about verbatum, ''As I walked into this hall, I passed a young child who was hungry. There is not a bigger curse than a young child hungry''. If we are not concerned about the incest, the rape, about our children dying at the rate that they are dying, I cannot imagine why we would be making all this noise about a word, any word.''..
Davey D: Do you think his music influenced people to move in a direction of violence? That was one thing, I remember the police in Houston wanted to sue him and say that he caused an officer to be shot....
Afeni Shakur: They did sue him in Houston and as a matter of fact, that campaign was started by C. Delores Tucker who has now sued Tupac's estate, namely Tupac's music. Has sued him for interferring with her and her husband's sexual life. Now, don''t you think that's proposterous? Of course it is. And I think it's okay for us to say that it is.. and it's just as proposterous to think that music could influence you to do anything else. If that were possible, will someone, please, make a song that will influence us to not kill each other. Please, I beg any person to do that. That should be simple under that mentality. But obviously, that's an irrational concept, and that's what I mean about us thinking. Don''t allow people to think for you. Let's use ration. It's okay for us to do it.
I''ll tell you something else, for people who feel so bad about Tupac's leaving this planet, we should remember that each of us come here with a beginning date and an ending date. Tupac's beginning was June 16, 1971 and his end was September 13th, 1996. In the 25 years that God gave him on this earth, he shone like a star, and he did all that he was suppose to do, he said all that he needed to say. You need not weep for Tupac, but weep for yourself, because we are left here with these contradictions that we still must face.
Davey D: The whole rivarly between Tupac and Biggie and to see both of them at the height of their careers, as far as a lot of people are concerned gone. Have you ever talked to Biggie's mom? You know you guys are looked at in a way where it's like well, wow if we can''t get next to them, we have to get next to their mothers. What words do you pass on about that? And what are your thoughts on that?
Afeni Shakur: Let me say that my son was killed on 9/13/96 and Nov. 10th, Yafa Ufala, one of the Outlaws and a member of my son's group, and a member of our family was murdered... and on Jan. 12th a daughter of another member of the BPP was murdered in her bed with her baby playing in her bed while the killer, her husband, watched all day long. What I have known from the beginning is that I am not alone. And I am not alone does not mean that the only two people that got killed were Biggie and Tupac. I am so sorry, but every child's death is painful. To me, it's painful, because it's this process that we have to stop. We are right back to the same thing which is about ration and reason..and about winning. And as I said, Tupac had 25 years and he did 25 years worth of wonderful work. What the next person needs to know in whatever years they are alloted to them, is what have they done? And I''m sure that Biggie's mother must feel the same about her son. It's no use in people trying to swage their on guilt for their own deficiency by debating or spending that much time on Tupac and Biggie.
Davey D: What do you mean by swage?
Afeni Shakur: I mean that we all have to speak about our own issues. When we talk about rivarlries, with East/West Coast, I don''t have any idea what that is. But let me say this, my son was shot on two separate occassions; the 1st was five times, twice in the head and at that time we though he could have died. So a year later he was shot again and he did die, but there wasn''t a rivarly. My son was injured by gunshots and my son reacted through his msuic to what had happened to him and as I say, Tupac spoke eloquently about how he felt about all of that East/West Coast stuff. I would not try and change one period of a sentence that Tupac spoke about that, because Tupac was an honorable young man, He did not lie and whatever Tupac said happened, happened in that way. And I think that people have to deal with their responsibilities for whatever they have done or not done. That's a part of life also. Tupac dealt with his responsibilities, I think other people have to do the same.
Davey D: You talk about Tupac being honorable and speaking truth. How did you feel when he said things about you in records?
Afeni Shakur: He told the truth. I live with truth. I have no secrets. Neither did Tupac, neither does my daughter. We don''t live behind secrets, we don''t live lies, we are who we are, and we are pretty happy to be who we are. We are proud of who we are and we stand tall and defend who we are.
Davey D: Was it painful to hear him talk about you having a drug addiction? Was it something that you had to discuss or did you know that he would put some things that happened in his life in music for the public to look at and hear and formulate their own opinion?
