Nearly two decades after it was recorded, JMix/Jessesurratt Productions have released a previously unheard interview with Tupac Shakur and actor Jim Belushi on the set of their film, Gang Related. During the interview, which lasts a little over 20 minutes and was reportedly recorded on August 27, 1996, Tupac speaks on working with Belushi, the origins of his name, his physical fitness goals, and more.
After he was asked about the origins of his name, the late rapper revealed that the name Tupac came from José Gabriel Túpac Amaru, a Peruvian leader from the 1700’s. Tupac also added that instead of sharing the name of the man his name is derived from, he tells those curious that Tupac means “determined.”
The West Coast lyricist then commented on being “in the midst of war” and shared his goal to remain unmoved by anyone.
“People ask me what my name means, I don’t tell ‘em like ‘Tupac Amaru.’ But I just say it means determined because I’m determined to never ever negotiate again,” Tupac said. “We are in the midst of war. Nobody wants me to live longer than [them]. Nobody’s gonna give me the breath out of their mouth for me to live longer, so therefore I’m not giving anybody the breath out of my mouth for them to live longer. I’ll just breathe deeply and go through this life myself without bothering anybody. Without pushing anybody else over. But on the same token, nobody ever will move me from where I’m standing.”
Towards the start of the interview, Tupac jokingly called out one reporter for being unable to offer “an original question” when they asked the rapper what it’s like working with Belushi.
“One day, you guys are gonna come up with an original question,” he said. “There has to be a deeper question than ‘What is it like working with Jim?’ It’s great, but I can never tell you what it’s like. It’s like when you ask people those questions—As it relates to what? What if you have no friends? You don’t know what it’s like. What if you’ve never done a movie? So, you don’t know how shitty your co-star can be. So, you don’t know how nice it is to work with somebody who gives a fuck…I got a shovel in my throat. We’ve been doing this for 13 hours. I’m totally tired. He’ll tell you a dirty joke that’ll just bring energy to the scene.”
During his on-set interview, Tupac encouraged actors, rappers, and people in general to become “more physically fit.” He also stressed the importance of being fit rather than “buff” or “slim.”
“I really want to push for the next generation of actors, people, rappers, entertainers, whatever, we need to be more physically fit,” Pac said. “Not slim. Not buff. Just physically fit. Whatever you have exercise it, so that you can use it. You can be fit and act tired, but you can’t be tired and act fit. Like I said, I’m not on the kick like ‘Let’s be skinny. Let’s be fit.’ Right now I can outrun everybody at this table.”
Lastly, Tupac admitted to being “very conceited,” but says the world humbled him when he was placed in jail for a crime he says he didn’t commit.
“To be perfectly honest, I’m very conceited,” the rapper said. “But how the world prevents it is by putting me in jail for a crime I didn’t commit last year. That kinda humbles you out. But now that I’m out and I’m free it keeps me humble. It keeps my feet on the ground…All of us as human beings have a dominant and a quiet side. I happen to be a Gemini and I’m young and I’m black and I’m from the hood, so it’s just you got all these different facets, but I’m an artist. And I’m hungry for knowledge, so there’s no pigeonhole for them to put me in, so they’d rather just make it look like I’m crazy. That’s the biggest misconception.”
Tupac and Jim Belushi’s interview can be found below.
For additional Tupac coverage, watch the following DX Daily: