The powerful trailer ends when Afeni Shakur states, “It was my responsibility to teach Tupac how to survive his reality.”
The trailer is contrasted at the start when her son declares, “I’m most like my mom because I’m arrogant, totally arrogant.”
Award-winning filmmaker Allen Hughes directed the five-part docuseries, and the Toronto native told Deadline in September that one of the biggest benefits he gained from making the “Dear Mama” documentary was getting access to Tupac’s art. He said because of that, he was able to highlight Pac’s poetic’s nature rather than the violence.
“They gave us the ability to move away the noise and bring out the poetry. When I say noise, back to ‘Outlaw’ versus ‘Dear Mama,’ how do you bring the poetry out in all this? How do you understand that?” Hughes asked in the exclusive interview. “The estate granting access to the vaults — all the writings, jewelry, all the clothes — those are all his stuff. He kept logs and diaries on his ambitions, and Afeni would also note things as well. So you could excavate and know, whether it was ’91 or ‘92, what was he feeling? What was she feeling?” the director continued.
— FX Networks (@FXNetworks) December 25, 2022
Allen is famously known for making iconic films like Menace II Society starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Dead Presidents and The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington.
The name of the docuseries, “Dear Mama,” comes from the rapper’s 1995 hit song, which shares the same title. The series is expected to premiere in the Spring of 2023 on FX and stream exclusively on Hulu. Episodes will be available on the streaming platform the day after it airs on FX.
Tupac was fatally wounded on Sept. 7, 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. He was 25 years old. Afeni carried on his legacy until May 2, 2016 when she died of cardiac arrest. She was 69.
“Wherever possible, we tried to find archival footage that hadn’t been seen so there’s a lot that we have in the five parts,” said Hughes. “There’s also audio that’s never been heard. And not just some of his acapellas and vocals, there is a lot of stuff of Tupac from his baby years that had never been seen.”
“For Tupac superfans, I believe that two of the most important things in the project is the never seen before. But most importantly, you get to understand why he made certain decisions.”