Kid ‘N Play’s Chris Martin: Tupac Was Always Itchin’ to Rap—Even at the After-Parties

Just like James Baldwin was born to write and Michael Jordan born to shoot hoops, Tupac Shakur was born to rap.

So says Kid ‘N Play’s Christopher Martin, who befriended the hip-hop star during the late ’80s, when Tupac—who, tragically, would be slain in a 1996 drive-by shooting—was a background dancer for Digital Underground.

CAPTION: "He was always a very true and passionate about his talent and craft," Chris tells us of his assassinated pal Tupac (above).

"He was always very true and passionate about his talent and craft," Chris tells us of his assassinated pal Tupac (above).

“He always had the itch to be a rapper,” Chris tells The Focal Spot host Fredelyne Alcide.

“I can remember so many times where the big thing about going on tour was going to the after-parties.

“And I would go, of course, looking for the girls. And that’s all I wanted to do. But when you’d go to the after-parties and clubs they’d try to get the stars of the tour to come in the DJ booth to say a few words or rap.

“I was never interested because I just rapped all night during our show. And Tupac would be right there by my side when they’d say, ‘Well, come up and play on the mic’ or whatever, I’d say no,” Chris adds of the Me Against the World singer, who has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide.

“And Tupac would get mad. He’d say, ‘Yo, just get up there and get on the mic. Get on the mic!’

“And I’d said, ‘I don’t wanna rap.’ And he’d say, ‘Well, just get on the mic and just say one or two words-and pass the mic to me so I can rap,’ and stuff like that.

CAPTION: Chris (right) and Kid kickin' off their "House Party" tour earlier this year.

Chris (right) and Kid kickin' off their "House Party" anniversary tour earlier this year.

“He was always a very true and passionate about his talent and craft.”

Chris—who’s currently on tour with partner Christopher “Kid” Reid celebrating the 20th anniversary of their classic big-screen comedy House Party— also recalls how Kid ‘N Play’s music saved his from being booted from the family crib.

“The first time I heard my record on the radio, believe it or not, was at the very moment my father was getting ready to kick me out of the house,” says the Fun House singer.

“He was fed up with me not having a job, me getting kicked out of schools, things he was finding in my room that was just dangerous. And he was sitting me down in our living room and he was getting ready to get me out of the house and right when he was about to give the final blow of the sentence, and all of a sudden I hear a record I’d done with Kid and [producer] Hurby [“Love Bug” Azor].

“It held me up gettin’ kicked out.”

Click here to hear Chris Martin’s full interview.

Click here to find out more about the House Party 20th Anniversary Tour.

One thought on “Kid ‘N Play’s Chris Martin: Tupac Was Always Itchin’ to Rap—Even at the After-Parties

  1. Tony Downs

    Very interesting article! I never knew “Play” knew “Pac,” really. Regardless, that was the GREATEST era hip hop and rap have ever and (unfortunately most likely) WILL EVER be! I truly miss sampling, scratching, THE ART OF STORY TELLING and just plain image-shrugging FUN that used to be in the game! Man, what a cool life Play’s had…getting to know people like Tupac, the classic movies, the music (“BOUNCE” was awesome…SUCH a catchy backing track on that)…and even the cartoon was sorta fun now and then. The story about the kick-out was just plain cool and should be lyrically brought into the rap game via Play rapping on that over a funky old school damn fool beat! To me, that seems like God at work…Play was living for his, but maybe those closest to him were like, “yeah…right.” Well, God did what he does and brought the truth into the mix through getting that track to play just at the right time. Anyway; see what you’ve done here? You’ve inspired feedback a’plenty…and THAT is the art of great article writing in ACTION! In short, great article!

    Reply

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