Reflection: Tupac Opened The Doors For Rappers Turned Actors
You don’t have to be a fan of the hip-hop culture to know who Tupac Shakur is. The first thing that comes to mind for many when Tupac is mentioned is his music. It has been twenty years since his passing, and Pac family is still letting loose new material. With that being said, Shakur’s impact isn’t restricted to the music pillar in hip-hop. Tupac was at the epicenter of urban cinema during the golden years of hip hop.
Pac first jumped on the scene with his role with his iconic role as ‘Bishop’ in Earnest Dickinson’s "Juice." Pac dominated the film alongside actors more established at the time. His role gave the movie an authentic, street feel needed to go over the top. Shortly thereafter, Pac released his 2pacalypse Now album, which pushed him into rap stardom. While rapping was now at the forefront of his career, Pac still managed time here and there to take on roles in films. He played “Birdie” in “Above The Rim.” Later on, he starred in a romantic film by John Singleton called “Poetic Justice.”
While we only got five years of acting and a handful of films from Tupac, his impact sent shockwaves to the culture. On a street level, he made being a rapper-turned-actor cool. On a business level, he showed Hollywood that could rap artists involvement in films could lucrative. His roles opened LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Will Smith and more.
In the booth and on the big screen, Tupac changed the game.