Tupac Shakur was infamously killed in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting on Sept. 13, 1996, just three months after his 25th birthday. That didn't stop people, including two of his famous friends, from remembering him Wednesday, the day he would have turned 50.
Janet Jackson, who co-starred with Shakur in the 1993 movie Poetic Justice, posted a promotional photo from the romantic drama, in which Shakur played her love interest. She captioned it with a single heart.
Shakur, who was trending on Twitter by Wednesday afternoon, was also on the mind of Jada Pinkett Smith, who has been open about her close friendship with the rapper. The two met on her first day attending high school at Baltimore School of the Arts and became close friends. So close, in fact, that her husband, Will Smith, said he was jealous of Shakur in the early days of his relationship with the Girls Trip actress.
"They grew up together and they loved each other," Smith said in a January 2020 interview on New York radio station Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club. "She just loved him, like, he was the image of perfection."
Pinkett Smith herself has said the two were inseparable for a while, but they had a fight and were estranged until he died.
Still, she has explained on her show, Red Table Talk, that Shakur's death affected her deeply.
"That was a huge loss in my life because he was one of those people that I expected to be here," she said in a 2018 episode. "My upset is more anger ... because I feel that he left me. And I know that's not true, and it's a very selfish way to think about it, but I really did believe that he was going to be here for the long run."
Pinkett Smith's post for Shakur's birthday was a video that featured one of his unknown poems.
"Over the years, 'Pac wrote me many letters and many poems, and I don't think this one has ever been published, honestly" she said. "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]."
She said that she didn't think Shakur would mind if she shared his words.
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