HitEmUp.com: Hello! I want to look at things chronologically, so I want to start talking about your back ground and yourself and about Tupac; the night in Vegas, and then the highly anticipated documentary. So I knew you grew up in Chicago, you were in the marines, and body building was a huge part of your life. Can you tell us about that and a little about yourself?
Frank Alexander: Ya, um, I’m 42 years old now. I was born and raised in Chicago. As I was growing up, I always related back to the age of 10 years old, because I grew up in the projects. The projects in Chicago were 15 to 16 story’s tall. And uh, we lived on the 15th floor in the projects. It’s called the Robert Teller projects and um and there was white buildings and there was red buildings and we lived in the white buildings and for some reason the white buildings and the red buildings were rivals against one another. You literally – to go to school, we had to fight our way, through the red buildings to go to school. If you were from the red buildings or not from the white buildings, for that matter, for some, some strange reason; some strange high, they knew that you weren’t from the building and literally, fights would break out and it was just a bad time. Martin Luther King was around that same time and I was 10 years old when Martin Luther King was assassinated, and uh, during that time my mom and my dad, I remember being in a car with them; driving through the city of Chicago, watching the buildings burn down, watching the people looting stores, just grabbing stuff and running down the street with it. It was just a horrible – you know, sight. The massive guard was just lined up in the street. The city was under martial law and uh, the thought; I was just 10 years old and it was just amazing to me to have witnessed that, during that time that Martin Luther King was killed. But uh, then that time as well, when we lived in the projects, I took up martial arts. That’s when it all started for me – when I got into self-defense and how that came about was, there was two brothers that lived down on the other end of the floor that we lived on.
I lived on the 15th floor as I mentioned. We lived in the middle, if you was to visualize this, there was probably, oh, I would say about maybe 10 or maybe 12 apartments on each floor; side by side and we lived in the middle of the section of the 15th floor. As you walked out the door and made a left turn, and walked down that part of the hallway, there’s a laundry room down there and these brothers that lived down there would have in the evening time, martial art classes. I started going down and participating in these classes when my mom and dad would go to work.
And so I took up and started learning martial arts at that time. Turning 11 years old and learning self-defense. So uh, going through the self-defense classes and learning how to fight and learning how to protect myself was a must, living in those projects, I would be sent to the store by my mom to pick up, like cigarettes or go and get something from the grocery store for her and literally you’d get robbed from, you know, guys just out there in front of the store or coming out, they’d rob you, take your shoes; take your coat, uh, you know, check you for money. If you got money, they’d take your money. I remember many times going to the store for my mom; getting robbed. This became it just became old (instead of getting old). That’s why I decided to start learning how to fight basically. A couple years past and my parents moved up out of that area of the projects. Actually, to give you more of an idea of where it was, it was across from the Whitesox park, the Comiskey Park, where the Whitesox play.
That is like about 36th street and we lived on 47th Continues ~ street. 47th and ? Then we moved from there and we moved into a neighborhood where basically it was a real live neighborhood with green grass, uh, you know, homes. The neighborhood though was predominately white and we were, I would say, one of the top ten family’s that had moved into this area. And moving into this area and moving away from the projects; getting away from the fighting and robbing and all that, well, we moved right into an area where there was a lot of prejudices and to go through that, was a first, because in the projects, it was predominately black, ok, and the move from a predominately black area and moving to a white area and then having to deal with the matter of the color of your skin; and I had never had to deal with that cause I didn’t know about it until we moved into this new neighborhood which was called the Jeffery Manor. Once we moved into there and like to get on your bicycle and ride through the neighborhood and get called, oh, you hear “nigger” all day. There was literally rail road tracks and if you road across these rail road tracks; which we did for fun, the white people would come running out of their house and throw bottles at us and sticks at us and they’d chase us down the street and yell; “Get out of our neighborhood
‘Niggers’ and go back home,” And you know it was like *whoa*. We were fighten to get away from there and they didn’t want us there cause the color of our skin. So, that turned out not to be a good deal. That only happened, oh, I would say for a couple of years or so because more and more black families moved into the neighborhood. It became populated more and became more of a mixtured neighborhood and then things kinda calmed down and from that point on, uh, I’m still 11, 12 years old, growing up still; I continued to take martial arts though. There was a recreational park there in the neighborhood. The teachers on Saturday’s, they offered martial arts so we took up martial arts again and finished if from there and then to the body building from that point on everything changed.
