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Tupac Shakur biopic includes brief stopover in Baltimore

Trailer for "All Eyez On Me," a Tupac Shakur biopic. (Courtesy video)

Tupac Shakur's four years in Baltimore make a brief appearance in the biopic "All Eyez On Me," where they serve to provide a brief respite between his tumultuous youth in New York City and the violence he later encountered in Oakland.

The movie, which stars newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Shakur and opens in theaters today, spends about 10 minutes and just a handful of scenes in Baltimore. Set in 1987, they are preceded by a scene in which a young Shakur, after the FBI stages a violent raid on his family's New York apartment, asks his mother if they will still come after them in Baltimore. After a few more scenes, including a sweet encounter with Baltimore School for the Arts classmate Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham) and an announcement by his mother (Danai Gurira) that she's moving the family to Oakland, the setting shifts to the West Coast.

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In voiceover, Shakur says that he saw things in Oakland that he never saw in New York or Baltimore. As he says this, the film shows a man being violently assaulted in front of Shakur, who's only trying to get inside his family's apartment.

After a long gestation, “All Eyez on Me” arrives in theaters, directed by Benny Boom, but this disorganized biopic isn't quite worthy of its subject's remarkable life.

None of the film was shot in Baltimore, at least insofar as the Maryland Film Commission is aware. Before the scene with Pinkett, a brief establishing shot appears to show the back of the statue of William Wallace in Druid Hill Park. The remainder of the scene, in which Shakur and Pinkett are standing on a lakeside dock, could easily have been shot in the Atlanta area, where much of the movie was filmed.

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Shakur and his family lived in Baltimore from 1984-1988. He attended Roland Park Middle and Dunbar High schools, as well as the School for the Arts.

For a deeper look at the rapper's time in Baltimore, read Baltimore Sun reporter Wesley Case's article from March, ahead of Shakur's induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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