Since his death in 1996, Tupac Shakur's legacy has been swirling with rumors that he's alive and well in Jamaica, Cuba, in witness protection, or—as a new documentary suggests—hanging out well within US borders, in New Mexico.
In his new film 2Pac: The Great Escape from UMC, filmmaker Rick Boss (not to be confused with rapper Rick Ross) dramatizes exactly how Shakur was supposedly removed from the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he was taken after being shot four times by an unknown assailant on Las Vegas Boulevard on September 7, 1996.
While it's long been officially reported that Shakur died six days after the shooting (and that some of his cremated remains were rolled into a joint and smoked by members of Shakur's rap group the Outlawz) Boss alleges Shakur escaped the hospital and was taken to a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, where he resides under protection to this day. Boss claims Shakur was aware of a planned hit when he arrived in Las Vegas, which gave him time to plant a body double in Death Row Records' former boss Suge Knight's car. It's that body double that was taken to UMC and, ostensibly, cremated and smoked out by the Outlawz. Shakur, he said, was transported via helicopter out of the state. This information, Boss claims, comes from people within Shakur's close circle, including family and friends.
"Let's just say Mr. Shakur—the family is aware of the movie and they're okay with the title so that should tell you more or less what's going on," Boss told Las Vegas TV station KTNV.
Conspiracy theories surrounding Shakur's death have been discussed for years. It's been theorized that the rapper is living in Cuba, and some photos and video have surfaced online allegedly showing the rapper in the wild. Knight himself claimed Shakur walked out of the hospital and suggested he could still be alive during an interview with Ice-T and journalist Soledad O'Brien for the special Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? In 2018, Knight's son, Suge Knight Jr., claimed Shakur was hiding in Malaysia. And now, Boss enters the fold, assuring the veracity of his own claims.
"You can write a fiction. You can write a fiction story but this is not a fiction. This is facts through certain people I know," Boss said.
A dramatized version of Shakur's supposed escape plays out on screen, with actor Richard Garcia assuming the role of the rapper. While these allegations could endanger Shakur's safety if he is, indeed, living peacefully in New Mexico, Boss assured his film would place no real threat to the rapper because FBI agents can't enter tribal land without permission from the tribal council. This made the Navajo reservation where Shakur was taken the ideal getaway spot.
2Pac: The Great Escape from UMC is expected to be released in early 2021.