New details about the night Tupac Shakur was shot when the Notorious B.I.G. and Puffy were recording at Quad Studios are given in a lost interview.
The interview came from Kevin Powell who is promoting the release of his book, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood, which can be found in stores and on Amazon.
According to a Complex magazine interview, Powell discussed his relationship with Tupac. As senior writer for VIBE magazine in the 1990s, Powell built a relationship with Ppac and wrote three cover stories on him. “I felt like ‘Pac represented really where Hip Hop was, this young Black male who represented the street side of things, but he also was intellectual,” Powell says about why he was drawn to the West Coast rapper. “This dude had gone to the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts. He was quoting Shakespeare. He could go back and forth. So in an interesting way, ‘Pac was kind of a combination of like Public Enemy and N.W.A, elements of both were happening in him. There wasn’t a lot of folks like that.”
Powell releases three minutes of his interview with Tupac while the rapper was incarcerated at Rikers Island on sexual assault charges. He asked Tupac to detail the night he was shot at Manhattan’s Quad Studios. Tupac was getting paged to come lay a verse for a song. The rapper explains how the manager was impatient while waiting for him to show up, which made Tupac uncomfortable.
“I wasn’t thinking. ‘Why they want me here so bad?'” Tupac says.
Multiple names are bleeped out from the interview 20 years after the events happened.
“People are still alive,” Powell explains of the decision to keep the interview censored. “People have to understand, it got so crazy during that time, not only did Tupac and Biggie get killed, if people actually did their research, a lot of folks got killed over a course of a couple of years. People got death threats. I got death threats as a journalist because people knew I had a lot of information. He said everyone’s names in the interview. So even if you go back and look at the cover story, we actually changed the names of everyone and ‘Pac was mad about it.”
Powell says that he decided to release the interview because there is a chapter in his book about his time covering Tupac. He says that his next book will be a biography of the late rapper, which has the approval of Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur and his estate.
To read an excerpt from The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood, visit Complex.
To purchase the book, visit Amazon.