Afeni Shakur: Let me first say that any of those songs that Tupac wrote was primarily the way he felt about something. You have a right to express your feelings. I do not have to agree with them. I needed him to say how he felt, specifically about the pain that I had caused him. That's how we heal ,and so you now for me it was Tupac explaining something that happened to his family, his reaction to it and his feelings about it. I think they were honest and I respect him for that. Absolutely and completely.
Davey D: Tupac has done a lot of thing in his career. What do you think he should have done differently in terms of the decisions he made? What sort of path do you think he should have continued on? Do you think he deviated, or went down the wrong corner in any of the things that he did?
Afeni Shakur: I think that Tupac made perfect decisions for himself. I would like to encourage young people to make decisions for themselves. You make decisions that you stand by and you take responsibility for them. Really, this is life, you try to make a difference in peoples lives, because you stand firm for something. So really, for me, Tupac was perfection.
Davey D: What do you think the mis-perceptions that you as his mom would like to clear up about him?
Afeni Shakur: The misconceptions are that Tupac was a rapper, the Tupac wasn''t political and that Tupac was a gangster. But primarily I really think that time will take care of that. I have faith in Tupac's legend. I really believe in the divinity of legends. I believe that God choose Tupac and I believe that no human being can destroy his image, his legend, his life, his music or his work. So in reality I don''t care what people say, because I truly believe that God sent him here. He sent him with a mission. He fulfilled his mission and he went back where he came from.
Davey D: What is it about Tupac that so many people admired, and still admires about him?
Afeni Shakur: His truth in the face of anything. And I think that you know that's why people don''t want to believe that he is dead. Because they believe that Tupac could face anything, and come out on the other side. Let me say, so can you.
Davey D: It's been a year and there's been a lot of controversy surrounding his death in terms of who owns the estate, recording rights and situations involving the record company Death Row. What is happening with that? Can you give us an understanding on where things stand and where you hope to have things going?
Afeni Shakur: As it relates to Death Row, we have reached an agreement, a settlement of some sort and I''m sure that's probably resolved.
Davey D: There has been an iron hand placed upon people who might have had affilations with Tupac in terms of them releasing his earlier music. I guess that's good, because they have always had to come through and some how deal with you one way or the other before materials are released. Where does that stand now? Will we start to see hear some of his earlier recordings? Some of the things he left with Death Row, will they start to come out or are there other plans for releases of his music materials, movies, etc.?
Afeni Shakur: Well, some of Tupac's extended and biological family have started Amoru Records, which is a record company that Tupac would have started had he still been here. We are going to first release his earlier material so that people have a more comprehensive understanding of what his journey was. We have the end of his journey, it would probably be okay to have the beginning also, so that's what we are attempting to do with his first release. And after that, we would like to do a tribute album and an audio book of his poetry. We also are committed, within the next 2 or 3 years to developing and releasing up to 8 new artists. So prayfully we will be able to do that what we want to do is so business in a principle and ethically manner. And prayfully we will be able to do that outside of that, we are trying to negotiate a documentary about Tupac's life. Possibly and probably a feature film with HBOwith a producer by the name of Marvin Worth... What we wanted is for people not to steal Tupac's material.
It had really less to do with control than it had to do with stealing.. And the problem I have with stuff is that, I always say if Tupac were here would you do it? And to answer the question, you wouldn''t do it if he were here.. First of all I have no respect for you because you are a coward.. And I know if Tupac was here he would call you one of those names that he knew oh so well.. And that's pretty much the way I feel about the Vibe Pictorial Book.. I found out about it when it was reviewed in Essence Magazine.. I had been speaking to Quincy Jones all year and he never mentioned it.. I have no respect for that kind of behavior.. People can buy what they want, but just don''t expect me to say it's cool, because I am not.. and further more I ain''t mad at nobody..
Davey D:What individuals do you see today that embody the revolutionary spirit that has often been associated with 2Pac? Who has that mindset?
