This is the alleged un edited version. Kevin Powell said that he had to leave things out and change names so they wont get sued. Still crazy to read 20 years later.
How do you feel after everything you¹ve been through these past few weeks?
Well, the first two days [after the shooting] I had to go through what
life is like when you¹ve been smoking weed for as long as I have and then
you stop. Emotionally, it was like I didn¹t know myself. I was sitting in
a room, like there was two people in the room, evil and good. That was the
hardest part. After the first two days, the weed was out of me. I made up
my mind I wasnt going to smoke any more. That¹s when I started finding a
little peace in myself and I started figuring out what was going on. Then
every day I started doing like a thousand pushups for myself and reading.
I was reading whole books in one day, and writing, and that was putting me
in a peace of mind. Then I started seeing my situation and what got me
here. Even though I¹m innocent of the charge they gave me, I¹m not
innocent in terms of the way I was acting.
Could you tell me specifically what you mean?
I mean Im just as guilty for not doing nothing as I am for doing things,
you know what I¹m saying? Not with this case, but just in my life, my
career. I feel like I had a job to do and I never showed up. I was coming
late, if I did show up. I was so scared of this responsibility that I was
supposed to hold, that I was running away from it. But what I see now is
that whether I show up for work or not, the evil forces are going to be at
me. There¹s going to be people that still know what I¹m capable of doing,
and they want to see me fall. They’re going to come 100 percent, so if I
don¹t be 100 percent pure-hearted, I¹m going to lose. And that¹s why I¹m
The writer bell hooks says you have a legacy that most rappers don¹t. You
can listen to an Ice-T or an Ice Cube, but they don¹t connect to the
political movement like you do. Is that what you¹re talking about?
Yes. I never was a gangster rapper. When I got in here, all the prisoners
was like ³Fuck that gangsta rapper.² I¹m not a gangsta rapper. I rap about
things that was really happening to me. I got shot five times, you know
what I¹m saying? People was trying to kill me. It was really real like
that. But, as far as the legacy, I don¹t see myself being special, I just
see myself having more responsibilities than the next man does. My job is
not from nine to five, it¹s 24-7. People look to me to do things for them,
look to me to have answers. I wasn¹t having them because my brain was half
dead from smoking so much weed. I was trying to numb myself out.
I¹m not trying to tell everybody put down the weed. Some people can smoke
weed; I couldn¹t. I was totally gone. It was like recovery for me when I
got in here, like being in my own 12-step program. I had to face my own
demons; I had to face everything about myself that I didn¹t like. Now I
love myself again. I felt like I was in jail when I was out of here. I¹d
be in my hotel room, smoking too much weed, drinking, going to clubs, just
being numb. That was being in jail to me. I wasn¹t happy at all on the
streets. Nobody could say they saw me happy.
When I spoke to you a year ago, you said that if you ended up in jail,
your spirit would die. You sound like you¹re saying the opposite now.
Because that was the addict speaking. The addict knew if I went to jail,
then it couldn¹t live. The addict in Tupac is dead. The excuse-maker in
Tupac is dead. The irresponsible person in Tupac is dead. The vengeful
Tupac is dead. The Tupac that would stand by and let dishonorable things
happen is dead. God let me live for me to do something extremely
extraordinary, you know what I¹m saying? and that¹s what I have to do. I
can¹t slack off. Even if they give me the maximum sentence, that¹s still
Can you take us back to that night at Quad Studios?
The night of the shooting? Sure.
Try to tell us everything that was going through your head, as someone
who¹s lived through being shot.
Okay. Ron-G is a DJ out here in New York. He¹s like, ³Pac, I want you to
come to my house and lay this rap down for my tapes. You¹ll be
representing woop-de-woop.² I said, ³All right, I¹ll come for free. I¹ll
be down there.² So I went to his house, me and my homeboy Stretch.
You went up to the Polo Grounds?
me, Stretch, and a couple other homeboys. After I laid the song, Then I
got a page from this guy Jimmy telling me he wanted me to rap on Little
Shaun¹s record. He¹s Little Shaun¹s manager, and he¹d been asking me for a while to rap on this record because it¹s going to be a song with me and
Notorious B.I.G. on Bad Boy Records and all this. He said ³we need you.²
Now this guy I was going to charge, because I had no connections with him.
