If you haven’t heard already, All Eyez on Me, a biopic depicting the life of the prolific rapper, actor, poet, and activist, Tupac Shakur will be premiering this Friday, June 16.
The premiere date would’ve been Pac’s 46 birthday.
Who’s playing the part of Tupac? Demetrius Shipp Jr., the son of Demetrius Shipp Sr., who had worked with Shakur to produce the song “Toss It Up” before the rapper was murdered in an unsolved drive-by shooting in 1996.
Peep the crazy throwback visuals
Even though Demetrius Shipp Jr.’s father was connected with Tupac it wasn’t dad that pushed him to audition for the role of Tupac Shakur. It was Demetrius’ friend who urged him to try out for the role back in 2011.
Shipp Jr. had no aspirations of becoming an actor and actually had goals of becoming a music producer. Before getting the role, Shipp Jr. was hustling at Sears and installing satellites for Dish Network to pay his bills so he could chase his music dreams.
Demetrius wasn’t lying he has the sick beats
With close to no acting experience whatsoever, Shipp Jr. auditioned for the part via video submission. He submitted the video 30 minutes before the deadline. It wasn’t until Shipp Sr. saw the video that he forwarded his son’s submission to LT Hutton, executive producer of the film.
Hutton was impressed by Shipp Jr.’s performance. Even though Shipp was a perfect fit for the Tupac role, he was still surprised he was offered the part according to what he said in an interview with The Daily News,
“I still remember that day. I just sat down and the tears started to flow. I can relive that moment forever. It was just a dope, surreal moment. It was like, ‘I can’t believe it. It’s real.’ “