Previously unreleased recordings by Tupac Shakur will come out as new releases now that a new company has begun handling the late rapper’s estate.
Shakur’s mother, Afeni, has been working with JAM, Inc. since 2013, according to Billboard, and has given the company access to everything in her collection. The company has consulted with the Michael Jackson estate and has worked with the Doors, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, among others, on enriching their legacies.
Jeff Jampol, who owns JAM Inc., said he’s dug through “unreleased music, released music, remixes, original demos, writings, scripts, plans, video treatments [and] poems.” Despite the fact that several posthumous Tupac albums have come out since the rapper’s death in 1996, there is apparently still plenty of unreleased material. Jampol described his company’s intention as giving the Shakur estate a “total reset.”
“Some of [the material] is in bits and pieces, some of it is complete; some of it is good, some of it needs work,” said Tom Whalley, who signed Shakur to Interscope and is working with Jampol on the project. “But I think the work that is left can be completed, and is worth his fans hearing.”
One of the first steps was a recent Powerade commercial, which featured Shakur reciting the “rose that grew from concrete” line from “Mama’s Just A Little Girl.” Another was the conversation between Shakur and Kendrick Lamar on the latter rapper’s recent “Mortal Man,” a track on To Pimp a Butterfly, which was culled from a 1994 interview with Shakur.
Whalley said he’d considered doing a project similar to the Bob Dylan project Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, in which other musicians sang “lost” Dylan lyrics in songs they wrote. The Lamar interpolation came around the time he was considering that.
Other components in the project include the rapper’s recent Grammy Museum exhibition and a biography. Jampol is currently negotiating with an author for that, whom he describes as a “very serious writer.”