I could see that they was just using me out of the blue they wanted me to
do this song. So, I said, ³All right, you give me seven Gs and I¹ll do the
song.² So He said, ³All right, I¹ve got the money. Come.² When I got
finished with Ron-G Jimmy paged, like, ³You¹re on your way?² I said, ³Yes,
I¹m on my way.² I stopped off to get some weed, smoked the weed, and he
paged me again. ³Where you at? Where you at? Where you at? Why you ain¹t
coming?² I¹m like, ³I¹m coming, Man, I¹m on my way, hold on.² I wasn¹t
thinking, Why they want me here so bad?
We got lost looking for the studio in Manhattan. And I called him like,
³Where the hell is the studio?² Jimmy said, ³Where you at?² I told him
where we were at, which is right around the corner. He was like, ³How long
is it going to take you?² I was like, ³Five minutes. We¹ll be there in
How did you meet Jimmy?
I met Jimmy through some other rough characters that I knew. I knew he was
from the streets, and he was trying to get legitimate and all that, so I
thought I was doing him a favor. But now when I called him back for
directions, he was like, ³I don¹t have the money.² I said, ³If you don¹t
have the money, I¹m not coming.² And He hung up the phone then called me
back. He said, ³I¹m going to give you the money out of my pocket. I¹m
going to call [Uptown Records CEO] Andre Harrell and make sure you get the
money, but I¹m going to give you the money out of my pocket.² So I said,
³All right, I¹m on my way.² We parked the car in the garage, and as we¹re
walking up to the building, somebody screamed from up the top of the
studio. It was Little Caesar, he¹s like Biggie¹s side man. That¹s my
homeboy, I¹ve been knowing him since before Biggie came out. So I was
like, ³What¹s up, yo.² He said, ³I¹m coming downstairs, I¹m coming
downstairs. I¹m gonna kick it with my man Pac.² As soon as I saw him, all
my inhibitions about this could be a setup was relaxed. Because I was
like, ³Oh, Biggie must be here. All of them is here.²
So you¹re saying that going into it …
I already knew. I felt like it was a setup because this guy Jimmy knew
somebody I had a major beef with. I didn¹t want to tell the police but I
can tell the world. Jack had introduced me to Jimmy. Jack had set up this
studio time. He told me, ³I¹ve got some work for you.² Everybody knew I
was short on money. All my shows were getting canceled. I had lawyers all
over the country, All my money from my records was going to lawyers, all
the movie money was going to my family. So I was doing this type of stuff,
rapping for guys and getting paid. And the only people that were paying me
were criminals, because they were the only people that had cash, that I
didn¹t have to have a check and all that type of stuff.
So who¹s this guy Jack?
Jack Agnant was one of the guys that got arrested with me on the rape
charge. He¹s actually the guy that introduced me to this girl. He¹s the
guy that I was kicking with throughout the whole time I was in New York
doing Above the Rim. He came to me. He knew Mike Tyson. He told me, ³Look,
I¹m going to look after you. You don¹t need to get in no more trouble.²
When I went to Nell¹s, it was in the belief that I was going to too many
hip hop clubs, and that was how I was getting into trouble. So they was
bringing me to this ³upper echelon² club so I wouldn¹t get in no more
trouble. So it was Jack and Rick. Rick is his hit man‹that¹s who I was
hanging around with, criminal types.
“No, but I recognized them as being the type of ******s Jack was around. I
didn¹t know if I had seen them with Jack, but I know that those are the
type of ******s he was introducing me to. I knew they were from Brooklyn.
So I¹m going unconscious, and I¹m not feeling no blood on my head or
nothing. The only thing I felt was my stomach hurting. My stomach was
hurting real bad. Then my sister¹s boyfriend turned me over and said, ³Yo,
are you all right?² I was like, ³Yes, I¹m hit, I¹m hit.² And Fred is
saying he¹s hit, but Fred was hit from the bullet that went through my
leg. They didn¹t shoot him, they shot me and it just ended up hitting him.
