Kevin Powell: I was so upset after I saw ‘All Eyez On ME’!
Kevin Powell is getting prepared for court. The New Jersey native is known for his work in publications such as Esquire, Rolling Stone and his interviews with Tupac Shakur during the height of his career, as the senior writer at Vibe. Powell, who is the author of 12 books, including a biography on Shakur dropping in 2018, was very disappointed in the biopic, “All Eyez On Me.” Recently, the 51-year-old author detailed exactly why he has decided to pursue a lawsuit against the biopic. Peep the excerpts below.
On being a writer and activist for the hip-hop community:
I’ve actually been a writer and an activist for 30 longs years, since I was a teenager and a college student at Rutgers University. My awakening came during the anti-apartheid era on college campuses in the 1980s, and because of Jesse Jackson’s run for President. Those things, and reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X as an 18-year-old, and learning Black history, learning American history holistically, changed my life forever.”
Working as a senior writer at Vibe magazine and curating the very first exhibit on the history of hip-hop for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were just extensions of my life and work as a writer, activist, and hip-hop head.
On the relationship between Kevin Powell and Afeni Shakur:
Afeni Shakur and I talked on various occasions through the years, very openly, very honestly, about her, about Tupac, about what I meant to her and Tupac, to her family. I have always had a relationship with Tupac’s family, his late mother Afeni, and his sister Sekyiwa. In fact, Afeni paid me as a consultant on the very first Tupac film she was involved in, the MTV documentary movie RESURRECTION that was nominated for an Oscar in the early 2000s. She said she respected how I had covered her son’s life, that they were using images from some of my Vibe articles in RESURRECTION, and that it was the right thing to make sure I was compensated and credited properly.
On why he is pursuing a lawsuit:
Just two days before the film opened, finally, when I got to see All Eyes On Me, I was so upset that I literally walked forty New York City blocks from Midtown Manhattan down to SOHO, to clear my head of what I was feeling. I have seen the film twice, first alone, the second time with my lawyers to take very detailed notes on the many places where there is copyright infringement of my work. I decided to file this lawsuit because it borrows from my work, period, without any permission whatsoever.