Afeni Shakur: Well, I really think Sista Souljah has that type of spirit. I think Geronimo Pratt also has it..and so does Mumia Adul Jamal.. The fact is ..that I''m not whaling off the names of young brothers and sisters a mile a minute...It's not like Tupac was the most excellent person.. I just ask for people to be honorable, honest and honest to themselves about themselves and to be courageous about truth. When I can see more of that, I''ll just feel a little better, but whether I do or don''t I''m not mad at nobody...
Davey D: Is this a lost generation? Are we a lost generation?
Afeni Shakur: Absolutely not!.. Thank You Treach for your song.. Thank You Scarface for your song.. Thanks for the respect Bones Thugs N Harmony.. Thanks for the respect and at least musically understanding what my son was about and saying.. They''ve done that.. I thank them from the bottom of my heart...
Davey D:So tell us about the foundation...
Afeni Shakur: I just wanted to tell people that outside of music, Tupac was about the business of helping families and helping people.. We would like to continue that... We started the Tupac Amuru Foundation. We will be giving you notice about how people can get in touch with the foundation, whether they are interested in either obtaining or giving assistance.. We are really excited about that.. One of the first things we want to do with the foundation, is to build an Art Institute in the name of Tupac over in Marin City where that little boy was killed. We would like to leave something there that is an institution that goes on everyday and provides help for somebody in that community.. Tupac wanted to build Ghetto Heavens and Thug Heavens all over the country.. So that's the stuff we are going to do...
Davey D: Any idea who might have taken his life? Do you think the government had some connection with it?.. They talk about the rappers being the revolutionaries of the 80s and 90s..do you see the same type of forces that divided the Black Panther Party at work with today's rap artists..?
Afeni Shakur: Yes I do.. But I just don''t want to simplify things by saying that it was the government.. because that's another reason why I would like people to study The Art of War by Son Zu, and The Prince by Machavelli, so that they would have a better way of looking at things.. I don''t think it's just the government.. I don''t think our enemies are just in the gov''t.. I believe it was in someone's interest to play this card out like this.. The other side of that is that whoever the person was that pulled the trigger and whoever participated in it and knows about it; those people will have to deal with that from here to eternity.. Not only will they have to live with it, but so will their children and their children's children.. I would not want to stand before God and say that I''m the one who took Tupac's life.. So what I have to say is more power to them..
2pac's sister Set rolls through and some questions are directed at her...
Davey D: What was it like growing up with 2Pac? What type of person was he? Was he the same type of person we got to know through film, records and video?
Set: If you listen hard and look..well yeah.. You grew up with him the same way I did.. It's just that I grew up with him longer..But everyone else grew up with him the same way I did.. Everything from Souljah's Story to Brenda's Got A Baby to Against All Odds. Everything he told may not have been his own, it may have been the way God wanted him to do it...You know they way of written law and stone that is truth, but the truth is your life... If it wasn''t his truth, it was your truth, my truth the girl down the street truth, it was true to him...If he didn''t go through it, I went through it. He felt what other people felt whether it was him or not....
Davey D: Did you grow up with him all your life?
Set: I am not too sure of the years.. but when my mother started to use drugs.. I started puberty and Pac started to become a star.. He was working on his career.. And it wasn''t even a year before he went on the Japan tour with Digital.. It was the only year of my childhood that we were apart.. Besides then he got his own apartment and became an independent man
Davey D: Is there an expectation or pressure on you to try and continue to be an embodiment of 2Pac?
Set: I really feel like if anybody put that pressure on me, it's me. Religious people say, you''ve been touched by Jesus and proof is your life will never be the same again.. and you have changed another person's life. I feel like I''ve been touched by a Saint.. I have a son to raise and Pac was the man in my life as well as my sons.. Well, now I have to make myself learn how to deal alone...
Davey D: Any last words that you like us to know or any last things you would like us to keep in our hearts and minds about your son?
