"Let's remember him for that which we loved most ... his way with words."
Jada Pinkett Smith marked what would have been Tupac Shakur's 50th birthday this week with a never-before-seen, handwritten poem she's been holding onto all these years.
While today would have actually been his 50th, Smith shared her celebratory post a day early. The post itself showed the poem, titled "Lost Soulz," and featured an introduction from Jada.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
"As many of you know, today is Pac's birthday. He would have been 50 this year and, of course, I went down memory lane," she explained. "Over the years, Pac wrote me many letters and many poems and I don't think this one has ever been published."
While she noted he had a song called "Lost Souls," Smith said she believed the poem was the "original concept" and was written during his time at Rikers Island.
"I don't think he would have minded that I shared this with you guys," she added, before reading it in full.
She also captioned the post, "Tupac Amaru Shakur would have been 50 midnight tonight!"
"As we prepare to celebrate his legacy … let's remember him for that which we loved most … his way with words. Here are a few you may have never heard before✨ Happy 'You goin'n to be 50 at midnight' Birthday Pac! 😆 I got next😜"
Jada and Tupac met at The Baltimore School for the Arts when they were both students. She's said in the past that they did once share a "disgusting kiss" and decided to keep their relationship platonic.
During an interview in 2020, Will Smith was asked if he was "ever jealous of the love Jada had" for the slain rapper. His response: "F--k yeah."
"And you know, that was in the early days. That was in the early days," he went on. "That was a big regret for me, too, 'cause I could never open up to interact with Pac ... They grew up together and they loved each other, but they never had a sexual relationship. But they had come into that age where now that was a possibility, and then Jada was with me."
"She just loved him," he explained. "He was the image of perfection, but she was with the Fresh Prince, so you know, it was like, I never could ... We were in the room together a couple times, I couldn't speak to him. And you know, he wasn't going to speak to me if I wasn't going to speak to him."
This September will mark the 25th anniversary of Tupac's death. The rapper died on September 13, 1996, after a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.