Even after death, Tupac Shakur has maintained a reputation of being a gangster rapper. The poet, activist, and art school student was more than the street life persona he often displayed lyrically or in music videos, but because of how he died—in a drive-by shooting after a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas—some people will only view Tupac Shakur as just another hardcore rapper whose life was cut short due to gun violence. Actor Michael Jai White spent quite a bit of time with Tupac when the young emcee was alive, and he told VladTV that not all was what it seemed when it came to the rapper.

 

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“I got nothin’ to lose, It’s just me against the world baby.” #MeAgainstTheWorld #25Years

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In a recent interview, Michael Jai White revealed that he is an avid pool and snooker player, and he shared stories of how he would hang out with other celebrities and play for money. “Tupac and I would play… And what was interesting is that, from my perspective, it was kind of a weird thing with Tupac,” he said. “We would play or we’d hang out, and people would say, ‘You know your friend looks a lot like Tupac.’ Nobody ever thought it was him because the side of him that I knew was so different from what the whole gangster thing.”

“I speak the way I speak, no matter who I’m with, right?” Michael Jai White added. “I think that encouraged Tupac, that side of him that was goofy, he felt like, ‘Oh, I can just be myself.'” According to White, he and Tupac would do “goofy sh*t” like have multiplication math challenges. “He would be a different kind of dude, but then we would be playing and then all of a sudden he would go back into, ‘Yeah n*gga.’ [I’d be like] ‘Somebody black must have walked into the room. Yep, there it is.’ He would turn that on and off.” Watch Michael Jai White talk about Tupac Shakur’s ability to quickly code-switch below.

 

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