Afeni Shakur: Remember the words of my son.. Remember to Keep Your Head up.. Remember Against All Odds.. Nobody Can Judge You.. that's God's job.. Remember, the things 2Pac said..I just really ask people to really study his music and to listen to his music with an open heart and soothed mind.. Thank you very much.. Peace
Suge speaks on Tupac / from MTV
Sept. 20, 1996 -- Las Vegas police say they still have no leads on suspects or motive in the murder of rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, who died last Friday, the 13th, after being gunned down in a drive-by following the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon boxing match September 7th. Meanwhile, on Thursday night in Los Angeles, we spoke with Marion "Suge" Knight, head of Tupac's label, Death Row Records, and the man who was driving the car, sitting right next to Tupac when he was shot. Knight, who himself was grazed in the head by a bullet, was prevented by lawyers from addressing the shooting itself... But here, for the first time on television, he speaks publicly about its aftermath.
MTV: How are you feeling, and how are you doing physically?
MARION "SUGE" KNIGHT, CEO, Death Row Records: I feel like this: I feel that the last word is always God, but Pac saved my life. He's my... Pac saved my life. I got shot in the head -- got grazed some other places -- but I still got the bullet in my head. It's still here.... Before, I was tryin'' to get him to the hospital -- didn''t make me realize that I was shot. Because usually, when you get shot in the head, the first thing the person do is panic. You know, BAM! I''m shot in the head! I''m about to die! And once you do that, you can''t drive nowhere. My whole thing was Pac -- he was shot. I''m like, "You''re shot! Let me get you to the hospital." I''m driving, telling him I''m gonna get him to the hospital, kicked back, Pac looked at me and said, "You know what? You need a doctor more than me. You the one shot in your head." And we laughed the whole time finding our way to the hospital. That's the conversation we had. It wasn''t... Pac was a man the whole time. It wasn''t that he was like, "OOOhhh, I''m shot!" He crackin'' jokes. He's like, "Yeah, they shot me." But he said, "But you shot in your head. Look at your head. You see how much it's bleedin''? Look how much it's bleedin''." That was Pac. And I''m like, "Man, shut up, we''ll get you to the doctor."
MTV: So he was conscious on the way to the hospital?
KNIGHT: He was conscious on the way to the hospital, he was conscious in the... labs, he was conscious after they did surgery.
MTV: What was the last thing that he said to you?
KNIGHT: That he loved me. You know, he was going... he was gettin'' there. I''m like, "Pac, you''re gonna be the last one left." But we talked this out. We talked it. He said, "No, I''m straight. I love you, homey. I''m gonna be straight." "I love you too." That's where he was.
MTV: There was a report earlier this week in "The New York Post" that Tupac was looking to leave Death Row Records. Is that true?
KNIGHT: You should answer that. You don''t take a person like Tupac, who, if you listen to every song on "All Eyez On Me," every song on "Machiavelli," every time he do an interview, what's the first thing he say? Death Row. Tupac loved Death Row. Tupac loved me. I loved him. I mean, Tupac took Death Row to the next level. I mean, we worked hard, we laid the foundation down, Snoop took the baton and he ran with it. And he did a great job with it. But Tupac got the baton, not only did he win the race, he finished so fast he able to sit back and drink some thug passion in, and come up with another play. If you''d asked Tupac that question that was he planning on leaving Death Row, he definitely would have cussed you out.
MTV: A lot of people in the hip hop community have said that this incident will change hip hop. This is a really landmark event -- tragic event, at that. And that the music will probably never be the same. Do you see the direction of Death Row changing? Is there going to be a different type of music put out?
KNIGHT: Not at all. We gonna do thing we''ve been doing, and set our records like I said before. My main goal is fulfill Tupac's dreams. And Tupac would definitely never want the music to change.... So we''ll keep it the way he would like it. I feel like that it's my job to make sure all Pac's dreams is fulfilled, and he stay alive, and keep Death Row alive. I''m not gonna go and say, "Well, just ''cause it's a little crazy in this world, so, I''m gonna sit down somewhere." I''m not gonna sit down nowhere. I''m gonna walk the pattern, talk the same talk, fulfill all his dreams, and lay real low.
