Tupac Lives! by ALAN NAFZGER
Pecan Street Press – Tupac Lives!
Lubbock ● Austin ● Fort Worth
Tupac Lives! is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 Alan Nafzger
All rights reserved.
Written by Alan Nafzger
Tupac Lives! – FADE IN
INT. APARTMENT – LAS VEGAS – DAY
Rare and collectable promotional posters for 90s gangsta rap music concerts and albums decorate the walls. Book, DVDs, and gangsta art. We see an extensive collection of vinyl albums. A huge collection of CDs. On a table there are two turntables, amplifiers and large professional size speakers.
An African-American teen sleeps in a bed. Direct sunrays shine through the window onto the bed. The rays almost are reaching his face. He wakes as the bright sunshine reaches his eyes.
He reaches for a remote control and presses a button. Loud hip-hop music begins. DEWAYNE (18) rises from the bed and enters the shower.
He brushes his teeth. He dresses.
He blends the songs from the speakers (turning them down) and his MP3 player (turning it up). Clearly he is a DJ. It is perfectly smooth and he is proud of his ability.
Dewayne leaves the apartment with a stack of fliers that advertise a Las Vegas nightclub.
INT. T-SHIRT SILK-SCREENING FACTORY – LAS VEGAS – DAY
Inside the WORKERS are producing the images on T-Shirts. There are boxes and boxes of unprinted shirts. It is highly automated and there is an INSPECTOR. There is a cardboard box marked “flawed”. As the throw away box is almost full an EMPLOYEE picks it up and makes for the back door.
EXT. REAR OF T-SHIRT SILK-SCREENING FACTORY – DAY
T-PACK (50) is a homeless man looking into the trash bin. There is little or nothing he can use. He seems flustered. We might guess that economically, he lives off of things he retrieves form the trash – the discarded T-shirts.
Suddenly the employee enters the ally with the box of T-shirts. T-Pack dives out-of-sight behind the dumpster. His heart is racing and he looks frightened.
The employee notices his shoe, which is peaking around the corner of the dumpster. There is also a red bicycle nearby. The employee thinks for a minute and chuckles.
Okay, I just put 10 or 12 shirts in the dumpster. You can come out. Nobody cares. Nobody is going to do anything.
T-Pack doesn’t move. He is sweating profusely.
Finally the employee returns inside to his work.
Dewayne walks down the alley and spots T-Pack hiding behind the dumpster. He thinks it is odd but continues walking.
After Dewayne is out of sight, T-Pack emerges from behind the dumpster. He reaches into the container and brings out the shirts. T-Pack inspects them, folds them nicely and stacks them neatly and walks in the direction of the Strip.
EXT. SIDEWALK – LAS VEGAS – DAY
Dewayne is walking down the Las Vegas Strip with a young energy and seemingly with a purpose. He is the African-American version of John Travolta walking down the sidewalk in Saturday Night Fever.
He looks up at a casino electronic marquee and it says 4:03. It then flashes to 107º.
Tourists crowd the sidewalk; Dewayne walks past several hookers, some homeless men are sitting in the shade of a hotel.
Dewayne spots gold – a group of eight hot ladies of color They are on the other side of the road. He lunges into traffic, but he is athletic and unharmed.
Two POLICEMEN on bicycles observe from the shade.
What the heck?
Dewayne reaches the women. The police are debating in their mind doing something about the jaywalking. But it is VERY HOT in the sun.
They remain in the shade. From the police POV, we see Dewayne hand the women two fliers, inviting them to the club. He speaks to the girls for 10-15 seconds. He smiles. They smile. He waves. They wave and they part.
Dewayne’s BOSS and nightclub owner spots him talking to the women. He looks surprised to see Dewayne. But he is clearly promoting the nightclub so that is a good thing.
Dewayne, what are you doing out here in the middle of the day?
It is hot ain’t it.
You out here working for the club?
