Ahead of the five-part docuseries focused on Tupac Shakur and his mother Afeni, Dear Mama, Entertainment Tonight unearthed rare interview with the rapper/actor, conducted prior to the release of what would be his final film, Gridlock'd.
In the eight-minute clip, Pac talks about a number of things, including wanting to do more film work and his production company, which he was just getting off the ground. He said he wanted to do the film to "change his image."
“This movie is really about friendship and what unconditional friendship means," he said. "I did it basically because it was funny and I’ve never really got to be funny."
He went on to talk about his plans in the movie industry. “We got a lot of good things happening,” he said. “If I say it right now, the way my luck has been going, it’ll all fall through … Just give me a month so I can lock it down before I tell everybody. I just want to push the envelope and work, work, work. I want to move further away from the music and start wading myself into the acting more.”
He also talks about his most recent music release at the time, the double album, All Eyez On Me.
“The album that’s out now is just my emotions," he admitted. "It’s emotional, but it’s not thought-provoking. So I want to do some thought-provoking work with my music, and I can do that if I’m working in the films because I grow and learn more things and have more to talk about. If you in jail and you getting chased by the police, it’s like I haven’t gone anywhere from the block because I’m still talking about the same things, so the music reflects that. First, I gotta move out of the environment and then I have other things to write about.”
He also talked about deliberately pushing boundaries to make progress.
“People can tell you, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that.’ But my whole mind state is: if we don’t ever go outside of the boundaries, we will never change anything, we will never begin anything, we will never start anything,” he said. “We’ll just keep talking about the people who did it once and told us not to go outside the boundaries. That’s just like telling Christopher Columbus that the world is flat. I’m doing the same thing. They’re telling me, ‘You can’t do this, you can only rap. And if you rap, you can only rap about this. You can’t act, and if you act, you can only do the Black films. You can’t be an artist or a celebrity and go out still. You can’t be an artist and still have fun and still be true.' I don’t like that, so I try to go outside the boundaries — sometimes it’s effective and positive; sometimes it’s negative and it blows up in my face.”
Pac was tragically killed not long after this interview in September 1996. Watch the interview below.