People often say, “art imitates life”. In the case of Tupac Shakur, that catchphrase could not be more true. Twenty years ago, rapper/actor Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip. Some speculate Tupac was killed in an act of retaliation stemming from a fight he was involved in earlier that night. Security camera footage at a casino caught Tupac brawling with what appears to be members of the notorious gang, the Southside Crips. It is believed that the gang then allegedly tracked down Tupac (and driver Suge Knight) and opened fire.
Twenty years later though, Tupac’s murder remains unsolved.
In an eerie coincidence, the following year (after the death of Tupac), his final onscreen performance hit theaters – Gang Related. If you’ve seen the movie already, the correlation is unmistakable. However, in Gang Related, Tupac’s character, Detective Rodriguez, is on the opposite side of the law – he plays a cop, a corrupt one at that. Rodriguez is involved in the killing of a DA agent and tries to make the crime appear to be gang related.
The way the movie echoes the trials and tribulations of Tupac’s life is pretty eerie; keep in mind, Gang Related opened nationwide over a year after Tupac was killed. His character proclaims how he isn’t afraid to die – something Tupac spoke about frequently. And there are definitely more character traits both Tupac and his character Detective Rodriguez share. We live in a culture that thrives on reality TV, where the lines between what’s real and what’s staged are often unnoticeable. It may not be a reality show, but Gang Related shares a sentiment echoed in Tupac’s own life story.
Needless to say, at the height of his career, we see Tupac teeter between both roles; that blurred space is where art imitates life. Check out Gang Related now playing on EPIX to see for yourself!