Tupac Shakur’s estate has released a new collection of merchandise to celebrate Pride Month – and all the proceeds will be donated to LGBT+ organisations.
Tupac’s estate has released black hoodies with the word “Changes” emblazoned across the front in the Pride colours, along with an image of the late rapper on the back in the rainbow colours.
All proceeds will be donated to True Colours Unite, which works to eliminate homelessness among LGBT+ youth, and the Marsha P Johnson Institute, which fights for the rights of Black trans and gender non-conforming people.
The announcement arrived ahead of what would have been Tupac’s 50th birthday.
The merch has been met with a range of responses – some accused the estate of “disrespecting” Tupac’s legacy by putting words in his mouth, while others questioned why they weren’t releasing hoodies marking Juneteenth or reflecting on the fight for racial equality in America.
Some of the responses veered into homophobic territory, with social media users suggesting Tupac would never have supported the LGBT+ community.
However others were perplexed by bigoted responses, questioning why some assumed Tupac “wouldn’t support this”.
“I don’t understand where the negativity is coming from,” wrote one person.
Many of those commenting on social media have accused Tupac’s estate of trying to profit off his legacy, apparently missing the fact that all proceeds are being donated to LGBT+ organisations.
In 2012, Tupac Shakur’s family was forced to deny that the rapper was homophobic after music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight told Howard Stern claimed Tupac once called Dr Dre “a f****t”.
His family later said the claim was “totally false” and alluded to his friendship with gay fashion designer Gianni Versace as evidence that he was supportive of the gay community.
The legendary rapper – who was fatally shot in 1996 when he was just 25 years old – has a divisive legacy today. While he is remembered for having spoken out against inequality and abuse in his music, he also served eight months in prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman.