— Updated on 30 January 2023

FX’s Tupac Shakur Docuseries Will Show The Iconic Rapper In A Different Light

— Updated on 30 January 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

If you look closely at hip-hop culture throughout the years and have any more than a surface-level interest in what makes rappers tick, then you can’t ignore the mother-son relationship. Whether it’s Kanye’s relationship with the late Donda West or JAY-Z’s relationship with his mother Gloria Carter (to whom he dedicated the classic ‘You Must Love Me‘), it’s hard to deny how formative these dynamics are for some of the world’s greatest rappers.

That’s the idea behind FX’s newest docuseries, Dear Mama, putting the legendary Tupac Shakur under the microscope and examining how the emcee was shaped by the close relationship he shared with his mum and noted Black Panther, Afeni Shakur.

Tupac famously wrote one of his more timeless songs, ‘Dear Mama,’ about Afeni. Hence why FX has chosen that for the name of the new five-part docuseries.

Set to premiere in April 2023 via Hulu in the US, the new 2Pac documentary promises previously unseen audio and video footage, stitched together by Allen Hughes (The Defiant Ones) to show ‘Pac in a much different light and build an entirely new context around the ‘Me Against The World’ rapper.

Afeni’s background as a very involved activist in the Black Panther movement clearly instilled a desire for revolution in Tupac, which in turn is expressed throughout the late rapper’s catalogue from 2Pacalypse Now to All Eyez On Me.

Such context will be explored by Hughes, who serves as Dear Mama’s executive producer, writer and director and has already proven himself one of hip hop’s most investigative documentarians with The Defiant Ones, which follows Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine.

RELATED: Michael Jackson Once Refused To Be On A Tupac Song Because He Was A Biggie Fan

“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 Hughs during an FX presentation last week.

“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 [footage]. But most importantly, you get to understand why he made certain decisions.”

FX, which has backed some of the best-scripted shows of the past few years, including Atlanta and The Bear, also benefits from Lasse Jarvi serving alongside Hughs as executive producer and writer, as well as Quincy Delight Jones III, Staci Robinson, Nelson George, Charles King, Peter Nelson, Adel “Future” Nur, Jamal Joseph and Ted Skillman.

Jamal Joseph’s involvement is notable because he was also a Black Panther who reportedly knew both Afeni and Tupac personally, so would likely have plenty of input into how Dear Mama portrays the rapper’s upbringing and how it shaped him as a rapper.

Dear Mama is produced by A Defiant Ones Media Group Production and An Amaru Entertainment Production in association with MACRO and DreamCrew Entertainment.

“A lot of stories and people treated Afenie as, ‘Oh it was the Black Panther mother who had a drug problem’… but it’s much more complicated than that,” said Joseph at the FX panel.

Dear Mama will premiere in the US on April 21. There’s not yet any word on where you’ll be able to watch the new FX docuseries in Australia, but it’s most likely going to be on Disney+ since the streaming service owns Hulu.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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