It’s hard to believe but Tupac Shakur would have been 50 years old today if he were still alive. To commemorate the late rapper’s birthday, Jada Pinkett Smith took to social media to share a never-before-seen poem that he wrote while incarcerated at Rikers Island.
“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,” wrote Pinkett Smith on Instagram. “Here are a few you may have never heard before. Happy ‘you goin’n to be 50 at midnight’ Birthday Pac! I got next. P.s I was planning to post tomorrow which is why the video says today is Pac’s bday. But I decided to start earlyyyyy.”
The post includes a video that Pinkett Smith filmed, too, in which she explains when and how she got the poem, shows off what it looks like, and then reads the piece in full. “Pac wrote me many letters and many poems,” she explains in the clip. “I don’t think this one has ever been published. I don’t think he would have minded that I shared this with you guys.”
The poem is titled “Lost Soulz” and was handwritten by Tupac in blue pen on a lined piece of notebook paper. “It is true that nothing gold can last / We will all one day see death / When the purest hearts are torn apart / Lost souls are all that’s left,” it reads. As Pinkett Smith notes, Tupac would go on to release a song called “Lost Souls” a few years later with Outlawz, and there’s a good chance this might have been a first draft of sorts for that track. Regardless, it’s pretty wild to see an artifact like this suddenly pop up from one of the greatest rappers of all time. Read the poem in full below.
Earlier this year, 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me and his follow-up The Don Killuminati (The 7 Day Theory) got cassette reissues for the very first time since the decade they were originally released in. Plus, that long-awaited crime drama City of Lies about the LAPD trying to uncover who was responsible for the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls hit VOD, too — but, word is it wasn’t very good.