“Some Games You Play, Some Games Play You”
On 23rd March 1994, the release of movie Above the Rim hit screens across the United States. The movie stars Tupac Shakur, Duane Martin, Leon Robinson, Wood Harris and Marlon Wayans. It follows the story of talented high school basketball star Kyle Watson, who dreams of playing in the NBA. Waiting to find out if he will get a scholarship to Georgetown University, he faces a difficult situation at a neighborhood tournament Shoot-Out.
Kyle wants to play for a team run by his school coach but friend Bugaloo (Marlon Wayans) influences him. He shows him to a club run by a drug dealer called Birdie (Tupac Shakur). Birdie wants Kyle to play for his thuggish team. Shep (Leon), employed as security at the school, was a basketball star in years gone by. He is Birdie’s older brother, who knows all about Birdie’s drug dealing. He tries to steer Kyle into college and away from the drama of the Shoot-Out. What does Kyle do, whose side does he choose? Does he get his scholarship?
“Just cuz a motherfucka is born into ya family, don’t mean you stay family” Birdie, Above the Rim, 1994
Above the Rim, directed by Jeffrey Pollack, also known for being the writer and producer of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Filmed in 1993 in Harlem, Above The Rim took in $3,738,800 over the opening weekend.
Above The Rim Soundtrack
The Above the Rim soundtrack came out on the 22nd March 1994 by Death Row Records and Interscope. It features Tha Dogg Pound, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Nate Dogg and Tupac. Regulate, taken off the soundtrack, found itself nominated for Best Movie Song at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards.
Tupac had one song on the soundtrack, Pour Out a Little Liquor, which he appeared with the group Thug Life. The soundtrack went double platinum in the US.
Wood Harris shock revelation about Above The Rim
This was Wood Harris’s first major film role, cast as Motaw, Birdie’s young soldier. He would later play vital roles in Paid in Full and TV series’ The Wire and House.
In 2017 Wood Harris gave a radio interview that revealed a shocking surprise! Harris revealed Tupac had a lookalike play him at the end of the film.
“At the end of the movie, he was shot the first time, and the movie wasn’t done yet. At the end of Above the Rim there’s a lookalike. He had shot quite a few shots that the editors pieced together with a lookalike to make scenes work. After he got shot, they really had to change it up a lot in the movie to make it fit the footage they had”, revealed Harris.