MC Eiht: [Laughs] Tupac…My nigga ‘Pac had to be the funniest cat when it came to rehearsal. Nobody seen ‘Pac in the movie because he got kicked out. [MC] Ren was supposed to have been in the movie too. Ren had my part. Ren was supposed to have been A-Wax. And, for some reason the Hughes brothers didn’t like the way his portrayal of the character came out. So they decided to scratch Ren and call me, which was a blessing.
‘Pac was supposed to play Sharif, the Muslim. Now, the Hughes brothers knew ‘Pac, because they had shot his first three music videos. So they knew him; they knew his work ethic. Basically, they knew that they didn’t wanna work with him, in so many words. But, them being new directors, new [filmmakers], the only way—from what I hear—that they were able to get Menace done was by guaranteeing ‘Pac was gonna be in the film. ‘Cause, he had did Juice, he had did Poetic Justice; ‘Pac was the man right then. So the corporate powers that be [said], “Hey, y’all need to get him in this movie.”
So, they brought ‘Pac in, they brought us in: me, Jada [Pinkett], Larenz [Tate]. We having rehearsals. So every day at rehearsal when it’s time for ‘Pac to read his part, he’d get up from the table and he’d [in an exasperated tone] be like, “Man, I just ain’t feeling this. I just ain’t feeling it.” He’d do it every day. He did it every day for about a week-and-a-half straight. Every day he jumped up, “I can’t do this. Why am I playing this guy? Why can’t I be a character like Eiht? Why can’t I be like Larenz, O-Dog?” They like, “Because this is who we want you to play.”
They knew what they were doing; they knew they was aggravating him. ‘Cause they wanted him to quit.
[Tupac would say] “I wanna be this type of guy.” So they go, “No, you’re the Muslim.” He’d go, “Well, you niggas need to write in the story how I turned Muslim. Why did I turn Muslim? Why? I killed some niggas, some niggas killed my brother and I took out revenge; don’t have me just coming into the Muslim role without showing [how I got to that point]. Show me killing up some niggas and turn Muslim then. Show it.” They didn’t wanna do that.
So, every day it was disruption in the rehearsal. It was funny to us. We laughed, we joked; it was funny. But they were serious, ‘cause you know them: “We on a time schedule, we on a budget.” So, they kicked him out the movie.
But that was just so funny to me how [Tupac kept disrupting the table reads]. I mean, we had a good laugh for about a week. ‘Cause everybody knew when it came down to his time to read, the whole room would just go silent, and everybody would be looking at him and just start laughing, ‘cause he would not read the lines. He would stand up, act like he fin’ to say something and then [disgustedly] go, “Ah, I just ain’t feeling this.” Oh man, that was a killer. That was some of the funniest shit ever, man. I mean, ‘cause we just waited for it. We’d all get to rehearsal, we’d all walk in the room and be like, “You think he’s gonna do it today?” I’d be like, “I guarantee he gon’ do it today, watch.” And we’d get in there at the roundtable, everybody read they lines, it’d get to ‘Pac, he’d look at me, I’d look, I’d just start laughing ‘cause I know he fin’ to pull it. [Laughs]