So I stood up and I went to the door and‹the **** that ****ed me up as
soon as I got to the door, I saw a police car sitting there. So when I saw
the police car, we all ran out screaming. This girl came out of the strip
club next door, and I said, ³Where are they at? Where are they at?² And
the girl said, ³I don¹t know what you¹re talking about.² The police saw
that???, so I got scared. I was like, ³Uh oh, the police are coming, and I
didn¹t even go upstairs yet.² So we went back inside and pressed the
button, jumped in the elevator and went upstairs. I¹m still limping and
everything, but I don¹t feel nothing. It¹s like numb, I¹ve just got a
headache. When we got upstairs, I was looked around, and it scared the
**** out of me.
Because Andre Harrell was there, Puffy was there, Biggies there was about
40 niggas there. All of them had jewels on. More jewels than me. This
made me know it wasn¹t a robbery attempt. The money was upstairs. Andre
Harrell is CEO of Uptown / MCA. What the hell are they worrying about me
for when they aren¹t robbing him? You understand me? Biggie, I mean
everybody was up there, right? I saw Jimmy, and he had this look on his
face like he was surprised to see me. If he expected me, why was he
surprised to see me? I had just beeped the buzzer and said I was coming
upstairs. I was like, ³You¹re going to have to explain to me, when I come
out of the hospital, why you set me up.²
You said that to him?
That¹s what I said to him. And he said, ³What are you talking about, Pac?
I don¹t know what you¹re talking about.² Then he said, ³Stretch, let me
talk to you.² Why did he want to talk to Stretch? Stretch walked with him
into the elevator and I said, Stretch! And he turned around and said, ³Oh,
hold on you all,² and came back to my side. I didn¹t even think about it
then, that Stretch could have been involved. This is the shit I had been
with my whole career. So the next thing was, Little Shaun bust out crying.
I went Why is Little Shaun crying, and I got shot? He was crying
uncontrollably, like, ³Oh, my God, Pac, you¹ve got to sit down!² Everybody
was working on me. ³Pac, sit down, sit down!² I was feeling weird. I was
like, Why do they want to make me sit down?
Because five bullets had passed through your body.
I didn¹t know I was shot in the head yet. I didn¹t feel nothing. I had a
headache. So Little Shaun was like, ³Pac, sit down!² And I opened my
pants and I could see the gunpowder and the hole in my Karl Kani drawers.
I didn¹t want to pull my drawers down to see if my dick was still there. I
just didn¹t want to look, you know what I¹m saying? I just saw a hole and
went, Oh, ****. Roll me some weed. Before I got to the studio, I called my
girlfriend and said, Yo, if Jack or Rick come by, don¹t let them in,
because they came to her house before. Now I got right on the phone, and I
was like, Yo, I just got shot. Call my mother and tell her I just got
Then I noticed that Stretch was looking down, he wasn¹t angry. My
cousin‹my sister¹s boyfriend Zane, I keep calling him my cousin because
it¹s love like that‹he was more upset than anybody there. He was like,
³Yo! There¹s going to be a problem up here!² And I was calming him down. I noticed that Andre Harrell wouldn¹t look me in my eyes. He wasn¹t
affected. And I had been going to dinner with him these last couple of
days. He had been inviting me to the set of New York Undercover, telling
me he was going to get me a job there. Everybody was like real
standoff-ish. Puffy was standing back. I knew Puffy. He knew how much
stuff I had done for Biggie before he came out. Biggie was claiming Thug
Life before he came out. But when his record came out, he claimed Junior
Mafia, he just forgot. He still showed me love, but it wasn¹t the same.
And When I was with Biggie, he was like, ³**** New York. **** Brooklyn.
I¹m going to come to the West coast, I¹m going to be with Thug Life. Puffy
isn¹t doing **** for me. ******s aren¹t looking out for me. I¹m down with
Tupac. You¹re true to this ****.² And then all of sudden, he was all about
New York. I was hurt by that, but at the party he showed me love, so I
forgot about it. But then I¹m up there, Puffy was standing still and
nobody approached me. Andre Harrell, when I was looking him in his eyes,
he would turn his head away.
People saw blood on you but no one said anything?
