The movie All Eyez on Me, tells the true story of an activist, actor and rapper Tupac Shakur. The movie follows Tupac from a young boy in New York to a high schooler in Baltimore, into his 20’s in California with the ups and downs that came with fame, being shot 5 times at age 23, and lastly being murdered at age 25.
It is said that any strain can pressure a person into committing a crime, and that was shown within the beginning parts of the movie it is said that Tupac stepfather was responsible for a series of armed robberies including the 1981 brinks robbery that killed three people.
During the film it appeared that Tupac mother wanted to keep the family as a ‘decent family’ rather than “street family” as she pushed Tupac and his sister towards education and knowledge rather than sports and street life while also wanting to keep his experience of racial discrimination between him and the police at a minimal to lessen his chances of engaging into violent behavior compared to the rest of the community.
Quoting Elijah Anderson of Street Code “…further opens the issue of respect, or ‘street credibility,’ to sometimes intense interpersonal negotiation. In the street culture, especially among young people, ‘street cred’ is viewed as almost an external entity that is hard-won but easily lost, and so must constantly be guarded; it is high maintenance and is never secured once and for all.” A perfect example of this was when ‘Legs’ had to defend his “street cred” against someone that hasn’t paid him back yet on his block and began beating that gentleman up.
Legs is quoted with “Is this what you want, homeboy? If I let you slide, I got to let everybody slide!” Meaning, if he lets this guy disrespect him everyone will begin to disrespect him thus reducing his street credibility and forcing his hand to perform repercussions.
Throughout the movie Tupac started off as a “Decent Family” child with a bit of code-switching during certain scenes but seemed to turnover into a “Street Family” child when his mother sent him to California as the family was having hard times in Baltimore. During the movie it was said that he was exposed to more trouble that he didn’t see in Baltimore, and is quoted saying “I’ve seen people get killed in front of me the first day I got out there” I believe living in that kind of environment severely puts youth who don’t have “decent family” role models are at an incredibly higher risk to become a victim of aggressive behavior.