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This week, we talk with Todd Kreidler, the writer behind the Broadway musical based on the life and music of 2pac, ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’. Kreidler was tasked with taking on the legacy of legendary MC 2Pac Shakur, an initially daunting prospect. Through his use of 2Pac’s songs, spirit, and description of the world around him, Kreidler crafted a musical that doesn’t shy away from tough topics, that tackles issues such as gun violence and racism head on — through the lens of a community that fights against outside pressure together, that feels its pains together. Kreidler saw the musical as a chance to take the “I” away from the music and take a look into the universe of characters that lived within 2pac’s songs. Comparing 2Pac to Shakespeare, Kreidler spoke of the worlds 2Pac created with his lyrics — ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ gets the chance to give pieces of 2Pac’s dialogue and story to many characters, building a community around them similar to the one 2Pac himself got to experience and absorb in his own life
We talk with Kreidler about the process of writing the play, the similarities between Pac and Shakespeare, why certain songs were chosen and certain songs left out, and more
Annotated excerpts on Genius.com:
- Excerpt #1, “Giving Songs to Different Voices”
- Excerpt #2, “Shakespeare and 2Pac”
- Excerpt #3, “Choosing Songs”