The touching, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking memories behind the life and times of late West Coast hip-hop legend Tupac seem to never end even two decades after his death.
The latest comes from his Juice film castmate, Jermaine Hopkins, who played Steel in the 1992 classic. Hopkins dropped in on VladTV with his recollection of a shooting incident that happened while filming in New York and involving Pac versus the East Coast well before his adversity with its late hip-hop icon, Notorious B.I.G.
Kain, the slain Raheem of the Juice movie, revealed that Pac’s hospitality and altruistic disposition had no place in uptown New York at the time and location that they were filming. Pac invited a young boy into his trailer to break bread with him, eating and chopping it up with the kid before things suddenly turned violent when he discovered the boy stole a piece of jewelry from him. Kain said that Pac stomped the boy out, a situation Hopkins also remembers hearing about, too.
Hopkins admitted that he didn’t witness the incident himself, so he’s not sure exactly how things went down. The shooting, which Vlad mentions hearing about after the alleged stomp-out from Tupac, is another matter Hopkins can only loosely confirm. He reminded that the crew was uptown in Harlem during the time, an area where sounds of gunfire wasn’t uncommon.
Not to mention, Hopkins added, the set location could very well have been a pesky inconvenience to many “street businesses” in the area as well, since roads were blocked off and cleared out for filming. He theorized that the gunshots could have been mere scare tactics from locals to run the cast and crew out of their location.
“Or did it come from the, ‘F**k New York’ sh**?” he continued. “Because I do recall Pac having some words with somebody, and it might have been about the jewelry, I’m not too sure. But, the ‘F**k New York’ came out loud and clear.”
Hopkins said Pac might have absent-mindedly blurted it out of frustration, and between that situation and the inconvenience of the cast and crew filming, the gunshots could have came from anywhere. “As far as them shooting at the set—from my recollection—gunshots went off, but nobody was hit,” he clarified. “It was no fragments. I don’t recall that part. I know it was some gunshots. And if I’m not mistaken, they were on the roof, and shot up in the air, or something like that.”
If anything, Hopkins said the gunshots were simply a “reminder” that they were only guests on New York turf, and whoever rang them out made sure they wouldn't forget that.
Hear his full recollection in the video below:
(Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)