HIP-HOP AT 50: DEAR MAMA, YOU ARE APPRECIATED

Tupac Shakur idolized his mother, Afeni Shakur—flaws and all. Their relationship is the subject of FX's upcoming documentary, Dear Mama, which premieres on FX and Hulu Friday (4/21).

Directed by Allen Hughes, who shot three of 2Pac's early music videos, the five-part series, which was commissioned by the Tupac Shakur estate, dives into Afeni's work with the Black Panthers and subsequent arrest on conspiracy charges (for attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to bomb buildings), of which she was acquitted in 1971 after serving two years in prison, as well as her addiction to crack cocaine. Viewers will also get to see her vision as it was laid out in her son's music.

The docuseries itself is named for Tupac's 1995 single "Dear Mama," which reflects not just his relationship with his mother but the complexities of it: "And who'd think in elementary, hey/ I'd see the penitentiary one day?/ And runnin' from the police, that's right/ Mama catch me, put a whoopin' to my backside/ And even as a crack fiend, Mama/ You always was a black queen, Mama/ I finally understand/ For a woman it ain't easy tryin' to raise a man."

Tupac was shot and killed in 1996 at age 25; Afeni died at 69 in 2016 after suffering a heart attack.

Watch the Dear Mama trailer below.

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