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‘Unsung Hollywood’ to showcase a side of Tupac Shakur the biopics missed

Tupac Shakur in “Poetic Justice” (Content Courtesy of TV One)

A special edition of “Unsung Hollywood” will showcase rapper and actor Tupac Shakur on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. ET. TV One’s Jubba Seyyid, senior director of Programming & Production, shares, “Tupac is iconic and he transcends music and television. We’ve heard his story told before, but as a musician. We don’t think he got credit for his acting prowess. He was as talented an actor as he was a musician. Actually, he was a triple threat: Music, acting and activism. Possibly if he hadn’t left us, he would be participating in Oscar-worthy performances by now because that’s just the type of talent he was.”

The legendary rapper Tupac actually had a passion for acting before he got into hip-hop. At the age of 12, Tupac was cast in “A Raisin in the Sun” at the Apollo Theater, and the desire to perform on stage stayed with him for the rest of his life. As a teen, Tupac attended the Baltimore School for the Arts where he fell in love with Shakespeare and Broadway, and where he formed a close and lifelong friendship with Jada Pinkett Smith.

As his rap career took off, Tupac never took his eye off his other dream. In 1991, with 2Pacalypse going gold, he landed a starring role in Juice, which was a critical and commercial success. That led to other acclaimed roles, including standout turns in Poetic Justice and Above the Rim. Pac was poised to become a major Hollywood star, but criminal charges, prison time, rap feuds and other beefs got in the way. He was fired from Menace II Society after getting into a conflict with director Allen Hughes, whom he later assaulted. A week before he was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996, Pac met with John Singleton, who wanted him to star in the classic coming of age film Baby Boy. In the year after he died, he appeared in three more films, Bullet with Mickey Rourke, Gridlock’d, opposite Thandie Newton and Gang Related.