Tupac Shakur has famously released as many albums after his death as he did during the years he was alive. As the years have ticked by since the MC’s 1996 murder with the crime still unsolved, documentaries about the rapper-actor have become more frequent, too — even his mom is the subject of an upcoming film. The latest to focus on ‘Pac, Tupac: Assassination (out on DVD October 23rd), is directed and written by RJ Bond and executive produced by Tupac’s trusted bodyguard, “Big Frank” Alexander, the author of the 2000 book Got Your Back: Protecting Tupac in the World of Gangsta Rap and the film Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake. Rock Daily spoke with Bond about what fans can expect from the new doc, which explores the events of September 7, 1996, the night Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas.
How did you decide to make this movie about Tupac’s assassination?
About two years ago we started kicking around the idea that it’s been ten years since Tupac was killed, and his fans still don’t know why, and we still don’t know why the investigation has never produced any real information. We also wanted to take a look at how the music industry had changed, and in doing so, we started contacting old associates of Frank’s and people who knew Tupac, and were around when he was killed. We started learning some very interesting things. We talked to a lot of business associates of Tupac’s at the time. We talked to several bodyguards that were actually present the day Tupac was killed.
What did you discover?
Originally, what this started off was collecting people’s remembrances about Tupac, who he was, the things he meant to his fans and to his friends, but soon certain facts came out. We just asked a natural question: Have you ever spoken to the police about this? People started telling us that the police had never even spoken to them. So for us to hear that of course, then it becomes, how deep does the rabbit hole go?
What’s the format of the film?
It’s a documentary. It’s primarily a talking-head piece, and it’s about an hour and a half long. It is a series of interviews not only conducted with new witnesses and people that have information that’s never been seen or shown before, but we also have the luxury of speaking with experts in the fields of law enforcement, and we get them to explain the relevance and the impact of the information being presented by these witnesses.
Why you decide to bring it to DVD and not to theaters?
We had a very guerilla style of making the movie and it really just didn’t lend itself, in my opinion, to a film or theatrical documentary. Plus, I find that people watch it two or three times and find new things every time they watch it.
What’s the overall message you’re trying to get across?
That it matters. Tupac’s death matters. It matters to Frank, it matters to me, it matters to every Tupac fan. His death mattered, his life mattered. The entire message of the movie is that if you care, do something.
Will this film provide any answers as to Tupac’s murder?
I think the film will lead to action. I believe the way we have concluded the film is a call to do something about it. We are presenting information that may change the face of the investigation. We’re presenting information that will excite Tupac’s fans that there may be some justice. You don’t have to be a Tupac fan to feel that justice needs to be done here.