Also Thursday night, Tupac's label-mate Snoop Doggy Dogg told us that this is a very emotional time right now for him, as well. Snoop's new album, "Tha Doggfather," is due out November 5th, the same day as Tupac's EP "Machiavelli." Meanwhile, as expected, in the wake of Tupac's death, sales of his latest album "All Eyez On Me" soared -- 40,000 copies moved in the past week; and on Monday's "Billboard" pop albums chart the album leaps from number 69 to number 18. Tupac's previous album, "Me Against The World," also got a sales bump, and re-enters the chart at number 99. As for Tupac's posthumous "Machiavelli" EP, its cover will bear a painting, commissioned by Tupac before his death, that will seem prophetic: it shows Shakur on a cross, with bullet holes in his body, and light pouring through the holes along with his blood. Also stuck to the cross are notes naming the many cities in which Tupac had run-ins with the law.
Speaking of prophetic, Wednesday night MTV premiered the latest video from "All Eyez On Me," for the track "I Ain''t Mad Atcha," directed a month ago by Tupac himself, with the help of J. Kevin Swain. The video opens with Tupac being shot to death by an unknown assailant, then follows him to heaven, where he's greeted by a Redd Foxx look-alike, and raps against a background populated by likenesses of Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Junior, and other deceased black music stars.
Two memorials to Tupac were announced this week: one, for Thursday morning in Los Angeles. It was promptly canceled by its organizer, Death Row Records, which said it could not find a venue big enough to satisfy fan demand. The Nation of Islam set Sunday as a "Hip Hop Day of Atonement" at a mosque, once used by Malcolm X, in New York City's Harlem district. The Nation's youth coordinator Conrad Mohammed said the event would "call for an end to the maddening destruction of the black community" -- sentiments echoed in a letter to Tupac, acquired by MTV News, that his step-father Mutulu Shakur wrote upon learning of Tupac's death. Mutulu, a Black Panther in jail for helping another Panther trying escape prison, wrote, "Will your levitation be the awakening of us all? The division unsettling to our dreams and goals... Your passing demanding repentance and resistance." We got more reaction to Tupac's murder last weekend in Las Vegas, where fans held a vigil at the intersection where Tupac was killed, and from rappers in Los Angeles who were taping MTV next "Rock and Jock" game.
DAPHNE, 36: We know what his music was about. Lot of people, some people don''t. But we know his music was down for our people. We listen to it. We have it. We know the messages, y''know, the words that he's saying and everything. And, you know, we miss him. Its just like I''m losing a son.
EMMITT, 22 (gesturing to a large tattoo on his stomach): That's for like, all the pain that we done went through. I suffered the same life he just suffered, living that street life, that thug life. All of it's real. Just ''cause you get famous don''t mean nothing. Enemies still catch up with you.
MAN 1: I looked up the night Tupac died, they pronounced him dead, and I seen one star in the sky and it was kind of hazy ''cause it was cloudy. but you know what I figured is that was Tupac... you know what I''m sayin''? That's how I looked at it.
WOMAN 1: Only God should judge Tupac. We should not, nobody should say whether he was a thug, he didn''t represent this, he didn''t represent that. God should judge that man, you know? And I just say, I hope he rests in peace. I''ll see him at the crossroads.
SPINDERELLA, Salt N'' Pepa: I hope his life is an example to a lot of kids out there. He spoke of a lot of things in his music, and that's because he went through a lot, y''know? So, the things that he said, hopefully, it''ll teach these kids out there that are tryin'' to run around, doin'' this, doin'' bad things and everything, that there is life ahead. Life goes on.
METHOD MAN: This is an eye-opener right here. Hopefully, for all the youth, kids, I mean, even the grown-ups, everybody, I hope this is an eye-opener, man. Word up. ''Cause they should see, right now, the violence is not the key, and that it's real. Bullets is real, guns is real, you know, all that stuff is real, man. It's up to us as artists to take responsibility for what we''re saying in our records and on our albums and things of that nature, you know. But it's like, you can''t water down the hip hop, you can''t water down the ghetto. It's like, when those shots go off, the kid, the average kid in the ghetto can''t close his eyes to it. This is not a television show, this is reality, real-life drama.