Some never-before-seen Tupac Shakur letters that will be auctioned by Bonham Los Angeles name the individuals the late, great rapper held responsble for his 1994 hit at Quad Studios.
A collection of rare handwritten letters from Tupac Shakur will be offered in Bonhams’ Entertainment Memorabilia auction on March 1 in Los Angeles. These letters that Shakur wrote to his friend Desiree Smith while he was imprisoned in upstate New York in 1995 have never been seen by the public and offer a fresh perspective on this important period in the iconic rapper’s life.
They include Shakur’s writings about who he believed was behind the shooting at Quad Records and who set him up on the sexual abuse charge that sent him to prison, as well as his feelings about imprisonment and his short-lived marriage to Keisha Morris. Also included in the offering is a statement signed by Shakur and witnessed by Smith, dated July 30, 1995, authorizing Death Row Records attorney David Kenner to negotiate on Shakur’s behalf. It is an important document marking the beginning of Shakur’s relationship with the infamous label helmed by Suge Knight.
Though he only live to age 25, Shakur’s work has continued to inspire in the years since his death. An exhibition entitled All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur recently opened at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, and director John Singleton will begin shooting a biopic of Shakur later this year.
Other pieces of music history in Bonhams’ auction include rare handwritten set lists by Kurt Cobain for a 1989 Nirvana concert ($6,000-8,000) and by Mick Jagger for a 1969 Rolling Stones concert ($6,000-6,000); a Bill Graham “Flying Eyeball” Jimi Hendrix poster ($2,500-3,500); and a black calfskin jacket worn by Jim Morrison while he was performing with the Doors at Madison Square Garden in 1969 ($15,000-20,000).
Bonhams’ Director of Entertainment Memorabilia, Catherine Williamson, commented of the letters, “The popularity of the music and writings of Tupac Shakur continues to grow, and memorabilia of any kind relating to the rapper is exceedingly rare at auction. We anticipate great public interest in this material.”
Pictures of the Tupac Shakur letters can been seen on the next page.
Photos: Courtesy of Bonhams