Jada Pinkett Smith has shared a poem that the late rapper Tupac Shakur wrote for her, on what would have been his 50th birthday.
Pinkett Smith was a childhood friend of Tupac, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in September 1996, aged 25.
“Tupac Amaru Shakur would have been 50 midnight tonight!” she wrote on Instagram. “As we prepare to celebrate his legacy … let's remember him for that which we loved most … his way with words. Here are a few you may have never heard before.”
She then revealed the handwritten poem, written on lined notebook paper, titled “Lost Soulz”.
“Pac wrote me many letters and many poems. And I don’t think this has ever been published honestly,” she said in a video tribute. Tupac would later release a song called “Lost Souls,” but Pinkett Smith said she believes he wrote this “original concept” while incarcerated at Rikers Island in New York.
“I don’t think he would have minded that I shared this with you guys.”
The poem reads: “Some say nothing gold can last forever / And 2 believe this [I] need no proof / I have witnessed all that was pure in me / And 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.”
It is signed: “Yours, Tupac.”
Among the people to comment on the post was Pinkett Smith’s mother, Adrienne Norris, who wrote: “This is beautiful! I believe he would have been a powerful influence in this ‘state of emergency’. RIP.”