Why I shot Tupac Shakur, by Sir David Attenborough

NATURALIST and filmmaker Sir David Attenborough, aged 96, is known for shows including Life on Earth and Frozen Planet II, but not his murder of Tupac Shakur in 1996. He explains: 

My rap career had stalled

I’ve led something of a charmed life. From Cambridge to my time as controller of BBC2 to my career as a broadcaster. But in the 1990s, jealous of my brother’s success in Jurassic Park which should really have been mine, I branched out into gangsta rap. Keeping it real, I spat bars about orang-utan behaviour and melting ice-caps and sales were terrible.

Tupac stole my look

I’d been wearing a knotted bandana, diamond crucifix and baggy jeans around the Natural History Unit for years, ask anyone, so at least my look was fresh. Then one day my copy of The Source dropped onto my Richmond doormat and there was this young pretender 2Pac, biting my style. The clothes could be a coincidence. The Thug Life tattoo across his stomach most certainly was not. I’d had mine since the Navy, pissed as a bastard on overproof rum. He’d stolen it. I’m afraid a grudge grew in my heart that day.

Biggie encouraged it

Biggie, or Christopher as I called him, and I knew each other from when he’d enquired about the purchase of a shipment of macaws. Wonderful company, a very erudite man, crazy for pussy. Anyway, he and Tupac had fallen out and I confess his constant nagging about what a bitch-ass motherfucker his rival was did seep in. We all like to think we’re not influenced by peer pressure but we’re apes really.

I’d lost a shitload on the roulette

I’d hit Las Vegas wanting to get loose, drink heavily and play poker. I lost about £400k, went to see Siegfried and Roy to unwind, but spent the whole show whispering poignant and thoughtful commentary about their albino tigers. I was getting emotional so I set off rolling around Sin City in my Cadillac and, well, I saw him. Tupac. And like a dominant lion scenting a rival, I let instinct rule.

I’ve regretted it ever since

I may be the nation’s granddad but I’m only human. Hand me a piece and I immediately transform into a stone cold killer. I hold my hands up. I put four in him with my Glock 22. I’ll never forgive myself, no matter how many endangered species I save. I’d give it all back. My knighthood, my BAFTA Fellowship, all of it if to bring Makaveli back again.

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The Stone Roses's debut album: is it actually bollocks?

AN entire generation grew up venerating The Stone Roses’ eponymous 1989 album, but is it an all-time classic or psychedelic shite? 

Ian Brown can’t sing: tracks 1-11

It is a major failing of a rock band to have a singer who can’t sing. Ian Brown can’t sing live, famously, but neither is he any great talent in the studio. Try to choose your favourite track from the album based purely on the powerful, mellifluous vocal. You can’t. That’s a problem.

The lyrics aren’t great either: tracks 3, 5, 7, 9

There’s a certain anthemic power to claiming that this is the one or that you personally are the resurrection. Lyrics about sugar spun sisters and waving goodbye to bad men are more Donovan at his hippie heights. Yes, you smoke weed – or more realistically in 80s Manchester, squidgy black – but so does Snoop Dogg and he made Nuthin’ But A G Thang. 

Bad vocals and lyrics are not compensated for by extra guitar: tracks 10 and 11

John Squire was very, very good at playing the guitar. So good that, as all egomaniac guitarists do, he decided that all issues could be ironed out by layering on overdubs and, for the final track, finishing with a lengthy guitar workout and two false endings. But, as the 1970s and Second Coming proved, you can have too much guitar.

One track’s backwards: track 4

You were pissing about in the studio. It sounded interesting. You and your stoned mates grooved on it. That doesn’t mean it needs to go on the fucking album, you curtain-haired pricks. Any decent record label would have stepped in and stopped this. The Roses were on Silvertone.

Madchester: tracks 2, 3, 8, 10

The historic fusion of rock music and dance music, ie funky drums under an indie song, was at the heart of Madchester, a movement barely remembered today for good reason. At the time it was an epochal shift that changed music forever. Six years later it was stamped flat by Britpop. Now it’s Northern filler between the Smiths and Oasis.

Nobody else ever liked them: tracks 1-11

True brilliance finds an audience. Movies that were flops succeed, books nobody read become classics. Nobody likes The Stone Roses who didn’t love them then. Not Americans, not millennials, not even you at the cash-in reunion shows. Yeah. It was just the drugs.