Tupac Recalls Being at War in Unearthed Interview From Weeks Before Death

Scene from the Movie

The rapper also expressed conflicted feelings about fame during a junket to promote the movie ‘Gang Related’

A little over two weeks before his death, Tupac Shakur said he was “in the midst of war” during a junket with his fellow Gang Related actor Jim Belushi. The previously unreleased interview – which took place on August 27th, 1996, 18 days before the rapper was murdered in Las Vegas at the age of 25 – surfaced on a Tupac message board, according to Hip-Hop DX.

While answering a question at about the meaning behind his name – which references a Peruvian “warrior similar to myself” named Túpac Amaru II – he said that to him it means “determined.” He explained that’s “because I’m determined to never, ever negotiate again. We are in the midst of war. Nobody’s gonna give me the breath out of their mouth for me to live longer, so therefore I’m not giving anybody the breath out of my mouth for them to live longer.” The question and answer begin at around the 9:50 mark of the audio.

Elsewhere in the interview, Tupac offered his opinion about what “the biggest myth about fame” is. “That all actors want to be famous,” he said. “That when you’re an actor, you’re supposed to want this. And, like, when people come up to you and tear all your clothes off, ‘Quit complaining. You’re an actor. You’re supposed to want this. You’re famous.’ No, our job is to only come to work, give the best job we can give you and then move away from the picture. We’re not supposed to suck your dick while you watch the movie or put my finger in your ass while you watch the movie or play our record.”

A biopic about Shakur’s short life is currently in the works. The film’s producer, Randall Emmett, said in a recent interview with Collider that production would begin in June. “The script is great and we’re ready to make the movie,” he said. “We’re just prepping the logistics.” Oscar-nominated director John Singleton – who worked with Shakur as an actor on the 1993 film Poetic Justice – is attached to direct the still-untitled movie. Its cast has yet to be announced.

[ article by Cory Grow , audio by Jesse Surratt ]

38 Dakota Men EXECUTED : Dec 26 1862


On Dec. 26, 1862 38 Dakota men were executed in Mankato all at the same time by the order of President Abraham Lincoln.

Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen says, nobody ever talked about the most important historical event ever to happen there: in 1862, it was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged after a war with white settlers. John went back to Minnesota to figure out what really happened 150 years ago, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it much after.

We present here an special episode of This American Life with Ira Glass.

Ira talks to John Biewen about how remarkable it is that he could grow up in a town and never learn about the most significant event in its history. This show about Native Americans and settlers was first broadcast on Thanksgiving weekend, on the 150th anniversary of the war. (4 minutes)

John meets up with Gwen Westerman, a Dakota woman who moved to Mankato twenty years ago, also having no idea about its history. Together they travel to historic sites across Minnesota, reconstructing the story of what led to the war between the Dakota and the settlers. (25 minutes)

John continues the story of the Dakota War of 1862, and how it resulted in the expulsion of the Dakota people from the state of Minnesota. Then John goes back to his hometown to see how this history is being taught today in his old high school. He speaks with historian Mary Wingerd, author of North Country: The Making of Minnesota, about why so many people — including both of them — grew up in Mankato and never find out about the war. And he witnesses Dakota people, on the 150th anniversary of the war, crossing the state line and returning to Minnesota. (26 minutes)

John Biewen is director of the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Also check out the archives about this story at the Star Tribune.

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