Date: 03/30/2002 Print This Post

Eleven additional QD3 DVD / video programs and soundtracksin the works to
explore hip-hop’s cultural and historical impact through featured artists and in-the-action perspectives

In what can only be described as a monumental project of far-reaching significance, legendary producer and composer Quincy D. Jones III and his namesake QD3 Entertainment will release Thug Angel: The Life and Times of Tupac Shakur, a DVD and video documentary, on April 2. An audio-only tribute CD featuring friends and family of the revered artist will drop six weeks later. Thug Angel… is a comprehensive and deeply personal look at Shakur, who was assassinated in 1996, and contains 100 per cent exclusive footage, including well over 70 minutes of the rapper himself. The DVD offers more than two hours of bonus footage featuring full-length, unedited Shakur interviews and behind-the-scenes material as well as family and friends, in addition to the actual documentary. The video version clocks in at 90 minutes. Jones, who’s known as QD3 among friends and music industry associates produced the film, as well as scored the music to the revelatory documentary.

No one is better qualified to present Thug Angel… than QD3. In addition to being one of the most brilliant multi-faceted talents in the music industry, QD3, along with many others in the Jones family were extremely close with Shakur. As a result, the documentary is an authentic, honest and detailed rendering of the artist.

“Everything that you see is what you would have seen if you were around at the time. It’s not a piece that’s done with a specific angle in mind. We shot as it was happening, and we’re going to show that – for better or worse,” QD3 promises.

Indeed, Thug Angel… is reality at its most potent and vital, captured in a variety of mediums from High-8 to Beta SP, giving it a very real and in-the-moment quality.

It took QD3 well over four years and a detective’s sensibilities to track down and acquire all of the footage, most of it filmed by Shakur’s many friends, as well as an infallible memory for people, dates and locations. Forget the stacks of RIAA-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums issued to QD3 for his production genius on behalf of 2 Pac, Prince, Ice Cube, Brandy, LL Cool J, his own father, Quincy Jones, and many more. And never mind his “Producer of the Year” Source Award nomination, his ASCAP Composers Award for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or his Emmy nomination with George Clinton for composing the theme to Eddie Murphy’s The PJs.

This is my life’s work,” QD3 says of putting together Thug Angel…. “When you go through rough times and there’s a purpose behind it; you don’t really feel it – you just keep going. And that’s how it was. We had a lot of uphill battles, but at the end of the day, it’s been very worthwhile, as we wanted the world to see Tupac as the complete human being. All the additional producers of the film were also very close friends of Tupac, one of which (Leila Steinberg) is a former manager of Pac whom he lived with for four years. We had all begun work on this film while Pac was still alive.

“This project is a gift to Tupac and his legacy,” QD3 continues. “It’s a very personal love project, in a sense. There’s so much about him that was really incredible.”

As if giving Thug Angel… its wings wasn’t enough, QD3 Entertainment has 11 additional DVD and video programs in the works that span every genre of hip-hop, including old school and gangster rap, and features influential artists such as NWA and Ice Cube, while exploring and underscoring the cultural and historical impact of the music and the groups that create it.

“The mission for this series,” QD3 reveals, “is to humanize and validate hip-hop and the people in hip-hop that were important and were doing something important, in a way that traditional media has not so far. I’ve worked with people in the industry that have a lot more to them and have a lot more to offer than what they give you in the media. We believe this is the level of quality and accuracy in coverage that the urban market has been waiting for and deserves.

“We’re going to be able to show rappers before they were famous, because we were filming them as they were starting, not after they sold platinum. What we have to offer is the whole journey versus just the fame part.”

The never-before-released archival footage for the series, encompassing 1978 to 2001, offers an enlightening and entertaining view from the inside out. Each title will have a companion CD. The 12-part series marks a multi-year urban / hip-hop music programming agreement for world wide home video and broadcast between QD3 and distribution powerhouse Image Entertainment, a leading licensee and distributor of DVD programming in North America.

Comments Barry Gordon, Image vice president of sales, “I am confident that the talent that QD brings to the table with these programs, coupled with our marketing and distribution, will serve to satisfy and enormous consumer appetite.”

States QD3, “Image has released and succeeded with many different types of music programming on home video, so they were ready to attack the urban / hip-hop market. Working with Image, I can see that they’re ready, and I know that this exclusive partnership will take us all to the next level.”


To talk hip-hop history and so much more with the insightful, informative and eloquent QD3, call Steve Levesque or Guy McCain at 310.860.9170