Music video director Stephen Ashley Blake claims he nearly got into a fight with Tupac while filming the video for “Holler If Ya Hear Me.” But, he claims the set was tense because the rapper’s label, Interscope Records, censored the video and the rapper wasn’t happy.
“There was one sequence where he pulled a gun out on an officer and a little girl in the back seat goes free,” Blake says in a recent interview. “Originally, the way I shot that, he killed the cop and his badge fell down in slow motion. The record label was very nervous about that.”
He goes onto say that Pac wanted to send out a message against police brutality. “One thing they told me I had to change, I had to cut that scene out,” Blake explains. “I actually re-edited the scene to make it look like he didn’t kill the cop. Another thing I took out was the last image of the video, the police lights spinning around, flashing,and the last thing that the image was that cherry cut with the little girl holding the gun and a voice over of Tupac saying, ‘Revolution is the only way.’ ”
Blake would shoot three video for Tupac, including “Brenda’s Got A Baby.” He said that during “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” Interscope was on edge due to an ongoing lawsuit… brought forth because a Texas man allegedly shot a cop while listening to Pac’s music.
“Somewhere in Texas there was a sheriff who was shot by someone who was listening to Tupac’s music,” Blake explained. “The victim’s family was suing Interscope Records. The record label was very cautious.”
“Holler If Ya Here Me” released in January 1993 on Tupac’s sophomore album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. The song was recently the focus of a successful Broadway play over the summer, which was inspired by Tupac’s lyrics.