Cheryl “Salt” James, of legendary Hip-Hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, was one of many celebrities who showed love to Tupac during his incarceration in 1995, but a newly unveiled poem reveals how Tupac showed his gratitude.
According to Blavity, the never before seen poem was made public as a part of a new online exhibit by Rock The Bells and according to the site, Tupac wrote the piece addressed to Salt while he was in prison, titled “4 What it’z Worth,” documenting the challenges he faced while growing up in New York and the resilience he displayed after being shot five times.
“These DAYZ my pain is deep. But there is always pleasure 2 be found in timez of struggle and grief,” the iconic rapper wrote. “If a tree can grow through New York concrete, then a thugg can change his heart. If I can survive five deadly shotz, we can discover light within the dark.”
The exchange of correspondence, which was initiated by Salt, happened while Tupac was serving time in New York, after being convicted for being involved in the sexual assault case of a 20-year-old woman. Although Tupac served his time, he continued to maintain his innocence in the case, telling the New York Times, at the time, that he was leaving the truth “up to God” after apologizing to the victim.
“I put my faith in God. Once again, I have no shame,” Tupac said. “What happens, happens for a reason. I leave this in the hands of God.”
Salt told Rock The Bells that while ‘Pac didn’t subscribe to organized religion, he did have his own unique relationship with God adding that she sent him books to help him find faith to help him get through the tough times.
“He felt like the whole world was turning against him and he was unjustly in prison,” Salt said. “I told him that he could turn away from negativity and turn away from sin. He could have this new relationship directly with God.”
The “Push-It” rapper says that Shakur responded, saying he read the books in addition to reading the Quran and the Bible.
“I’ve been shot five times and he’s brought me this far,” Shakur told The New York Times.
Quintessential photos of Shakur and stories of his upbringing and a timeline of the history of Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, can now be seen in an online exhibit at Rock The Bells.
To view the full exhibit click here.