Jada Pinkett Smith is celebrating the legacy of rap icon Tupac Shakur on what would have been his 50th birthday with one of his poems she says “you may have never heard before.”
“Of course, I went down memory lane,” the “Red Table Talk” host reflected in an Instagram video shared Tuesday ahead of his birthday Wednesday. She and Shakur were friends beginning in their teen years, both attending the Baltimore School for the Arts.
“Over the years, Pac wrote me many letters and many poems. I don’t think this one has ever been published, honestly. I was like, ‘I don’t think he would have minded if I shared this with you guys.’ ”
Smith, 49, theorized the poem, titled “Lost Soulz,” was the original concept for his song “Lost Souls,” featured on the soundtrack for the 1997 crime thriller “Gang Related.” She thought Shakur might have written the poem while imprisoned on Rikers Island in New York after he was charged in a sexual assault case in the ’90s.
The artist, who Snoop Dogg once dubbed “revolutionary” and “the greatest rapper of all time,” died at 25 in 1996 after a drive-by shooting.
“As we prepare to celebrate his legacy … let’s remember him for that which we loved most … his way with words,” Smith wrote in the caption, the evening before his birthday. “Here are a few you may have never heard before✨ Happy ‘you goin’n (sic) to be 50 at midnight’ Birthday Pac! 😆 I got next😜”
Read the poem in full below.
By T. Shakur
Some say nothing gold can last forever
And 2 believe this (I) need no proof
I have witnessed all that was pure in me
Be changed by the evil men can do
The innocence possessed by children
Once lived inside my soul
But surviving years with criminal peers
has turned my warm heart to cold
I used 2 dream and fantasize
But now I’m scared 2 sleep
petrified, not to live or die
But to awaken and still be me
It is true that nothing gold can last
We will all one day see death
When the purest hearts are torn apart
Lost souls are all that’s left
Down on my knees I beg of God
to save me from this fate
Let me live to see what was gold in me
Before it is all too late
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