How were you introduced to Wrightway Security?
Uh, how did I get into Wrightway Security?
Yeah, how did you get introduced to them and yeah, get into Wrightway Security?
Well, to continue a little bit about with Jeffery Manor, as I grew up on that street, one of my home boys who’s name was Larry. Larry and I grew up together in Chicago and uh, we grew up we were going through the fighting and all the other things I was just explaining to you, and uh, Larry ironically, when I got turned on to Death Row, through a couple of friends, Wrightway Security, he was their office manager.
And a guy I was in the Marine Corp. with, his name was Cedrick and another one of my partners who was a limo driver, picked Tupac up the day he got released from Rikers Island, from LAX airport, took him from the LA airport to the studio in Tarazana, California. When they arrived at the studio, my partner Cedrick whom I was in the Marine Corp. with was on duty that day ok, and the limo driver, ironically, was my buddy and his name was K.J.
Now, these guys didn’t know one another. K.J. went into the studio to wait for Tupac. As he walked in there, he and Cedrick got into a conversation. Cedrick said; “Hey man, you look like a partner of mine that I was in the service with,” and then K.J. said to him; “Oh ya, who was that?” Cedrick said, “Oh, it’s a guy named Frank.” K.J. goes, “Frank” and then, “Alexander”? And he goes “Ya, you know him? Then K.J. said; “Ya, that’s my homeboy.
So, they got to talking and they called me up. I lived at home. They called me up and left a message and I got back to K.J. and he said; “Oh, I ran into a partner of yours at the studio where I just dropped Tupac off at the Death Row studio.” And I said, “Ok, where’s that at”? And he said ? and so I said, “Ya, ok, ya.” I got Cedrick’s number and I gave him a call and Cedrick and I hadn’t seen each other in probably about 10 years, since we left the Marine Corp. We connected that time and he came down around where I was working at that time and we got to talking and he said he was working for Death Row security as a body guard and he was asking me, you know, what do I do and can I still carry a gun, you know, and this and that. He said, “you know, working down here, if you want to get on, I can get you on.” I said, “well, hook it up” and he said, “well, give me your resume.” He took it back to Wrightway Security and when he took it back to Wrightway Security, my homeboy Larry, ironically was working for Wrightway Security. He saw the resume and he was like “that’s my homebody man” and he phoned me up from the resume and said like “Frank, what you doing?” He said, it’s Larry. I said Larry? He said your homeboy from Chicago. We got to talking it was like, man … If you listened to the story it went from a guy I was in the Marine Corp. with for 10 years; a guy that also, I was out of the marine Corp. for 10 years, I had met, and then Larry. All three of them was a piece of the puzzle to me becoming uh, Tupac’s body guard.
Ya, it definitely seems like it was fate, you know?
As ironic as it seems, I look back on it and I look at the hindsight of all of that and that was God’s call to my life cause God was connected so it was destiny to me was to hook up and become Tupac’s body guard and you know, be with Pac. It was his plan from the day I was born and the day that he was born all the way up until as you and I are speaking and me giving you this interview. It was all meant to be. It was just part of our destiny, a path of life that God has put into our lives.
I was reading that Psalm that you printed in the book, 139: 13-16.
That’s what I meant to say.
I have always strongly believed in that. I have always believed in that.
You mentioned that you didn’t really know Tupac when you first started out but you became like brothers and he had a lot of love for your family. How would you describe your relationship with Tupac?
Um, the first time that I remember Tupac was in 1994 & 1995. Seeing Tupac in the media, uh, you know, cussing at the camera’s going into the court room, spitting at camera’s; sticking his middle finger up and stuff like that and I never drew an opinion about him. It’s just to me, watching the news; hearing this you know talented brother in the news and thinking there could be trials and tribulations that he was involving himself in. Shooting in the line of off duty police officers, uh, you know, getting into all kinds of scraps and fights. You put yourself in the predicament your in. Uh, you become a part of your own environment. Tupac was stealing the fire at that time, but he was a brother that was troubled. He had uh, some, some things that were going on within side of him. His mom being a Black Panther and a revolutionist and he, at that time, born, literally born into that. He was inside her stomach as she was going through those things. So, uh, she gave birth to him. She brought him into this world and he was already a souljah. Being born into a black revolution, you know and I never really had an opinion about Tupac other than the fact that, you know, in the media. The first and last thing I remember of him was that he got sentenced for rape, allegedly. He was put in a jail and I was listening to uh, a radio station here in California and they were playing; “Me Against The World,” “Dear Mama” and said that Tupac Shakur is now boarding the airplane. He’s on his way to Rikers Island and we dedicate this next hour, uh, you know, in tribute to “Me Against The World”. I mean, just like in my car listening to these songs and I mean that’s when I really first heard his music, was from that album.
