Tupac Shakur was an exceptional rapper, writer, actor, and incendiary public figure who was cut down in his prime in 1996. But his work lives on, and his legacy will be getting its boldest treatment yet when Holler If Ya Hear Me opens on Broadway.
Directed by current Tony nominee Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) and starring veteran spoken-word artist and rapper Saul Williams, Holler If Ya Hear Me is not a biographical tale about the late Shakur. Instead, his songs build an entirely new narrative based on the themes of family, opportunity, community, poverty, and love that ran through Tupac’s lyrics. Some of his most beloved songs are represented, including “Dear Mama,” “I Get Around,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “I Ain’t Mad at Cha.”
Previews for the show begin June 2 at the Palace Theatre, with an opening date set for June 19. But to get an early sense of how Shakur’s work is being interpreted, check out the exclusive behind-the-scenes clip below. It takes you inside the studio as the cast of Holler If Ya Hear Me belts out “California Love,” a ballad version of “Unconditional Love,” and the title song.