The Art and Influence of Hip Hop

The Art and Influence of Hip Hop

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 101. Autograph letter signed ("Eternally, Tupac"), to Cosima [Knez], 28 October, 1988. .

Tupac Shakur

Autograph letter signed ("Eternally, Tupac"), to Cosima [Knez], 28 October, 1988.

Lot Closed

March 30, 05:41 PM GMT


5,000 - 8,000 USD

Lot Details


Autograph letter signed ("Eternally, Tupac"), to Cosima [Knez], [Mill Valley, California], 28 October, 1988.

1 page (8 x 10 1/2"), in black ballpoint pen on lined notebook paper. Creases where previously folded, some light red smudges to blank recto, otherwise in excellent condition.



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, written just a couple of weeks after the pair first met, we can see just how quickly Tupac assumes the role of mentor and protector, helping the younger Cosima navigate some of the trickier affairs of the heart, guiding her on how to attract the affections of one classmate ""Remember what I told you! Don't let him have your until he earns it. Let him show you some affection. Step away 4 a while and c if he notices....". He also guides her to steer clear of one of the other boys who Tupac clearly did not see deserving of her affections: "As a friend I'm warning you don't ever under any circumstances let yourself be involved with him again. He said something 2 me today about being able to get you back whenever he wants 2 so don't let him play u...".

Provenance: Courtesy the recipient

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