Omar Epps appeared on Larry King Now to promote his current television show Resurrection and discuss the possibility of a reunion to hit drama House. However things got extremely interesting when the waning moments before Tupac Shakur’s fatal drive-by became a topic of discussion.
Epps had been in Vegas on the infamous night of September 7, 1996 and he vividly remembers the details.
In between talks of President Obama’s second term and Epp’s on-screen love interest, Larry King was giving a rundown on the actor’s career when his first film, Juice was brought up. The movie remains an all-time favorite amongst Hip-Hop fans for its surreal portrayal of the struggle urban youths face to be considered “hard” amongst their peers and it was one of Tupac’s breakout movie roles.
“Did you think he would become that big,” pondered King to which propelled Epps to reflect on his the late rappers many layers of talents. “[I] loved him,” recalled Epps. “Super charismatic; genuine person; articulate; talented; down to earth; grounded.”
Tupac was gunned down on the Las Vegas strip following a Mike Tyson fight. He died in the hospital six days later after he had been clinging for his life in and out of consciousness. The incident also marked the beginning of the downward spiral for Death Row CEO Suge Knight, who went to jail for probation violation for his role in the beating of Orlando Anderson. It is long believed Anderson was responsible for the fatal shots that eventually killed Shakur. Anderson himself was gunned down in 1998.
“It was a lot of pressure and a lot of demons he was fighting,” continued Epps. “I saw him that night; literally a half hour before he was shot. We were at the fight. We happened to be staying at the same hotel–hadn’t seem him in years; asked how your mother is doing and that was it. Wake up 6am and see that he had got shot. ‘He’ll be alright; he always gets shots’ is what I was thinking but it didn’t turn out like that.”
Check out the video in below to see Omar Epps detail his past, present and future in full. He also touches on his NFL doppelgänger Mike Tomlin.
Photo: Ora/Larry King Live