Nobody. Then they started telling me, ³Your head! Your head is bleeding.²
And then I started feeling my head. But I thought it was just a pistol
whip. I still didn¹t know I had got shot in the head. I still didn¹t
believe it. Then the ambulance came, and they took off my pants. My pants
had the keys to my girlfriend¹s house, a 100 dollar bill that they didn¹t
take, and my wallet with a lot of information, credit cards, everything. I
gave my pants to Stretch. Then the Police came. First cop I looked up to
see was the cop that took the stand against me in the rape charge. He had
like a half-smile on his face, and he could see that the ambulance is
looking at my balls, and he said, ³What¹s up Tupac? How¹s it hanging?² And
I was like, ³Oh, ****.² “
Why did you leave Bellevue Hospital?
I left Bellevue the next night. I was waking up and doctors were standing
over me. Every time I tried to go to sleep, I¹d wake up and there¹d be
another doctor over me. They were helping me, but I felt like a science
project. They kept coming in there, looking at my **** and ****, and this
was not a cool position to be in. I knew my life was in danger. I knew
what type of ******s I was dealing with. The Fruit of Islam was there, but
they didn¹t have any guns. I knew these ******s shot me five times.
It was just a situation where I knew I had to get out of there. Plus, I
wanted to smoke weed, so I had to leave there. I left Bellevue and went to
Metropolitan. They gave me a phone and said ³You¹re safe here. Nobody
knows you¹re here.² But the phone was ringing, and when I answered it,
men would say, ³You ain¹t dead yet?² Or some lady would be telling me,
³You ****ing raping girls, you¹d better change your life!² I was like,
Goddamn! Those mother****ers don¹t have no mercy.
I had to get out of Metropolitan, too, but I was scared because my whole
family was around me. I thought, I¹m putting people in danger now. And I
knew what these ******s were capable of. I couldn¹t tell the police. When
the police said, ³Who shot you?² I was like, ³I don¹t know.² And I knew
the dudes¹ faces as clear as hell. They¹ll never leave my head. But I
didn¹t want to tell the police. I don¹t know why, I couldn¹t even tell
them about Jack and them. I still didn¹t tell them.
Jack was spending the night in my room all these nights. When he found out
she sucked my **** on the floor and we had sex, he and Rick were livid.
Rick is a big freak, he was going crazy. He¹s Jamaican. He would just
start stuttering and ****. ³So what¹d you do?² All he kept asking me was,
³Did you **** in the ass? You d-did, did you **** in the ass?² He was
listening to every single detail of what happened that night. I thought
this is just some guy ****, it¹s all good.
Who are these guys? What do they do?
Just hangers-on. They liked to go to clubs with me. They had their own
money, they had their own clothes, they had Range Rovers, 850s, and it was
cool with me. Every time I went out with them, I never had to pay for
them. Sometimes they paid for mine.Tthat¹s why it was coolI thought. They
were buying me **** without asking for nothing, things that nobody had
done for me before. They knew criminals and ****, and I was going to their
house and they had a money-counting machine. Big money, not shoe box
money. These ******s have money machines. Jack told me what they did for a
living. They robbed the Africans. They got girls to meet Africans and they
would rob them. Not innocent Africans, but drug dealers, they would rob
them of big stacks of cash. Rick would always brag to me how he would bust
through the door and tie up families, tie up women and scare them. He
never told me about shooting nobody, he would just scare them and take the
money. These little hootchie girls had them all set up.
— night of the rape–
What happened on the night of the alleged rape?
