Words by Omari White – This article was originally published in issue #272
From getting the Juice and flying Above the Rim to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we take a look at Tupac’s most notable big screen moments.
Above The Rim (1994)
Regarded as a classic streetball sports film, Above The Rim tells a story of a promising NYC high school standout named Kyle protecting his credibility on the court, as New York’s next hoops prodigy, while awaiting a scholarship offer from Georgetown University. But off the court, it was survival of the fittest in the rough grimy streets of New York, as the protagonist is lured in by bribery attempts and forced to play for either Birdie’s “Birdmen” squad or his high school summer team in “The Shootout”, which takes place at the historical hoops sanctuary, Rucker Park.
This Hip-Hop cult classic was Tupac’s acting debut. The urban thriller follows four friends street hustling in Harlem, New York. When the crew’s leader, Raheem (Khalil Kain) buys a gun for a planned robbery, and gives it to 2Pac’s character “Bishop” to hold. Bishop becomes drunk with power testing the crew’s friendship and loyalty.
Poetic Justice (1993)
Starring Janet Jackson and directed by John Singleton, this romantic drama takes us through the journey of a young woman named, Justice, who developed a knack for poetry as a way to help the depression she feels from the sudden loss of her boyfriend. Justice meets Lucky, played by Tupac, and they bond over the poetry and their shared challenges.
Shot in Brooklyn and co-starring the legendary Mickey Rourke, a lifelong junkie by the name of Butch quickly falls back into his old ways with his best friend Lester. Butch steals from a local drug pusher, Tank, who decides to settle an old score by sending one of his toughest soldiers after Butch. But Tank soon discovers that Butch is going to put up a fight with the help of his brother, Louis.
Taking place in Detroit, this film is about two heroin addicts attempting to change their lives after witnessing their bandmate overdose on drugs the first time she used it. As they attempt to enter a rehabilitation program, they encounter a series of roadblocks, consisting of manhunts by the police and a drug dealer.
Gang Related (1997)
This crime thriller film follows two corrupt cops who have been murdering drug dealers and selling their narcotics. One evening, they accidentally kill an undercover DEA agent. The dead agent’s partner is searching for answers. In his quest, he believes he found a scapegoat to the deadly event, who so happens to be a homeless alcoholic. The scheme becomes increasingly dangerous and complex, and the DEA grows suspicious of the crooked duo.