Tupac Shakur's Earnest 1995 Prison Letter Selling for $225,000 - Rolling Stone
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Tupac Shakur’s Earnest 1995 Prison Letter Selling for $225,000

Rapper talks rules of “Thug Life” and recording a post-jail album in five-page essay from Clinton Correctional Facility

Tupac ShakurTupac Shakur

A handwritten five-page letter penned by Tupac Shakur while incarcerated in 1995 is now being offered with a $225,000 asking price

Gerald Herbert/Getty

A handwritten five-page letter penned by Tupac Shakur while incarcerated in 1995 is now being offered with a $225,000 asking price. Memorabilia sellers Moments in Time are selling the letter, which the late rapper wrote to former Death Row employee Nina Bhadreshwar while serving nine months behind bars at the Clinton Correctional Facility (commonly referred to as Dannemora) on sexual assault charges, Complex writes.

In the letter, Shakur talks about following up his 1995 LP Me Against the World, which was released during his prison stint, as well as leaving the “Thug Life” behind. “When a normal man questions his existence, it begins with childhood, teenager, adult,” Shakur muses. “However, when most black males examine their lives, especially those of us from the ghetto upbringing, realize this is not our development stages. Ours begins with a young dustkicker, a thug nigga and finally a boss playa. Each stage has many obstacles and pleasure, but they are all lethal if not played properly.”

Tupac Shakur; Jailhouse Letter

Later, Shakur recounts being “schooled in the Rules of the Game” in Oakland, driving through Los Angeles during the 1992 riots and his own rise to stardom. “[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,” Tupac writes.

The letter was meant strictly for Bhadreshwar, who also ran Death Row Magazine, to use, as Tupac writes in a preface to the essay, “I am not granting this information 2 any other publication, not even Time & Rolling Stone.”

Tupac Shakur

“Hopefully this will do some of U some good. If it does, then I don’t sit in jail in vain,” the rapper writes. “I’ll see y’all in about 18 months. If it’s still in me I’ll drop another album, not 4 me but 4 the homiez that made it #1 and platinum in two weeks.” Shakur was freed nine months into his sentence and released All Eyez on Me four months later.

In February 2015, another handwritten Tupac letter was unveiled at a Grammy Museum tribute to the rapper, revealing that Shakur planned an all-star ONE NATION album featuring artists like Outkast, E-40, Scarface, Smif-n-Wessum and many more. A rare photo of Shakur riding a rollercoaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain was also unearthed and put on the auction block.

In This Article: Tupac Shakur


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