We had a show to do in New Jersey at Club 88. This dude said, ³I¹ll be
there with a limo to pick you up at midnight.² Jack and them was all going
to come. We went shopping, we got dressed up, we were all ready. Jack was
saying, ³Why don¹t you give Ianna a call.² I had given Ianna Jack¹s
Skypager number, because she kept calling and leaving messages on my
machine. I said, ³Call them, they¹re my road managers.² That¹s what I used
to call them. All they wanted was for me to act like they was my road
managers. I said, ³Call Jack. If he says it¹s cool, I¹ll see you again.²
So we were all sitting in the hotel drinking‹me, Jack, everybody. Biggie
and them are on their way. Stretch is on his way. Biggie had already been
in my hotel room. ******s had been in my hotel room. ******s had left all
types of weapons in my hotel room, and they were like, ³I¹ll be back to
get them when we go to Club 88.² So I¹m waiting for the show, I swear on
everything I love, may God be my witness, I wasn¹t even thinking about
this chick no more. I had never done a show in New Jersey and I was hot in
New York. I was like, this is going to be the night. Hella females, I¹ve
got Biggie with me, the whole crew, it¹s going to be on. Jack was like, ³I
called her. I mean she called me and she¹s on her way.² And I was like,
³Ianna. She¹s coming here tonight.² I wasn¹t thinking about her no second
time. We were sitting there watching TV, the phone rings, and she¹s
downstairs. Jack gave Man-man, Charles Fuller, some money to pay for the
cab, and I was like, ³Let that ***** pay for her own cab.² She came
upstairs looking all nice, she was dressed all provocative and ****, like
she was ready for a prom date. All the ******s was in there when she
walked in the room. She gave Jack and Rick a hug, talked all nice to
When I woke up, Jack was standing over me going, ³Pac, Pac² and all the
lights was on in both rooms. The whole mood had changed, you know what I¹m
saying? When I woke up, I felt like I was drugged. I didn¹t know how much
time had passed. I wasn¹t sleepy. I wasn¹t even sleepy before I laid down.
I was hyped for my show and midnight was not far away. So when I woke up,
it was like, “You¹re going to the police, you¹re going to the police.²
Jack walks out the room, comes back in with Ianna. Her clothes is all on,
ain¹t nothing tore. She just upset, she crying hysterically. ³Why you let
them do this to me?² She not making sense. She not being coherent. ³I came
to see you. You let them do this to me.² What the **** is she talking
about? I¹m just waking up. I¹m like, ³I don¹t got time for this **** right
here. You got to chill out with that ****. Stop yelling at me and looking
at me all crazy.² She said, ³This not the last time you’re going to hear
from me,² turned around and slammed the door.
I thought she meant she was going to get some ******s after me. And Jack
goes, ³Don¹t worry about it, Pac, don¹t worry. I¹ll handle it. She just
tripping.² I¹m asking him what happened. And he was like, ³We just in
there Š too many ******s and, you know, Rick was getting crazy. And sheŠ
Don¹t worry about it, we¹re going to handle this.² I ain¹t even tripping
no more, you know? ******s start going downstairs, but nobody was coming
back upstairs. I¹m sitting upstairs smoking weed, like where the **** is
everybody at? Then my publicist Talibah, who had gotten there after Ianna,
calls me from the lobby and says, ³The police is down here.² I¹m still not
knowing what¹s going on, but I¹m like innocent, you know what I¹m saying?
So I open the door, walk downstairs to see what¹s going on. When the
elevator door opens on the second or third floor, I see Man-man sitting in
the chair and this police standing next to him. I thought, Oh, ****, what
the **** going on? The door closed. I get to the first floor and walked
out. Kevin, Stretch¹s homeboy came to me, ³Yo Pac, all the police out
there. Don¹t go out there.² Ain¹t no way I can just turn around and go
upstairs. They¹re going to come anyway, so I just walk outside. She¹s out
there pointing, ³There he goes. He¹s the one who did it.² She point out
me, Jack, and Man-man. And Rick is just standing there looking at her.
They say, ³This guy too?² She said, ³No, no. Just them three.² And we go
As the police car¹s wheeling me away, my limo¹s pulling up to take me to
So we went to jail and Jack is like, ³Don¹t worry about it, Pac. I¹m going
to handle this. Don¹t trip.² He was talking about drugs while we were in
the bullpen. And this was making me go, Wait a minute, why is he talking
about weight? Not like, you know, like little drugs. We in there talking
like we were at home or some ****. You know what I¹m saying? We¹re going
to get brought up on charges.
So once you got bailed out, you returned to Atlanta?
Yes. After that, Jack never let me out of his sight. When I went to
Atlanta, he went to Atlanta. He bought a house in Atlanta, you know what
I¹m saying? He was introducing me to some dope dealers down there. And
this one dealer he introduced me to was about to do some federal time, a
long time. Dude¹s trying to sell me furniture and all this type of ****.
