The upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me traces the cold reality of the fallen hip-hop forebear, and his rise from poverty to the highest echelon of fame. The film will be released on November 11th, just a couple months after the 20-year anniversary of the icon’s assassination on the corner of East Flamingo and Koval in Las Vegas.
Music video veteran Benny Boom takes the director’s seat on the biopic, sprinkling contemporary rap songs like Nicki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap” and Waka Flocka Flame’s “Hard in Da Paint” into the trailer. With unknown Demetrius Shipp Jr. portraying the late Shakur, the film hits the time-honored rags-to-riches beats, showing how a kid with big ideas and bigger talent bent the world to his will. Featuring convincing impersonations of the scene’s big names – Kat Graham plays Jada Pinkett, Stefon Washington takes on Puff Daddy, Dominic L. Santana steps in as psycho impresario Suge Knight – the film is expected to court the same runaway success that Straight Outta Compton enjoyed last summer.
That sleeper smash won over audiences with its depiction of a group of angry young men challenging the system that abused them. Tupac is an arguably richer figure, half-gangsta and half-hippie, forever reconciling his principles of love and peace with his rage at the gross injustices all around him. With the right script and a winning lead performance, this could be a major entry in the small (but growing!) canon of hip-hop cinema.