Fed up with shopping his demo “Trapped,” Tupac originally accepted the position of Chairman of the New Afrikan Panthers in Atlanta. He however turns it down to go on the road with Digital Underground when the group comes back from a successful German tour off the back of the success of “Humpty Dance.”
Chopmaster J: We left and went to Europe and did a tour for like four weeks or five weeks over there. Came back, “Humpty Dance” is a hit. Blown up.
Gregory: There was the [2Pac] demo that had “Trapped” and some of the other songs on it. And that’s the demo that we shopped around. Digital Underground was hot. Being in this business, when the group is hot, there’s no one that won’t take the manager’s or production company’s call. So I literally took that demo to almost everybody. No one would sign him. The reactions? One was he sounded like Ice Cube [laughs].
Shock G: While we were shopping that, a year went by. And Pac sometimes would have to wait on us to come back from Germany to finish mixing. He got cold feet and was just like tired of waiting and decided to take up this position he got offered to be a chairman with the New Afrikan Panthers. Was at some college in Atlanta. He was on his way leaving for that when Atron said, “Look, he doesn’t want to wait anymore, he’s tired, he gave the music business a year.” [Laughs] It took us 10 years to get a record deal, and you talking about this ain’t moving fast enough.
He said, if we don’t do something, we’re going to lose him. But I would hate to ask Pac [to be our roadie]. I didn’t want to insult him and ask him to do the Humpty Dance and carry gear. Ten minutes later my phone rang and it was Tupac. “Yeah, yeah, I’ll do that shit. I might be dead the time y’all get back.” And from that point on he was always there.