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‘PAC Had Afeni Eyes But Everything Else Billy’: Tupac’s Biological Father Slams Popular ‘Dear Mama’ Series as Rapper Posthumously Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

The docuseries “Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur” from director by Allen Hughes was the most-watched unscripted series premiere ever on the FX network, but not everyone is singing its praises.

The five-episode series about the late rapper Tupac Shakur and his relationship with his mother, former Black Panther Party member Afeni Shakur, featured footage from an interview with his estranged biological father, Billy Garland.

Tupac was born on June 16, 1971, while his mother was away in prison. She raised her son with his stepfather, Mutulu Shakur. Garland was around during his son’s early years but eventually they lost touch and reconnected later when Tupac was 23.

After Tupac’s murder in 1996, the former Black Panther member sued Afeni for half of his estate and lost. The case led to a paternity test that confirmed Garland as his father. Afeni passed away in 2016.

Bill Garland speaks about his son Tupac Shakur on “The Art Of Dialogue.” (Photos: The Art Of Dialogue screenshot / YouTube; Steve Granitz Archive/WireImage)

Garland recently sat down for an interview with “The Art Of Dialogue,” where he doted over his son and his iconic 1995 hit “Dear Mama.” In the song, Tupac spoke about growing up in poverty, his mother’s addiction to drugs, and his father’s absence in his life.

“No love for my daddy ’cause the coward wasn’t there. He passed away and I didn’t cry ’cause my anger wouldn’t let me feel for a stranger,” he raps. “They say I’m wrong and I’m heartless but all along I was lookin’ for a father, he was gone. I hung around with the thugs and even though they sold drugs they showed a young brother love.”

Related: Tupac Shakur Reveals His Mother Afeni’s Touching Reaction to His Love Song ‘Dear Mama’ in Throwback Interview 

Garland said that he disliked the song at first but later realized his son had been lied to about his whereabouts.

“At first, I was upset ’cause I’m trying to see you, but then it hit me,” he recalled. “One, I ain’t dead, and so you really didn’t know because if you would’ve known me then you would’ve known that I wasn’t dead. So I knew there that someone had lied to him from that point. And so later on when I found that out that someone did lie to him, that song made perfectly good sense.”

The 74-year-old also said he listens to his son’s music on a daily basis and still loves the song.

“I understood it totally. When I hear it now, I laugh. I still love the f—king record. I love it, I do. I think it’s beautiful. I love all his music, though. I listen to his music daily — every freaking day, and I like it.”

He said he was also upset because the documentary questioned if his son was bipolar, calling the suggestion a “betrayal.”

More than that, Garland took issue with how he was portrayed and how his interview with the director ended up featured in the series.

“Allen Hughes asked me to do an interview. He didn’t tell me it was about ‘Dear Mama.’ He didn’t tell me too much of anything except that it was about Tupac.”

Garland went on to say that he had previously declined to do interviews based on a history of his words being taken out of context.

“After some persuasion — because I denied him that interview — I didn’t want to do no interviews because every time I did an interview, it was always taken out of light,” she said. “Everything that I said was taken out of context, so I was very reluctant. But, he persuaded me and I did it.”

Garland mentioned that he spoke with Hughes for about two hours, but after watching the series he said, “I was slightly disappointed.” He claims his comments were once again taken out of context “more so than anything that I could’ve ever conceived.”

“I didn’t like it,” he continued. “To be honest with you I thought it was more about something else than about Tupac, if you know what I’m saying. If I knew it was about “Dear Mama’ I might have still did it but I probably wouldn’t not for nothing.”

He added that if he had known the series would be focused more on Afeni he never would have agreed to do it.

Fans had a variety of reactions after watching Garland’s interview. Some seemed confused, as many people also thought the artist’s biological father had passed away long ago, while others commented on their resemblance.

“Wait a minute I thought Tupac said his dad was dead,” wrote one. “Who tf is this fr?”

Another fan chimed in, “It’s called Dear Mama tho.”

“PAC had Afeni eyes but everything else Billy,” said a third.

“Dear Mama” combines Afeni’s life as a revolutionary activist in the 1970s and Tupac’s rise to success as one of the most influential artists in hip-hop. He was killed during a drive-by shooting in 1996 in Las Vegas at 25. But his music created a global fan base and accolades such as six Grammy nominations.

In light of his impact, the rapper was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

On June 7, Tupac’s sister Sekyiwa Shakur accepted her brother’s honor alongside the series director Hughes and radio host Big Boy, who emceed the ceremony in Los Angeles.

“As the proud sister of Tupac Amaru Shakur, the daughter of Mutulu and Afeni Shakur, it fills my heart with honor to stand here today representing the Shakur family,” she began.

She said she was grateful she got to witness “the greatness” her brother presented to the world.

“Today, we’re not just honoring a star on the ground,” she said while getting emotional. “But we’re honoring the work and the passion that he put into making his dreams come true. His heavenly star will shine a little brighter today.”

One fan spoke about the actor’s star on the Walk of Fame, stating that the honor was long overdue.

“This is definitely long overdue,” they wrote. “I’m happy it happen, but I wish his mom was at least still alive to honor his name.”

“Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur” is currently available on Hulu.

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