Tupac Shakur’s one-time video director and now biographer has explained why he made a docuseries about the late rapper, despite being previously beaten up by him.
Allen Hughes, whose five-part docuseries Dear Mama is available on Hulu in the US, and will debut on the Disney+ platform in the UK on 1st October, told The Guardian newspaper that the altercation, which occurred three years before Shakur’s death, came from a misunderstanding after the pair clashed on the set of Hughes’s film Menace II Society.
Shakur had been cast in the film, but the pair disagreed over his character’s backstory, and Shakur walked off the production. A few months later, Hughes was beaten by the rapper’s entourage, with Shakur convicted of assault and sentenced to 15 days in jail.
Hughes told The Guardian: “Before I would’ve said [it was] just Tupac, but now I’d say both sides … But with my own brother, I have that problem!”
“We saw a lot of the same things in the same way … It just was p*** and vinegar at the time. We were all 20 years old, y’know?”
Hughes met Shakur in the early 1990s and developed a close friendship. He co-directed three of the rapper’s music videos – Trapped, Brenda’s Got a Baby and If My Homie Calls.
His docuseries follows previous explorations of Shakur’s life on film, Nick Broomfield’s 2017 documentary Biggie & Tupac, and the 2003 Tupac: Resurrection. Hughes’s series concentrates on Shakur’s relationship with his mother, activist and former Black Panther Afeni Shakur. Tupac Shakur died in 1996.
Hughes said: “I wanted answers to a lot of the mysteries and question marks I had with Tupac, and I felt I could find him through his mother.”