Autograph letter signed ("Eternally, Tupac A. Shakur"), to Cosima [Knez], [Marin City, California, ca spring 1989].
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Autograph letter signed ("Eternally, Tupac A. Shakur,") to Cosima [Knez], [Marin City, California, ca spring 1989].
1 page (8 x 10 1/2"), in black ballpoint pen on lined notebook paper. Creases where previously folded, a few light stains to recto, otherwise in excellent condition.
Courtesy the recipient
"I GO FROM PAIN 2 JOY IN ONE WEEK... I LOVE YOU SO MUCH I WOULD GO THROUGH HELL IF IT MEANT I COULD HAVE U ON THE OTHER SIDE."
17-YEAR-OLD TUPAC SHAKUR STRUGGLES WITH THE CONFLICTING EMOTIONS OF LOVE AND FEAR
In the summer of 1988, 17-year-old Tupac Shakur and family moved from Baltimore to Marin City, California. There, Tupac attended Tamalpais High School in nearby Mill Valley, where he poured his creative energies into the award-winning, student-run Ensemble Theatre Company, and perhaps most importantly, The Microphone Sessions, a poetry workshop run by Leila Steinberg. Steinberg quickly recognized the future superstar's talent, and took him under her wing, mentoring him in his writing, and even welcoming him into her family's home for a time. This relationship would prove to be pivotal for Tupac's career; not only did Steinberg help Tupac hone his writing skills, she would become his first manager, organizing a concert for his rap group Strictly Dope, with whom Tupac recorded under the stage name MC New York. Steinberg helped broker Tupac's signing with Atron Gregory, manager of Digital Underground, and in 1990, Tupac joined the group as a roadie and back-up dancer, before going on to debut with them in 1991, under the stage name 2Pac. The rest is history.
Cosima, the recipient of the present letter, was a Sophomore and fellow member of the Ensemble Theatre Company. The pair shared a deep connection at this time, just before and in the beginning stages of Tupac's rise to fame, from their first meeting on Cosima's birthday in October 1988, and lasting for approximately 7-8 months. This, and the other letters offered (see lots 102-107) reveal a young man with a tender heart who was fiercely passionate and loved people deeply, who was not afraid to express his emotions and believed in clear communication. His ability to love so deeply and express this love so clearly helps to explain the indelible mark he left on the hearts of those who knew him. A printed program for the Ensemble Theatre Company, which lists both of their names is currently on display at the Tupac Wake Me When I'm Free exhibit in Los Angeles, California.
In the present letter, penned a few months after the pair first met in October 1988, Tupac reveals the agony he felt at the rollercoaster of emotions he was going through in his relationship with Cosima. This contrast of love and pain was one that Tupac struggled with frequently; while he had a facility for expressing his feelings and communicating them clearly to those around him, he was at times plagued with insecurity and fear of losing those he loved. Tupac clearly expresses the pain he was feeling: "I go from pain 2 joy in one week. But I don't want it 2 end I love u so much that I would go through Hell if it meant I could have you on the other side...," and thoughtfully offers suggestions on how the pair could improve the predicament "My suggestion is that we be more sensitive of each other... I will be more sensitive of your feelings but u also have 2 be more sensitive." He closes the letter with a sincere expression of his feelings and hopes for the future of their relationship: "When I say 'Eternally' I want 2 believe it will be for eternity. I love you and only want you 2 be happy."
Provenance: Courtesy the recipient
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