After years of delays, director changes and much controversy, Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me is heading to theaters June 16. The Benny Boom-directed film stars Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as one of Hip Hop’s most celebrated and controversial figures, who recently just got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
One thing that hadn’t seen much discussion were the details around the official soundtrack for the film, set to be distributed by Summit Entertainment.
Over the weekend, however, DX Live’s Jake Rohn got a chance to speak with several West Coast legends during this year’s Krush Groove event at The Forum in Inglewood about just that.
It all kicked off when Luniz member Numskull had this to say about his possible contribution to the soundtrack.
“About the All Eyez On Me soundtrack, we got a Tupac song that I did with me, Shock G and Treach of Naughty By Nature,” said Numskull. “I produced the track. I did it straight for this.”
Later on, DX also spoke with West Coast Kam at the concert, who said his contribution to the soundtrack is a family affair with his son and nephew.
“We got a song on the soundtrack called ‘Homie Love,’” said Kam. “That’s going to be great. It’s going to be epic. I was suppose to do a song with Tupac called ‘The Struggle Continues’ but we never got to do it because he passed but that was my bro so rest in peace to him and Afeni.”
DJ Quik was in attendance performing alongside Suga Free and Hi-C and spoke with DX about being consulted for the All Eyez On Me soundtrack and the time he spent mixing the 1996 Diamond-selling classic.
“I’m mad that Tupac didn’t make more records and live more days on earth because All Eyez On Me had me and Dr. Dre in the studio like, ‘You want to go home tonight’ and he’d be like, ‘I got it,’” said Quik. “Dre would leave and I’d be there mixing a bunch of records. Dre would come back and send me a DAT of ‘California Love’ to my room. I was in studio B and he was in studio A. I’d put the DAT in and listen to ‘California Love’ before the world heard it. I swear to God, I think I must have lost an eyeball or tooth listening to that shit. All Eyez On Me is necessary and puts a timestamp on one of the greatest rappers. He was more than rap but a sum of his parts.”
The biggest revelation of the night came from producer L.T. Hutton, who gave some serious information on the project, from paying tribute to the original’s double disc format to guest features.
Hutton has been the pointman for the All Eyez On Me film for several years and was one of many responsible for putting the biopic into production. Late last year, he even clapped back at John Singleton after the director who was once attached to the film made some unfavorable comments about the movie.
“There is a soundtrack, but [it’s also] a tribute soundtrack,” said Hutton. “So people get to pay homage and it’s not a bunch of songs that you already heard and know already. What would you say to Pac and how would you pay tribute. It’s an All Eyez On Me double CD giving new opportunities to a lot of different people alongside some marquee acts. Lil Wayne never got to rap with Pac. So in the Pac spirit, what kind of song would you create? Same thing with Kendrick. So the soundtrack is a tribute album to pay homage and to keep the legacy of Tupac going.”
During the interview, Hutton also said to expect some of Tupac’s peers to make appearances and that the music will be filled with substance.
“You have to stay true to the roots of the West Coast and who he really rocked with,” he said. “My vision would be — me and E-40 talk every day so there’ll be a 40 record. It’ll be a Treach record. There will be a Rappin 4-Tay record. It’ll be the truest form of what it is. It’s a melting pot of Tupac’s vision. You will not hear on this soundtrack anything that doesn’t have substance. No disrespect to any of those people who do that, but we weren’t about that. Tupac wasn’t about that. It will not be any bullshit mumble rap on this soundtrack.”
Watch the trailer below.