Eminem’s letter to Tupac Shakur’s mother is one of his most honest and touching pieces of work yet. The letter and a Pac illustration drawn by Em, is displayed in Stone Mountain, Ga., at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, founded by Afeni Shakur in 1997.
When you think about Em’s troubled relationship with his own mother, and Pac’s strong bond with mom Afeni Shakur (“Dear Mama” comes to mind) it's interesting to see the way in which the Detroit MC corresponds with the slain rap legend’s mom. We get to watch a softer side of Em.
He starts by apologizing for the drawing of Pac. “Dear Afeni,” he writes. “Sorry if it looks a little sloppy. I could’ve done a little better if I had the right pencils. Instead I had to draw it in pen. Plus, I just kind of thought of the idea a little too late. But I’ve been drawing since I was 10, and I thought you might like it.”
Further in the letter, he thanks Afeni for “always being so kind” to him. “You are a true Queen, and I mean that in every sense of the word. I will never forget the opportunities that you have given me. You will always be in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers.
“As I have said before, you have no idea how much your son and his music has inspired, not only the ‘Hip Hop’ world, but, speaking for myself, has inspired my whole career. He was, and still is, the true definition of a ’Soldier.’ When I was feeling at my worst; (before fame, before Dre) I knew I could put that ‘Tupac’ tape on, and suddenly, things weren’t so bad. He gave me the courage to stand up and say ‘F**k the world!’ This is who I am! And if you don’t like it, go f**k yourself!’”
Em adds, “Thank you for giving us his spirit and yours! God Bless you! Love, Marshall.”
You can read the full letter, and see Em’s drawing here.
Watch BET.com's California Love: Remembering Tupac below.
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(Photos from left: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV, REUTERS/Mike Segar-Files /Landov)