Nearly 20 years after his death, the release of unheard Tupac Shakur material has nearly become an annual tradition. Most recently, a YouTube uploader has offered fans a chance to hear a previously unreleased interview recording with both Pac and his Gang Related costar Jim Belushi promoting their 1996 feature film. Notably, this recording was reportedly made just a month before the iconic rapper and poet was shot and killed in Las Vegas.
A little after the 2-minute mark you can hear Pac introduce himself to the interviewers before jokingly firing back at the first query. “One day you guys are gonna come up with an original question,” he says. “There has to be a deeper question than, ‘What is it like working with Jim?’ It’s great. I could never tell you what it’s like.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Pac opens up about serving time for a crime he says he didn’t commit, admits to being “conceited,” and says outright, “nobody ever will move me from where I’m standing.”
“To be perfectly honest, I’m very conceited,” he says. “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.”
Shortly after, Tupac addresses his embattled public image and speaks on the origins of his name.
“People ask me what my name means, I don’t tell ‘em like ‘Tupac Amaru,’” he says. “But I just say it means determined because I’m determined to never ever negotiate again. 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.”
Listen to the full interview below: