- Cast the Runner-Up:
- Anthony "Treach" Criss and Donald Faison auditioned for Bishop. Tupac Shakur had accompanied Treach to the audition and asked to read. Shakur nailed the role when he threw a chair during his audition. Shakur helped Criss get a cameo as a member of Radames' gang. Faison appears as a student.
- Tupac auditioned twice for the film. The first time, he had auditioned for Quincy (Q), and Ernest Dickerson was so impressed by his performance that he personally asked him to stay around and audition for another part, which was the role of Bishop, which he had been having a lot of trouble casting. Shakur happily agreed. After his second audition and as he left, Dickerson immediately knew that they found Bishop.
- Dawson Casting: Averted by Q (Omar Epps) and Steel (Jermaine Hopkins), as well as Radames (Vincent Laresca), who were all around 17-18 at the time. Played straight with Raheem (Khalil Kain), who was a ripe old 27, yet looked young enough to play a high school student. Also with Yolanda (Cindy Herron), who was 30, yet played Q's girlfriend, who is a nurse presumably in her early-20s. Tupac was 20-21 and could also qualify, albeit barely.
- Hostility on the Set: According to Jermaine "Huggy" Hopkins, Tupac Shakur often walked off the set during filming. As a prank, Hopkins told Shakur that he was being fired from the film. When Shakur found out that it was not true, he started a physical altercation with Hopkins.
- In Memoriam: The dedication at the end of the film "For Janet and Tamu" are personal dedications by Director Ernest R. Dickerson, to two people who were killed. The former being Dickerson's fiancée, and the latter being a part of the crew as a Production Assistant involved with the production, who was murdered in Brooklyn after the film was in post-production.
- Method Acting: Omar Epps stated in an interview that Tupac wanted to stay in character so much, that he would aggressively ask cast and crew to call him "Bishop" instead of Tupac on-set.
- Mid-Development Genre Shift: At one point, the script was option by The Donnors' Company, who wanted to completely change the tone of the film and at one point suggested turning it into a comedy. Ernest Dickerson and Gerard Brown completely disagreed with the idea and wanted to keep the film as a "noir" film, not a piece of junk and took back the rights to the script.
- Real-Life Relative: The actress who played Sweets, the lady who gives the gun to Q, is Ernest R. Dickerson's real-life mother, who had just retired from working at the New York City Public Library and wanted to include her in the film.
- Write What You Know: The film is based on interviews that Director Ernest R. Dickerson conducted with a group of his cousin's friends who had lived around that area where the film was based. Dickerson ended up using everything he had heard and became the basis of the film itself, as well as authenticity.
- The scene where Q and Bishop are being chased by the cops on the rooftops are based on personal experiences by Dickerson growing up in Newark, New Jersey, where he would jump from rooftop to rooftop.
Trivia / Juice