Later on, um, you know, as he got out of jail and uh even while he was in jail, I continued to hear stuff about him. I never had an opinion about Tupac. I didn’t even start listening to rap. I was turned on to rap by a friend of mine. A training partner in 1993 when the Chronic came out. That was the first rap album that I bought and listened to and got involved in rap at that time. I had never really cared about rap and never really listened to it at that time.
But Tupac and I became close and how that happened was I worked in the studio and I was just, you know, security for the studio. He would come in and I would have to greet him, you know, and open up the door cause the door was locked. Search his homeboy when he came in cause you don’t search the main artist. Search his homeboy and everything cause they were going to the studio and let them in the studio and then they would do their thing and everything. Uh, and he and I would see each other in passing, you know, if he would come into the studio … An incident happened in 1995 in December in New York. I was there. I found out Snoop and the Dogg Pound were shooting a video in New York, still, I was just doing my part as a body guard and I reacted to what was going on. Uh, as the video was being shot, somebody started shooting into the trailer. I got everybody out of it and got everybody secure into the security van had got them off of the set. Uh, that night in New York, NY., that same night, we went back to California a couple days later and went back to the studio and Suge calls me into his office and he said; “Hey, what happened in New York?” I explained to him what happened and he said; “well, everybody is calling you a hero and everybody wants you to body guard them.” He goes; “I wish I had more of them like you”. He said to just sit tight and lets see what’s gonna happen and so I ended up with Snoop and the Dogg Pound. Kurupt, he wanted me to be his body guard. He, uh, and Daz and uh and Nate Dogg. So, everywhere that they would go, I ended up going everywhere that they would go. We started doing video shoots. We started doing appearances, uh, Soul Train, down to Hawaii; shooting video’s uh, and doing stuff like that. Wherever Snoop and them would go I had to go with them.
Tupac had heard all of this was going on and what had happened and Tupac didn’t have any permanent body guards. He had several different body guards that was rotating him. He might have had like one guy for two days and another guy for three days and another guy for two days and he got to the point where he was getting tired of that so they kept asking me to body guard Tupac and my homeboy Cedrick kept calling me almost every night and said; “Hey, Frank, uh, why don’t you body guard Pac, man?” And I was like, “I don’t want to body guard Pac.” And he goes; “why not man, why not?” And I go; “because all I hear is bad things, he tries to get rid of everybody. He gets in his car and drives a hundred miles an hour and going through red lights and stuff like that and I don’t want no part of that and I said I just want to go do my job and that will be that.
So, um, the owner of Wrightway Security, Reggie White, he called me up and he goes; “hey, I need you to body guard Pac”, and I said, oh man, I don’t want to body guard Pac and I got back to him and I said; “look Reggie, I have an idea, why don’t you do two days on and two days off with Tupac, using the body guards that you have and let me get a feel for him. And he was like; “no, no, no, I don’t know if I want to do that. We really need somebody to body guard him.” And I said; “that’s the only way I’m gonna do it.” So he called me up one day and said; “ok, we are gonna try it out. I need you to work Monday and Tuesday and Kevin will work Wednesday and Thursday, and let me work Friday and Saturday and somebody work Sunday and Monday.” I said; “ok, that’s cool, lets do that.” So, we did that rotation of bodyguards. Tupac himself, little did I know, whether liked or not was checking out the body guards who was with him on those two days on and two days off. There was a lot of incidence’s that was going on with everyone and I’m sure when I was with him, and there was situations that came about and he was just watching how everybody was handling uh, you know, protecting him or looking out for his best interests and I was just doing my job and little did I know, he was choosing me to be his body guard. On March 16th of 1996, we was in Las Vegas at a Mike Tyson fight and I get a phone call from California to Las Vegas and Reggie he says; “hey man, we just had a meeting here in California the other night and we got a proposition for ya.” I was like; “a proposition, what kind of proposition?” He said; “we are gonna put you on salary and you are gonna do this and do that.” I go, what is it, and he didn’t want to tell me, right? So, I kinda almost had an idea but I didn’t know for sure but he wouldn’t tell me.
