Q&A: Why ‘Dear Mama’ director took on Tupac despite attack

April 21, 2023  -LOS ANGELES (AP) — Filmmaker Allen Hughes thought participating in any Tupac Shakur project was a farfetched idea especially after surviving a brutal altercation involving him and the rap legend three decades ago.

For years, Hughes firmly held a grudge even after a public apology from Shakur — who along with nearly a dozen gang members in 1993 physically attacked the filmmaker for firing the rapper from the cult classic “Menace II Society.” He along with his brother Albert Hughes had previously directed Shakur’s “Brenda’s Got a Baby” music video in 1990s. After the dispute, Shakur was convicted and served about two weeks in jail.

It took Hughes some time, but he finally stopped holding onto his deep-seated resentment a few years ago when Shakur’s estate approached him to direct a documentary called “Dear Mama,” which premieres Friday on FX and will stream the following the day on Hulu. The five-part docuseries explores how the mother-son duo of Tupac and Afeni Shakur shaped American history.

With never-before-seen footage, “Dear Mama” delves into Afeni’s past as a female leader in the Black Panther Party, while exploring Tupac’s journey as a political visionary and becoming one of the greatest rap artists of all time.

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