Tupac was just as famous for his riveting, unfiltered, highly entertaining interviews as he was for his music. He always said whatever was on his mind.
On that fateful night two decades ago, not only did we lose one of the greatest rappers of all time, we lost one of the most honest, powerful voices that the culture has ever seen. Every time Tupac spoke, truth followed. Sometimes he articulated his message in interviews even better than he did on any of his records.
20 years to the day of his tragic death, we’ve compiled a list of Tupac’s best interviews to honor and celebrate his legacy. Watching these clips, it’s more than clear why he was such a beloved—and controversial—individual.
Everyone has a narrative or opinion when it comes to Tupac, but nothing is better than seeing Pac tell his own story, in his own words. Enlighten yourself and learn more about why Pac still matters so much to us today.
During High School in the Late ‘80s
Even from a young age, Tupac had the vision. In 1988, as a 17-year old kid at Baltimore School for the Arts, he talks for over 30 minutes about, well, everything.
Deep Thoughts on Police Brutality
Systemic issues with law enforcement continues to plague the community, and Pac was talking about it at length while promoting Juice back in 1992.
Reading, Politics, and Women
May 1996. Four months before his death. The man sounds off about it all: the books he loves, Bill Clinton, and his relationships with women.
Real Talk About Wealth Inequity
“There’s no way that these people should own planes, and there are people that don’t have houses,” is just one of many gems from this clip. Listen for Pac calling out Trump for his greed 26 years before Trump runs for president.
Previewing All Eyez On Me in the Studio
It’s really special to see Pac excited, in the studio, showing off tracks from what we know later became a classic album. He goes on to talk about humbling himself, his brief marriage, and how he handles fame during this interview from late 1995.
Dropping Knowledge From Prison
They locked his body, but couldn’t trap his mind. Even from behind bars, Pac comes through with one of his realest, most honest moments ever.
“Every Time I Speak, I Want the Truth to Come Out”
“I got a big mouth, I can’t help it. I talk from the heart.” Tupac spoke that real from the beginning of his career, and never stopped doing it. In this clip from 1994, he talks about the controversy surrounding his persona, and social justice.
Cracking Jokes on The Arsenio Hall Show
So many of Pac’s interviews were serious, if not outright dark. It’s nice to see him laughing it up on late night TV, while still keeping it a thousand.
Promoting Death Row East at the VMAs Days Before His Death
This interview has a spooky feeling to it because it occurred just a few days before his murder, but it shows how focused he was up until the last moment. “It’s not a game. We’re out here trying to help our people make money.”
“Instead of a Role Model, I Wanna Be a Real Model”
As Pac was starting to gain fame, and court controversy, the “role model” question was posed, as it often is for public figures. Pac answered it better than most stars.
Reminiscing About The First Time He Performed Onstage
Behind-The-Scenes on the Set of Gridlock’d
Though this interview is focused on Pac’s role in the movie Gridlock’d, it’s not a Pac interview with a ton more real talk included. He offers some interesting insight about being a villain in the media’s eyes.
“I Don’t Wanna Burn Out, I Wanna Be Forever”
“When I’m gone, I want my name to be here.” Prophetic.
Face to Face With Reporters
Tupac was always ready for the press. Even in the face of legal troubles, he responded to questions with truth and dignity outside of the courthouse.
Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement
Trying to Calm Down From His Wild Ways
Another clip from The Arsenio Hall Show. The most interesting part? When Pac talks about getting advice from Mike Tyson, who told him to “calm down.”
Why He Was Perfect for His Role in Gang Related
Everyone talks about what we lost musically when Pac was taken from us, but it’s also clear that he was very serious about his craft as an actor.
“Now They’re Destroying Me on the Same Image That They Perpetuated”
Most people walk from the courthouse straight to their car. Tupac stayed and spoke with journalists and tried to help them see his troubles from another perspective.
Surviving A Rough Childhood
Pac talks about how his mother was a Black Panther and how he grew up always aware of the struggle that his people faced.
Plans For The Future
Screenplays. Management. More albums. Tupac had a plan, and he was working on how to “find the right words” to continue spreading his message.