Jerry Foxhoven, a former government official in Iowa, was asked to leave his job a day after sharing lyrics via the company email account quoting the late Tupac “2Pac” Shakur. Foxhoven, a 66-year-old white man, was such a 2Pac fanatic that he made even handed out “thug cookies” and often signed off his emails with the rapper’s words.
Foxhoven regularly held “Tupac Fridays” in his office, where the rapper’s music was played — the lawyer said he liked breaking stereotypes about who listens to rap.
“I’m a 66-year-old white guy from the Midwest who likes rap music, who likes Tupac!” he says.
In fact, Foxhoven is a Tupac superfan. The civil servant is utterly dedicated to the slain rapper, celebrating his birthday with Tupac-themed baked goods; marking Tupac milestones (“I might seem a little down because today is the 22nd anniversary of 2Pac’s death,” he wrote once to a staff member); and assigning Tupac as mandatory reading for his ethics class at Drake University.
But Foxhoven’s tenure at the Department of Human Services ended without warning — and without a chance for an orderly transition. After his email citing the rapper, Foxhoven was asked to resign. He says that he was not even granted a meeting with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Foxhoven told the outlet that he didn’t believe he was let go because of 2Pac but did ponder if the firing would have happened if he quoted Barry Manilow lyrics, whose birthday is one day after 2Pac’s, instead.
“I always try to assume the best of everybody, and I can’t imagine that [the governor] would base her decision on the Tupac incident,” Foxhoven tells NPR. “If this is the reason, I’m really disappointed.”
Keep Ya Head Up, Jerry!