Back in 1993, shortly after finishing Poetic Justice, Tupac was cast in the Hughes brothers’ now-classic hood film, Menace II Society.
He was picked to play Sharif, a college-bound Muslim who tried to encourage his friends to stay on the straight and narrow… but obviously, Pac wouldn’t end up appearing in the theatrical release.
Why? According to MC Eiht, who was also cast in the film, Tupac didn’t like the character’s soft image.
In an interview with Vlad TV, Eiht explained that he wanted to maintain a “gangster image”, so he ditched the film instead.
“Who wouldn’t do Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson, but as far as the Bishop role (Juice), he wanted to maintain that character with his image of acting,” the Compton rapper explains. “And, he wasn’t ready… we’ve seen Pac in a gang of movies, adverse, but at that time, it was his second gig, so wanted to maintain that imagery of Bishop. When they wanted him to be around all of us… you got Eiht over here, you got Too Short, you got… and even the actors are ‘hardcore’. Why I gotta be the calm down dude?”
“Pac had a problem with that role because it didn’t depict him like the rest of us,” Eiht continued. “In our circle everybody was gang banging killers, except him.”
Shortly after leaving the Menace II Society role, Pac would be back in a hardcore role in 1994’s Above the Rim, where he played a local shotcaller named Birdie.