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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Tupac's tale 'in his own words'
Tupac Shakur
Tupac was killed at the age of 25
The mother of murdered rap artist Tupac Shakur has released a documentary which she claims tells the real story behind her son's controversial life and death.

Tupac: Resurrection is described as being about the rapper, shot dead in Los Angeles in 1996, "in his own words."

The rapper's mother, Afeni Shakur, told BBC World Service's Outlook programme that the film - which predominantly features interviews and personal conversations recorded with Tupac - was about helping understand his work.

"In all of the times since he's been gone, people are always trying to explain and understand him, what he was about and what he meant," Ms Shakur said.

"This documentary was made so that my family and I could feel comfortable that Tupac had had the opportunity to speak for himself.

"I just don't think that anybody explains Tupac better than Tupac."

Drive-by shooting

Tupac was one of the most prolific and controversial rappers - making his major success with the album Tupacalypse Now - but accused of lyrics that glorified violence and misogyny.

A number of documentaries about him have been made since his death at the age of 25 - including one by the British film-maker Nick Broomfield.

Snoop Dogg
Rapper Snoop Dogg argues that "when he spoke it you knew it was real"
At the time of his murder, almost exactly eight years ago, he was at the height of his popularity.

He was killed in a drive-by shooting for which no-one has ever been convicted. But Ms Shakur stressed she did not know - or care - who had killed him.

"I do not know, and spend not one iota of energy feeling a need to know," she said.

"It's irrelevant. I can't imagine what it would do for me to know. I truly believe that vengeance is the Lord's. I truly believe whoever murdered my son, God will deal with that. For me, I just don't need to know."

A number of releases have been made since Tupac's death - he is a bigger-selling posthumous artist than Elvis Presley.

Later this year a new album of Tupac's songs will be released.

Ms Shakur said one of the reasons she backed these releases - including the new documentary - was so that people could hear what his lyrics actually said.

In particular, she stressed her son did not use derogatory terms towards women.

"The problem with people who think Tupac is famous for calling women 'whores,' is that they haven't, unfortunately, listened to his music," she argued.

"What they've listened to is someone who's said that's what his music does."

'The darkest woman'

She said that in releasing Tupac's music and work, people would be able to see this for themselves.

"Why would I care what anyone says about Tupac, when Tupac can say things for himself?" she stated.

Tupac Shakur in Nick Broomfield's Biggie And Tupac
The East-West Coast rap rivalry is usually blamed for Tupac's death
"He can speak for himself, his work speaks for itself. If my son didn't have that work, I would feel very bad. But my son's work argues against any of that stuff that they say.

"You hear Tupac saying to women on welfare, 'Keep your head up.' He says 'the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice' because he's speaking to the darkest woman, who is most aggrieved, most stepped on."

Ms Shakur recalled that the last time she had seen her son was five days before he was shot.

"He was talking to his sister as an older brother, and telling her how proud he was of her," she said.

"My heart was so full, because a mother just wants - that's all she wants, her children to love and appreciate each other."




SEE ALSO:
Tupac Shakur film honours rapper
11 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Rapper's family denies murder theory
09 Sep 02  |  Entertainment
Paper investigates rapper murder
06 Sep 02  |  Entertainment


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