Tupac letter from jail available at auction for £150,000

The letter was penned at New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility a year before the rapper's death

A letter from late rapper Tupac Shakur, written from jail a year before his death, is up for sale for $225,000 (£150,000).

Shakur was jailed in 1995 on rape charges after the rapper and others were convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room two years earlier.

Writing from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility to Nina Bhadreshwar, who worked for the rapper’s Death Row Records label, Shakur appeared to lament his life choice, saying “Thug Life to me is dead”.


Shakur added: “If it’s real, then let somebody else represent it, because I’m tired of it… Here is what my heart says at this time. It’s long but it’s true.”

“[Many] never survive the next level of Thug Life . . . They become addicted to death. A True Boss Playa knows when to advance . . . U must play the game, not let the game play u. A regular Playa plays women . . . a Boss Playa plays life. A Boss Playa is a thinker, a leader, a builder, a moneymaker, a souljah, a teacher and most of all, a Man! I want all my homiez to know there is another level.”


The recipient Bhadreshwar said of the letter: “[Shakur] enclosed a five-page essay on his view of the rite of passage of a young black male in America. And that was the beginning of our real correspondence.”

The letter is being sold by autograph and manuscript website Moments In Time.

Shakur was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in September 1996. Rapper Kendrick Lamar recently paid tribute to the late hip-hop star to mark the 19th anniversary of his death.

Lamar is a well known fan of Shakur’s and ended his 2015 album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ with a mock interview between the pair, with his own voice dubbed over an old interview. ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, Lamar also revealed, was originally titled ‘Tu Pimp A Caterpillar (TuPac)’.


In the note, which was published on the official 2Pac website, Lamar cited his idol’s influence and discussed how he first came to hear his music.

The note read: “I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you. I couldn’t describe how I felt at that moment. So many emotions. Full of excitement. Full of joy and eagerness. 20 yrs later I understand exactly what that feeling was. INSPIRED.

“The people that you touched on that small intersection changed lives forever. I told myself I wanted to be a voice for man one day. Whoever knew I was speaking out loud for u to listen.”


Juice WRLD, 1998-2019 – the NME obituary

The Chicago rapper has died from a seizure at the age of 21

The Best Songs Of The Decade: The 2010s

Here – after much debate – are the 100 very best songs of 2010s

The Best Albums of The Decade: The 2010s

Here it is: the ultimate guide to the 100 essential albums of the 2010s, picked, ranked and dissected by NME experts