Fans, friends and collaborators are reflecting on Tupac Shakur’s legacy today (June 16) on what would have been his 50th birthday. Jada Pinkett Smith, who became close friends with the rapper at the Baltimore School for the Arts, commemorated the special day by sharing one of Pac’s unreleased poems.
“Tupac Amaru Shakur would have been 50 midnight tonight!” she captioned the Instagram post on Tuesday (June 15). “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. Happy ‘you goin’n to be 50 at midnight’ Birthday Pac! I got next. P.s I was planning to post tomorrow which is why the video says today is Pac’s bday. But I decided to start earlyyyyy.”
The post included Pac’s handwritten “Lost Soulz” poem, which Pinkett Smith says he mailed to her while incarcerated at Riker’s Island.
“I went down memory lane over the years,” the actress explained. “Pac wrote me many letters and many poems and I don’t think this one has ever been published, honestly. He had a song called ‘Lost Souls’ on the Gang Related soundtrack but I believe this was the original concept because he wrote this, I believe, when he was at Rikers [Island]. And I was like, I don’t think he would have minded that I share this with you guys.”
Pinkett Smith read the poem aloud, which goes: “Some say nothing gold can last forever/And to 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 to dream and fantasize/But now I’m scared to 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 continues.
Pac tragically passed away at the age of 25 after a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on Sept. 13, 1996. Read his unearthed poem “Lost Soulz” below.