Close to two decades after Tupac Shakur died of gunshot wounds following an altercation in Las Vegas, his death remains shrouded in mystery. A segment of the upcoming three-night, six-hour National Geographic Channel documentary The '90s: The Last Great Decade?, tackles the issue with insight from Arsenio Hall, Gobi Rahimi, who directed Shakur's "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" clip and was with the rapper on the night of his death and Malcolm Greenridge, a member of the Tupac-affiliated group Outlawz.
"The atmosphere in Club 662 was very funky," Rahimi said of the Vegas club owned by Death Row Records head Suge Knight. "It just seemed like there were a lot of questionable characters in there." After the shooting, Rahimi recalls the vibe in the hospital. "Me and the Outlawz, we all took shifts," he said. "And I think they had weapons in their car because the whole time we were there, we were fearful [whoever shot Tupac] was gonna come finish him off."
The clip also addresses the rumor that, after Shakur passed, his Outlawz buddies smoked his ashes in a blunt. But Greenridge, who rhymes under the name E.D.I. Mean, won't bite. "'Pac told us mystery sells, so I'll let people wonder," he said. (Incidentally, the group told VladTV that the rumor was true in 2011.)
He also expressed frustration that Shakur's murder remains unsolved. "Law enforcement around the country weren't big Tupac fans," he said. "I'm absolutely positive they know what happened. This is America. We found Bin Laden."
Apropos of nothing, Arsenio Hall offered, "I believe that if Justin Bieber had gotten shot in Tupac's car, we'd know more."
The '90s: The Last Great Decade?, which will air from July 6th to July 8th at 9 p.m. EST, contains interviews with Roseanne Barr, Tony Blair, Matthew Perry, Jason Alexander, Monica Lewinsky, Vanilla Ice and more, covering events ranging from the gossipy pratfalls of Bill Clinton's presidency to more somber events such as Columbine.
Another music-related segment of the series focused on the impact of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. In it, Courtney Love alleged that the grunge icon was "desperate to be the biggest rock star in the world, but he made it look like it was thrust upon him." She went so far as to call Cobain's denouncement of the spotlight "a myth."
I don't find it shocking that human beings are viewing the last great decade as the 90's. Could it be a vague admission or acknowledgement that the advancement of, and dependence on technology has deteriorated our creativity and our minds? Perhaps.
It was also most likely the last decade in which there was still a prevailing degree of innocence in our culture(s). Not a constant bombardment of information that is so easy to access that it removed any sense of mystery or humility from our minds altogether.
And yet, there is still 2pac. The mystery of his death and his life can still remind us of what we do not know.
It's good to see Tupac discussed in this piece and hopefully I can view it soon.
I would have asked Arsenio Hall: Do you think the witnesses in a Justin Bieber murder would have been hard-core Compton gang members who are committed to not helping the police solve the murder?"