Why Former MTV VJ Simon Rex Was Reluctant To Interview Tupac
Simon Rex on A24‘s ‘Thru The Eras’ reflected on the time he was asked to interview Tupac Shakur and why he questioned the decision.
Rex’s career began unintentionally when he was dating a model when a casting agent noticed him and he landed the job instead. Next thing you know it and Rex is working for MTV as a VJ, with no experience. Part of the once in a life time opportunity to work for MTV led to Rex interviewing Tupac in 1996.
Tupac loved MTV as much as the iconic channel loved him. Till this day MTV continues to release never-before-seen footage of the late rapper. The network also worked alongside Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur for the 2003 documentary Tupac Resurrection.
As told by Simon Rex in the five minute clip, the former MTV VJ was asked to interview Tupac at the most inconvenient moment. “I got stoned with the producer of mine at MTV, because work was over. So, we just hanging out drinking a beer and then all of a sudden Tupac shows up,” Rex recalls. “And they’re like, ‘You have to interview Tupac now, live, on TV.’ And I said to my producer, ‘I’m too stoned.’ They go, ‘Don’t worry, so is he.'”
The interview took place on June 18th 1996 as Tupac spoke about ending the west coast east coast beef. “To kill this whole new vibe everybody wanna be on about it being a war between the east coast and the west coast. It’s really just a problem with two rappers and everybody wanna make it bigger then it is,” Tupac said. “Squash the drama and get back to money making. It’s all about making money and putting out music.”
Rex appreciated Tupac for “being cool” and “picking up the slack” during the brief interview. Watch the clip below via A24.