Although released in September 1996, Death Row Records shot the video for ‘I Ain’t Mad at Cha’ in May of 1996, four months prior to Tupac Shakur passing.
In the song ‘Pac speaks on losing touch with people and those who turned on him after his success. Yet he still maintains that he’s “nothing but love” for his old friends, with the hook repeating the line “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”.The song, produced by Death Row’s Daz Dillinger also appears on disk two of Tupac’s Greatest Hits album.
Bokeem Woodbine plays Tupac’s friend in the video. He also plays Officer Dupree in the 2018 USA Network series ‘Unsolved’, based on the murders of Tupac and Biggie.
In a 2011 interview, Bokeem speaks fondly about how ‘Pac was joking about on the set. “He was really happy to be out. The fact that he wanted to make this video as cool as he could be. He was crackin’ up at some of the extras that looked like some of the legends that have passed. The likes of Jimi Hendrix and all them cats. He thought it was hilarious that they were dressed up like that and how some of them looked so much like the person they were portrayin.”
I Ain’t Mad At Cha Song Changed
“Tupac kinda felt like he could run me, as a little brother. I could be in a room recording my record and ‘Pac would be in the back room recording. He’d walk in while I’m on the mic, “C’mon, I need you right now to sing on this.” And that’s how we came up with some of those songs. It was through drunk moments, through us just chillin’ and through us partying in the studio. And some songs he didn’t even like. He wasn’t too fond of ‘I Ain’t Mad At Cha’. Even shooting the video, he never had an opportunity to see that video.”
Napoleon from the Outlawz
In 2018, Napoleon from the Outlawz, took to social media to clear up any confusion regarding lyrics in ‘I Ain’t Mad At Cha’. A lot of fans think that Tupac was referring to Napoleon, now a devoted Muslim. The video below shows Mutah clear this up and tell of the people who Tupac was actually talking about.
[bctt tweet=”Oh you a Muslim now, no more dope game, Heard you might be coming home, just got bail, wanna go to the mosque, don’t wanna chase tail, – Tupac, I Ain’t Mad At Cha”]
Turning the bad into good
Darryl is the former editor in chief at Rap Sheet Magazine and fondly remembers Tupac’s heartfelt words to him. Always representing the struggle, Tupac said, “I never had sh** growing up, so I had nothing to lose. Now I want to show what I’ve been through to other people who’ve been through the same thing to show how narrowly I escaped. I stand up for something: I want to take the bad and turn it into good.”
Darryl went further saying, “The Tupac who stood in front of me then was just a cool kid who was funny as hell and just wanted people to like him.”
I ain’t Mad At Cha Music Video
Tupac also directed the music video himself alongside Kevin Swain. Giving the circumstances of Tupac’s death, is very uncanny. It shows ‘Pac taking a bullet for a friend, as they were leaving a party. Tupac dies and goes to Heaven where they have been waiting for him.
Tupac joins other dead musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Nat King Cole, Bob Marley and Louis Armstrong to name but a few. Danny Boy is also present as an angel. ‘Pac returns to Earth as a spirit, trying to guide his friend through the difficult period of grief.
The video version of I Ain’t Mad At Cha would be released as the clean version of the song. Tupac’s final verse of the clean version is different then the one released on the All Eyez On Me album.
I Ain’t Mad At Cha Clean Version
Barely breathin’ believin’ that the world is a prism
It’s like a ghetto we can never leave
A broken rose givin’ bloom through the cracks of the concrete
So many other things for us to see
Things to be, our history so full of tragedy and misery
To all my homies never made it home
The dead peers I shed tattooed tears for, when I’m alone
Picture us inside a ghetto heaven, a place to rest
Findin’ peace through this land of stress
In my chest I feel pain come in sudden storms
Life full of rain in this game watch for lead thorns
Our unborn never got to grow, never got to see what’s next
In this world full of countless threats
I beg God, to make a way for our ghetto kids to breathe
Show us sign, make us all believe
‘Cause I ain’t mad at cha
– Tupac, Clean Version Verse