Hip Hop

Hip Hop

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 68. Tupac Shakur.

Tupac Shakur

Autograph letter signed ("Passionately yours, Tupac A. Shakur,") being a love letter to high school sweetheart Cosima Knez, [ca. Fall 1988].

Lot Closed

July 25, 05:06 PM GMT

Estimate

4,000 - 6,000 USD

Lot Details

Description

Autograph letter signed ("Passionately Yours, Tupac A. Shakur"), to Cosima [Knez], [Marin City, California, ca. Fall 1988].


1 p. (8 x 101/2 in.) in black ballpoint ink on a single sheet of blue-lined white notebook paper. Vertical and horizontal creases where previously folded (into small, square note), open tear (3 x 1in.) to bottom left corner (text unaffected), light soiling to verso, faint damp spotting to upper right recto blank (text unaffected).

Courtesy the recipient

FROM THE FIRST DAY I SAW U I HAD AN INCREDIBLE ATTRACTION 4 U HOWEVER, FATE AND TIME ONCE AGAIN WERE NOT ON MY SIDE…”

           

17-YEAR-OLD TUPAC SHAKUR PENS FLIRTATIOUS THANK YOU TO NEW CLASSMATE


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 his progress as a writer, and even welcoming Tupac into her family's home for a time. Their relationship would prove to be pivotal for Tupac's career—not only did Steinberg help Tupac hone his writing skills, but she would also 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 at Tamalpais High. The pair shared a profound 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 72-76) reveal a tender-hearted, fiercely passionate young man, dedicated to clear communication who loved people deeply, and expressed emotions without fear. Tupac’s ability to love so deeply, and to plainly express this love continues to explain the indelible mark he left on the hearts of those who knew him and devotees around the globe. These letters capture Tupac at a seminal juncture—an adolescent on the edge of true maturity, a natural wordsmith evolving into a lyricist and poet.

 

The present letter is the earliest written communication between the future couple following their first meeting in the fall of 1988. “I don’t even want 2 attempt 2 spell your name!” Tupac greets his new classmate, continuing to thank her for the “great time” they had together the day before. “The second thing I want 2 say is a little more complicated,” he divulges. “From the first day I saw u I had an incredible attraction 4 u however, fate and time once again were not on my side and one week before I met u, I met a girl name Dienia and we are presently in a relationship 2gether.” Highly principled even at seventeen, Tupac chooses full disclosure—prioritizing honesty over the potential blow of rejection to which his heartfelt confession could lead. “Now, I’m usually a very faithful person,” he presses, “but like I said I have an INCREDIBLE attraction 4 u.” Reluctant to compromise his adolescent moral code, caught between a budding relationship and this new, magnetic bond, Tupac leaves the future in Cosima’s hands, “I don’t really know what 2 do. But I had 2 tell u how I feltP.S. I hope u don’t think I’m a total sleaze 4 this because I don’t usually do this!