As remembrances and tributes for famed rapper Tupac Shakur flood the internet on the 20th anniversary of his death, hundreds of Fresnans are going back to reality after a unique, one-night only tribute to the late artist.
The Powamekka Cafe, a pop-up inspired by Tupac’s own unfinished restaurant plans, took over Take 3 on the Fulton Mall on Tuesday – 20 years to the day since Tupac’s death. The brainchild of Fresno Grizzlies marketing mastermind Sam Hansen featured art and performances from local artists, as well as a Tupac-inspired food and drink menu with instant hits like Hennessey Apple Butter Wings and a cranberry-orange and vodka mixed drink appropriately called the Powamekka. The proceeds went to charity, specifically the Make-A-Wish Foundation and A Place Called Home.
News of the pop-up spread quickly, as the plan gained national attention through articles from Rolling Stone, Billboard and others. The organizers didn’t know what to expect at first, but they eventually estimated about 500 people would show up.
About 1,000 came.
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The area in front of a stage, marshaled by local hip-hop station B95 FM and set up in the center of what will soon be Fulton Street, was packed – even as the line for food stretched down Fulton, turned southwest down Fresno Street and wrapped around to Broadway Street.
Those in attendance took to Twitter, using the hashtag #PowaMekkaCafe to share their thoughts:
Public Enemy and Snoop Dogg were among the dozens of celebrities to also post tributes on social media.
Tuesday also saw the release of the second trailer for the highly anticipated Tupac biopic “All Eyez On Me,” a reference to his final album of the same name. (Warning: The trailer contains graphic content)