Talented artist, Riskie Forever, appeared on Hip Hop XXIV for an exclusive interview where he spoke about the new Makaveli NFT collection based off Tupac’s classic album.
As Tupac’s iconic album celebrates its 25th anniversary, the artist behind the artwork and Zelus linked up to release the Makaveli NFT collection (View here for more info). A series of twenty-five NFTs every day for seven days, each one inspired by the cover art. Each day, Zelus will release different limited editions of video artwork paired with physical items created by Riskie Forever. The campaign will culminate on the seventh day with the release of a 3D NFT of the album cover.
Speaking with Hip Hop XXIV, Riskie Forever revealed Tupac approved the artwork a day before he was shot in Vegas. “The first time when I went to Can-Am Studios to show it to him, it was unfinished. So, when I took it to him, he looked at it. We bounced back and forth. I wrote down some notes of things he wanted added to the album,” Riskie Forever explains. “When I took it to him initially, it was basically a canvas painting. It was him on the cross with the ideas I had came up with, but the cross was empty.”
This is when Tupac once again used his creativity one last time. Shakur would request a compass and a road map with cities highlighted. An idea that Tupac never explained the meaning behind it. “He said, ‘I don’t want you to fill in the cross. I want you to put a road map inside the cross,'” Riskie Forever said during the interview. “He never really gave me an explanation of what the meaning was behind that.”
Tupac approves the Makaveli cover artwork
After taking notes and making necessary changes, Riskie Forever would meet with Tupac at his penthouse. Shakur was thrilled to see the final product and what better timing then for his final approval then the day before he was shot on the Vegas strip.
Tupac on September 7, 1996 attended the Mike Tyson versus Bruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After Tyson’s win, Tupac headed to the Luxor Hotel, where he changed clothes. Tupac now wearing sweatpants, green jersey, and his infamous euthanasia chain headed downstairs to the parking area to get in the cars ready for Club 662. Tupac was scheduled to perform at Suge Knight‘s Club 662, a benefit for a retired boxer put on by Suge.
As the cars were being brought around, Tupac instructs his bodyguard, Frank Alexander, to drive Kidada’s Lexus with the Outlawz, as Tupac was going to ride with Suge Knight. Tupac and Suge went over to Knight’s Las Vegas residence on Monta Rosa Avenue. It was a quick stop, after about fifteen minutes the entourage left for Club 662 on East Flamingo Road. Minutes later the car Tupac and Suge was travelling, a newly purchased 1996 black 750 BMW Sedan, was shot at. Tupac shot four times, did not recover.
“When he passed that felt real surreal to me. For somebody of that stature and so young in age,” Riskie Forever said. “To be such a big iconic figure to the world for him to just be gone, that was incredibly sad.”
Watch the full interview below.