The following content goes beyond the movie itself, which some of it is the root of the criticism the movie received.
NB!!: Spoiler alert 🚨.
All Eyez On Me, also derived from his studio album, is a true biographical movie on the life of the ‘ prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist’ Tupac Shakur. The film indulges in the evolutionary journey of Shakur from as early as his birth to the last tragic days of his death and how he became the world’s most renowned, influential and greatest of all time rapper.
The inception of the film starts off with an interview between Hill Harper (documentary filmmaker) and Tupac Amaru Shakur played by Demetrius Shipp, Jr. at Clinton Correctional Facility in 1995 with the intention of getting the whole true story from the horse’s mouth.
New York 1971: Tupac’s mother Afeni (Danai Gurira) and her fellow Black Panthers after the acquittal of several charges against her, they were released from prison. At the time, Afeni was pregnant with Tupac and was fighting against unfair treatment of black individuals in the country from not only society, but the system swore to protect its citizens. Tupac was nurtured in an environment where he believed black people had to struggle for self-determination, fight against white supremacy and they should oppose it with everything they have.
Tupac grew up in and was witness to his East Harlem neighbourhood involving racism and police brutality against African Americans. His family was consistently on the move.
Afeni devoted her life to drugs and her behaviour changed for the worst. As a result, young Shakur faced a lot of domestic setbacks and lived in about 20 different homes. Tupac got tired of her behaviour and distanced himself and his sister by moving out. He placed his mother in rehabilitation to overcome her crack-cocaine addiction. He wrote her a nine-page long letter during her crack recovery, he said he appreciates what she has done but she can’t expect him over night to accept her word that she will stay clean simply because she said so- frankly, this is the origin of his hit single ‘Dear Mama’.
During his teen years, Tupac attends the Baltimore School for the Arts where he becomes close friends with Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham). Jada Pinkett and Tupac never dated, they were good friends. Jada confirmed this in her tweets after the film was released in USA.
In the late 1980s, 17 year-old Shakur met 25-year-old Leila Steinberg, a key figure in the young rapper’s life.
The role of P. Diddy: Puff Daddy traded on his street creditability because he started a record label ‘Bad Boy records’ and it was a major competitor for Death Row on the West coast. East coast vs West coast rivalry intensified between them when Tupac was the major artist for Death Row Records (owned by Suge Knight) while Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls was a major artist for Bad Boy Records (owned by Puff Daddy). Biggie was murdered in a drive-by 6 months after Tupac’s murder after attending the Soul Train Awards. Some people saw that as a retribution and revenge for the murder of Shakur. This East coast vs West coast was formatted by Tupac’s lethal addiction to stirring up trouble. He believed at some point that Biggie smalls were responsible for the first unfortunate event of his life which was in 1995 when he was victim to a robbery and was shot five times trying to get into the recording studio in Times Square.
Tupac knew his biological father only after he was shot 5 times at the hospital. He later believed that Puff Daddy and Biggie set him up. Puffy traded on his street credibility as both the street-wise kid who could ring up enormous sales of the hardest core rap on the East coast while also trading in his Hamptons house by being friends with Martha Stewart and he was able to cross that culture divide; but he played on that Thug “bad boy” image quite vigorously however that bad boy imagine rebounded on him in a negative way during his trial when he and Shyne Barrow were accused of shooting a gun at people and hitting 3 people at a nightclub in New York City.
Puff was acquitted and Shyne was convicted for 10 years, after that Puffy had a religious revelation and conversion experience which eventually led him to change his name to P. Diddy.
Tupac met a young woman named Briana (Erica Pinkett). She seduced him in the club and they had sex, but Briana starts stalking and harassing Tupac with multiple phone calls. Tupac is later on trial for rape and harassment charges. He was later found not guilty of rape, but is found guilty of illegal touching, and is thus sentenced to 18 months in prison.
While in prison, Tupac went through a transition and declared he was through with thug life and that it was a phase in his life. He extended his invitation to propose to Jada which she declined. However, she considered it for a while but she knew it was the right decision. Shakur got married to Keisha Morris and never got a chance to have kids of his own.
Tupac was later released from prison after only serving 8 months of his sentence, Tupac signs a contract to Death Row Records under Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana), and he collaborates with artists like Dr. Dre (Harold House Moore) and Snoop Dogg (Jarrett Ellis). Tupac and Dre work on the hit song “California Love”. He releases the track “Hit Em Up” as a response to Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya?” in which Tupac brags about supposedly having an affair with Biggie’s wife Faith Evans (Grace Gibson).
Tupac was perceived to be a misogynist, evident in the explicit sexual references and objectifications of women in his lyrical content. He later rectified this perception by releasing tracks like “Keep ya head up” , “Black woman” , “Dear mama” denouncing domestic violence, rape, and familial irresponsibility.
Tupac Amura aka Makaveli or 2 Pac Shakur was fatally shot on September 7th 1996 in a drive-by shooting at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in Las Vegas, Nevada. He died 6 days later from his gun wounds. Till this day, his killers are still unknown.
Against all odds, Shakur’s raw talent, powerful lyrics and revolutionary mind-set propelled him into becoming a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow long after his passing.