Read 2Pac’s 1995 Letter From Prison To Public Enemy’s Chuck D

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In September 1995, Tupac Shakur was in New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility, with less than a month remaining on a sexual assault conviction, stemming from 1993. Maintaining that he was innocent of the accusations against him, ‘Pac rallied in his year leading up to the sentencing, while working hard at Me Against The World, the first album to go #1 with its artist behind bars.

That album, featuring strong involvement from Digital Underground’s Shock G, 415’s Richie Rich, as well as veteran producer Easy Mo Bee, is perhaps 2Pac’s most dedicated work to Hip-Hop culture. The song “Old School,” featuring a Brand Nubian scratch-chorus, highlights the controversial MC’s vast influences from 1980s Hip-Hop, at a time when he was preparing a declaration against key members of the New York City Hip-Hop community.

ChuckD_2Pac

In those final days behind bars, in the final 365 days of his life, 2Pac was a busy man. He was regularly writing his peers and friends that included five years of Hip-Hop stardom, on two coasts. One such artist 2Pac was in communication with was Public Enemy’s Chuck D. The Long Island, New Yorker, then still a flagship artist on Def Jam Records, is not someone who ‘Pac collaborated with. Chuck D did list several of ‘Pac’s works as his favorites in his first book, 1997’s Fight The Power. However, as Chuck shared a letter written to him by 2Pac, it appears as though there was a strong respect and camaraderie between the two proponents of social change in Rap music. Interestingly enough, Chuck D admitted that this letter was not received until later—something he attributed to ‘Pac’s careful thought process of the time.

Read the letter, and see if it doesn’t add to the list of things that aren’t regularly attributed to 2Pac’s life.

 

Had 1996 gone differently, what do you think could have happened with these forces united?

Related: Here is an Incredibly Candid Previously Unreleased Conversation Between 2Pac & Sanyika Shakur (Audio)