Dewayne shows him the fliers.
I’ve been wondering where these have been going.
I hope you don’t mind. These fliers were just sitting in the club. Boxes of them.
Gathering dust. I know.
And I only give them out to the babes and a few brothers. People likely to actually come to the club.
No I don’t mind.
Hell you have more initiative than I do and I’m the owner. Thanks.
But, I don’t pay you for this.
Yeah you do.
I pay you to play the music. You are the DJ.
Yeah, but if no one is in the club to listen are you really a DJ?
Like if a tree falls in the woods…
Yeah, something like that.
I didn’t know you were out here.
Just a few hours a day. Meetin’ and greetin’ the people. You know.
Well, remind me to make it up to you someday.
The boss walks off but returns.
No. I’m gonna tell you flat out.
I have never had an employee better then you in 20 years in the nightclub business. Serious.
I appreciate you saying that.
The club is packed to hear the music and now I find you out here promoting the club in your spare time. Damn.
He extends his hand to shake.
I appreciate you.
Where you going?
Someone at the hotel wants to rent the club. I got to see a man about a party.
The boss continues along his path.
Dewayne proudly walks to the crosswalk and legally returns to his original side of the street. Dewayne strategically positions himself on the sidewalk to distribute the fliers.
As white families pass-by Dewayne ignores them. He is looking for African-American young people; when they pass he gives them a flier. It is a nightclub of color.
Two African-American men stop. Dewayne hands them a fliers.
Yeah, man. You work here.
It’s about 10 blocks that way.
Dewayne points in a direction away from the Strip.
I’m the DJ. 10 PM to 5 AM. It will be popping about 11 or 12.
We may have to check you out.
Do it. Safer for your money than a casino.
I wouldn’t work there if there wasn’t.
Two women of color walk past. Dewayne can’t talk to the tourists anymore. He turns and chases the two girls down the sidewall. The tourists chuckle.
You girls like to dance?
They are a bit standoffish.
I spin the music at the happeningest nightclub in town.
He hands them a flier. They brighten up and smile.
Really. We might have to try it.
Come on down. All these casino’s want is your money.
And what do you want?
I just want to watch you dance.
But, seriously. You will like it.
And you are actually the DJ?
Yes. Ma’am. And I will play anything you want. Twice!
Dewayne pulls out a VIP card.
Show this to the bartenders. Free drinks until midnight with this card. No cover. And come see me up in the both.
We will do it.
They part company. Behind Dewayne is a very cute GINA (17) in a hotel uniform. She evidently has been listening from a few feet away.
I don’t know why I put up with it.
You just flirt with girls all day out here and then all night at the club.
Baby. You know you are the only one I want. But I got to make money.
It’s my job.
I know I’m just kidding you.
Gina hands him a sack of food apparently from the hotel kitchen. Either Gina is a cook or a waitress.
What did you bring me today, baby?
She opens the Styrofoam box and shows him a huge omelet.
Ham, Chedder, Swiss, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Spinach, Green Peppers, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Onions, Pork Sausage.
She hands him a plastic spork and a glass of orange juice.
See you at the club tonight?
One hundred feet away is T-Pack. T-Pack is of course the homeless person. He is selling the t-shirts. He has several t-Shirts folded nicely and a handwritten sign “T-Shirts $2”. In smaller print are the words “good luck.”
He has one t-shirt unfolded and is holding it out – displaying it.
He has on a three-quarter-sleeve t-shirt. There is a red bicycle on the ground not far away.
T-Pack is a mute but seems to be singing to himself and bouncing to the music in his head.
Dewayne sits and eats; he watches T-Pack. T-Pack is not aware he is being studied and shows no interest in Dewayne.
The two policemen walk their bikes by and speak to T-Pack and Dewayne as they pass.
Howdy. You coming to the club?
Not tonight, brother.
They continue down the sidewalk.
T-Pack nods his head in response.
Why do they call him T-Pack?
He’s always out here selling T-shirts. And all I’ve ever seen him with is that backpack. T-Pack.
He’s a mute. Don’t say a word.
A short time passes…
A white 1996 Cadillac drives by. The windows are tinted and it looks “thugged out”.
T-Pack freezes in sheer terror. The music in his head has stopped? Dewayne notices his fright.
Dewayne looks left and then right. Nothing obvious is happening.
The Cadillac window rolls down. T-Pack about jumps out of his skin.
Get a damn job nigga’. You polluting my vacation.
The Cadillac continues on down the street and the window rolls back up. T-Pack is near catatonic.
Long beat. The Cadillac is a block down the street before T-Pack moves.
T-Pack slowly reaches into his backpack. He pulls out a notebook and pencil. The notebook/journal is old, weathered and beaten. It has seven large/thick colored rubber bands around it.
T-Pack jots down some things and then returns the notebook to the backpack. The music in T-Pack’s head begins again as he writes. T-Pack has no headphones and of course MP3 player, but he seems to be listening to music. He is bouncing his head and moving about.
T-Pack is mostly ignored as the tourists move from casino to casino. He frightens most people, but people of color stop and look at the t-shirts. T-Pack, of course, says nothing but stands (for hours) in front of the sign with a t-shirt in hand.
Occasionally, he puts the t-shirts down and picks up his journal. He writes and the goes back to selling t-shirts.
Just as Dewayne finishes his omelet… an older tourist woman brings T-Pack a hamburger and fries from a fast food place. He says nothing but insists that she takes a T-shirt in exchange.
T-Pack points to the “good luck” on his sign. The lady must be a gambler because she accepts the t-shirt.
T-Pack sits against the building (still on the sidewalk) and eats his meal. Only now does T-Pack notice Dewayne.
Dewayne has headphones and an MP3 player. T-Pack pays attention to this. He is watching Dewayne’s slight movement to the music. Dewayne bobs his head with the music that T-Pack can’t hear.
A group of African American’s all wearing various Los Angeles clothing walk by.
Los Angeles! Welcome to Vegas.
I’m the DJ at the best club here in town.
Dewayne hands them fliers.
Tupac Shakur (/ˈtuːpɑːk ʃəˈkʊər/ TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), better known by his stage name 2Pac and later by his alias Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Considered one of the most influential rappers of all time, Shakur is among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Much of Shakur’s music has been noted for addressing contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, and he is considered a symbol of activism against inequality.
Shakur was born in New York City to parents who were both political activists and Black Panther Party members. Raised by his mother, he relocated to Baltimore in 1984 and to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. With the release of his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991, he became a central figure in West Coast hip hop for his conscious rap lyrics. Shakur achieved further critical and commercial success with his follow-up albums Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… (1993) and Me Against the World (1995). His Diamond certified album All Eyez on Me (1996), the first double-length album in hip-hop history, abandoned his introspective lyrics for volatile gangsta rap. In addition to his music career, Shakur also found considerable success as an actor, with his starring roles in Juice (1992), Poetic Justice (1993), Above the Rim (1994), Bullet (1996), Gridlock’d (1997), and Gang Related (1997).
During the later part of his career, Shakur was shot five times in the lobby of a New York recording studio and experienced legal troubles, including incarceration. In 1995, Shakur served eight months in prison on sexual abuse charges, but was released pending an appeal of his conviction. Following his release, he signed to Marion “Suge” Knight’s label Death Row Records and became heavily involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times by an unidentified assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas; he died six days later. Following his murder, Shakur’s friend-turned-rival, the Notorious B.I.G., was at first considered a suspect due to their public feud, but was also murdered in another drive-by shooting six months later in March 1997 while visiting Los Angeles.
Five more albums have been released since Shakur’s death, all of which have been certified Platinum in the United States. In 2002, Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Shakur among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Originally posted 2021-01-17 12:27:27.