Jack came to my house, met my family. Because all that‹the shooting
charge, the rape charge‹I ain¹t going out no more. Jack said ³You got to
go out because people will think you guilty if you don¹t.² So we¹re going
to strip clubs, we¹re going out like everything is okay.
So Jack has never been convicted of anything, and Rick hasn¹t even been accused?
Jack¹s trial never even came up yet. I¹m already doing my time. And Rick
has never been in court. He¹s in New York chilling, kicking it. They got a
picture of him and everything. They identified him, said he did this and
that, criminal acts. They¹re saying I was just in there holding her.
That¹s what she said: I held her or touched her, and these ******s did it.
******s ain’t checking for me. You know, my homeboys from L.A., they flew
all the way out here when I was shot just to say, ³You all right?² That
was more than Stretch did. Stretch bringing me information from the
******s that shot me. Coming to me telling about them, ³They say, ŒYo,
all they wanted to do was rob you, but you fought back, so they had to
shoot you.¹² That made me believe that he was with them.
So you’re saying everyone from your past is cut off?
Except Treach, [designer] April Walker, a few people. The ones that stay
true to me now. And if they my friends, then please don¹t let them get
upset. If they my friends, stay my friends. But like Karl Kani, I did
their whole photo shoot for him, I didn¹t ask for no money. I said, ³Karl,
all I want is the clothes. When you get the clothes, send them to me.² He
didn¹t send me ****. He sent me **** from three seasons ago. I had to go
to the store and buy them, you know what I¹m saying?
What are your plans after prison?
I¹m going to team up with Tyson when we get out. Team up with Monster Cody
from California. I¹m going to start organization called Us First. I¹m
going to save these young ******s because nobody else want to save them.
Nobody ever came to save me. They just watch what happen to you. That¹s
why Thug Life to me is dead. If it¹s real, then let somebody else
represent it, because I¹m tired of it. I represented it too much. I was
Thug Life. I was the only ****** out there putting my life on the line and
doing it. Just like in here.
I got into this big beef with this ****** because he wanted to see the
captain. He called her a *****, talking about he gonna kill her. I¹m about
to set it off on this ******. And all the black dudes in here was
defending me. They was ready.
The first night I got to Riker¹s Island, they put me in dorm two and I was
supposed to protected in here, right? I¹m surrounded by ******s. Then
there was a blackout and all the guards ran into a little bubble. They
left me in there by myself. When the lights came back on, this ****** in
here doing a hundred and forty years walked up to me, showed me his shank,
said, ³I did not like you when you came in here. I was going to kill you.
But after I heard you talk, I got love for you.² They wanted me to die.
That¹s what this whole **** is about, for me to come in here and get hit.
Has anybody else been there for you?
Since I¹ve been in here I got about forty letters, you know. I got little
girls sending me money. Everybody telling me that God is with me. People
telling me they hate the dudes that shot me, they¹re going to pray for me.
But I did get one letter, this dude telling me he wished I was dead. But
then I got people looking out for me, like Jada Pinkett, Jasmine Guy,
Treach, Mickey Rourke. My label, Interscope Records, has been extremely
supportive. Even Madonna.
Yeah, can you talk about your relationship with Madonna and Mickey Rourke?
I learned too late, but I was letting people dictate who should be my
friends. I felt like because I was this big, Black Panther type of ******,
I couldn¹t be friends with Madonna. And so I dissed her, even though she
showed me nothing but love. It wasn¹t like sexual, it was just friendly. I
felt bad because when I went to jail I called her and she was the only
person that was willing to help me. Of that stature. Same thing with
Mickey Rourke, he just befriended me. Not like black and white, just like
friend to friend. And he¹s a grown man, so I felt embarrassed and I just
want to apologize formally to Madonna and Mickey Rourke. And from now on
it¹s not going to be a strictly black thing with me. I even apologized to
Quincy Jones about all the stuff I said about him. I¹m apologizing to the
Hughes BrothersŠ but not John Singleton. He¹s inspiring me to write screen
plays because I want to be his competition. He lied, he stole my idea for Higher Learning.