So, that night, he came running up to the 662. That was a club in Las Vegas. They went up to the club; it was Suge, Tupac, Reggie and you know, just his entourage and then I’m off by the set, right? Checking everybody coming in and out of the club. Then out there in the front, I see them pull up. This is Pac just pulling up in this brand new Bentley. So I get up and open the door for them and he was like; “Yo, it’s Frank! Did you hear man, did you hear?” And I was like; “no man, what’s up Pac?” And he goes; “damn nigga, you gonna be my body guard, you’re gonna be my #1 security man.” And I was like; “WHAT”? And he was like; “ya man, I chose you to be my body guard.” And then I was like; “cool”! And it was just like that and so I walked him into the club you know and everything and uh, you know, we had our weekend there.
The fight was over and Mike Tyson was in the club. Everybody was in the club. We get back to California that Monday and I got the phone call to meet Pac down at this Penthouse off of Wiltshire. So I go down there and from that day on it was me and Pac. Where he went, I went. Where he was, I was and he couldn’t ditch me. He would try to get rid of me. It was not that he was doing it to me purposely, it was just that that was the way he did all the security. To see who could keep up with him and stay with him and he never got rid of me. I never asked him for dough, I never asked him to buy me food. I never asked him for anything. All those other guys were always trying to get something from him. I never tried. And we just clicked and I had his back … and that was how it happened.
What’s the funnest time you ever had with Tupac?
Every day. Everyday with that man was just the bomb. It was a blast cause the the brother was seriously funny. You know, I used to tell him all the time man, I said; “Pac, you missed your calling man, you should have been a comedian”. I mean, he was funny, you know? The Tupac that maybe yourself and the media and other people didn’t know, I knew. I saw the real Tupac. I saw the Tupac that was family oriented; that cared about his family, cared about my family, that cared about, uh, you know, that cared about everything except for spitting in the camera, throwing up his finger, and fighting all the time. Even though one of the biggest things he liked to do was fight. I remember him telling me; “damn Frank, I haven’t had a fight in a long time. Nigga, I need to get into a fight.” I was like; “no you don’t”. I said; “the only thing you need to is catch another case.” And he was like, yeah, you right.
I think that’s the difference between real Tupac fans and those that just listen to his music is that they realize that there is another side to him.
Exactly. There is another side. There is a deep side to him, there’s another deep side to him.
Crazy opposites, but yeah …
Ya. I guess you know he was a Gemini, and you know Gemini’s got those two sides to em’. You Continues ~ got that bad bad boy side and then also have that good loving heart side that was hard for him to show to anyone. He was a man trying to keep up with an image and the image was running from the man …
What’s your favorite Tupac song?
Oh man, I got a ton of em’. I would say from All Eyez On Me, Picture Me Rollin’, uh, Check Out Time, All Eyez On Me, So many Tears. From the Me Against The World album, Heartz of Men off his All Eyez On Me and probably one of my most favorite ones is Only God Can Judge Me cause you see, during the time I was with him, was when he just, you know, finished All Eyez On Me. The C.D., and that’s when we were rollin’. That’s when we was doing it. That’s when Tupac was just ALIVE, you know. He had a drop top SL and I had a drop top SL. We was doing an interview for MTV. Bill Bellamy was interviewing him and we pulled up to the uh, the hotel and the valet and Bill Bellamy was like; “Damn, and said, that’s a tight Benz Pac!” And Pac was like; “That ain’t my car, that’s my body guards car”. And Bill was like; “WHAT”? And he said; “your body guards got it hooked up”, and we were all making a joke of it you know. But it was mine before I got into Death Row, you know. I had my own and I think that’s what he liked about me too. I had my own and I wasn’t trying to pull on his coat tales. But we sure had a lot of fun, man. Laughed a lot, you know, cause he was funny.