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Knight has no plans to change his product mix. "I don't want to give up gangsta rap, not at all," he says. "It is the real s__. It's not about us. It's about the community; it's about our people, and we can't turn our backs on them." He gets edgy when asked about who may have been behind Shakur's slaying. "I don't want to deal with who did this and do that," he says. "So I don't want to go there." He also dismisses the theory that the cause may have been an East Coast-West Coast feud in the rap world. "It's something that's trumpeted by the press...It's not true." Knight is said to have gang ties, but Las Vegas police say they have no evidence that the shooting was gang related.
Shakur's last music video, I Ain't Mad at Cha, which he co-directed with J. Kevin Swain, seems to have almost predicted his death. In the clip, Shakur is shot and killed and then ascends to heaven. In fact, much of Shakur's life, and death, was spelled out in his music. On one of his biggest hits, Dear Mama, Tupac rapped the following lines about his childhood. They tell much about the friends he made, and the price he paid:
They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless But all along I was looking for a father--he was gone I hung around with the thugs And even though they sold drugs They showed a young brother love
--With reporting by Patrick E. Cole, Sylvester Monroe and Jeffrey Ressner/Los Angeles