Animated Tupac Shakur Describes His Life as a Shakespearean Tragedy

Latest PBS 'Blank on Blank' installment includes insight on fame and death

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Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

PBS' Blank on Blank animated video series delivers another music-related gem. Tupac Shakur is the latest subject of the franchise, which converts long-lost interviews with influential figures into cartoon form. Previously, we've seen Kurt Cobain talk about school, punk, and sexuality, and the Beastie Boys discuss their name, their whiteness, and Madonna's fan base. Above, the late rap legend touches upon his own myth, the "Thug Life" philosophy, and Vice President Dan Quayle.

The material comes from Benjamin Svetkey's 1994 talk with Shakur for an Entertainment Weekly profile. Early on, the journalist asks where his subject sees himself in 10 years. Eerily, Shakur flubs his answer and says, "Best case: in a cemetery. Not in a cemetery — sprinkled in ashes, smoked up by my homies." He pauses. "I mean Worst case. That's the worst case. Best case: multimillionaire, owning all of this shit."

He also likens himself to John Wayne ("If I was white"), orders Dungeness crab cakes, says he feels like a tragic hero in a Shakespeare play, and explains the difference between Tupac the Man and "the Tupac Machine." Asked to elaborate on the difference between life before fame and life in the limelight, Shakur shares, "I have no friends, I have no resting place, I can never sleep, I can never close my eyes." Watch above.

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