“Measure a man by his actions fully from the beginning to the end. Don’t take a piece out of my life or a song out of my music and say this is what I’m about because you know better than that.” – Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur accomplished a lot before his murder at the age of 25. Beyond his industry rivals, complex persona, and entertainment career this iconic artist had another side that’s been widely overlooked. As the child that wrote his own family plays, and the son of community activist, Afeni Shakur, he had a natural compassion for helping disadvantaged youth. To honor his humanitarianism, AllHipHop wanted to share some philanthropic acts that went under the radar.
Here are 10 philanthropic facts, you may have not known about Tupac Shakur:
1. TUPAC & JOSHUA
In 1993, Tupac received a letter from the parents of a dying boy, named Joshua. They said it was Joshua’s last wish to meet Tupac. Tupac flew to Maryland to meet Joshua and took him to a basketball game. Soon after Joshua’s death Tupac renamed his publishing company from Ghetto Gospel Music to Joshua’s Dream.
2. TUPAC’S CELEBRITY YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Before his death, Tupac was in the works of developing a Celebrity Youth Football League. Each celebrity involved would sponsor a youth sports team, by buying uniforms and hiring a staff of coaches.
3. A PLACE CALLED HOME
Tupac put together a benefit concert to help a growing non-profit organization, A Place Called Home, raise money for a new building. Founded in 1993, A Place Called Home is a safe haven in South Central LA where at risk youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education.
4. TUPAC’S SPECIAL BBQ
Through his bodyguard, Tupac heard about a 14-year old girl who was paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair after a terrible car accident. Tupac called the Make-A-Wish Foundation to inquire about this little girl. During the phone call, Pac learned the girl was scheduled to meet her celebrity idol, but the celebrity canceled just before the meeting date. Tupac stepped in and flew the girl and her aunt to California to join him on the set of “Gridlock’d.”
Afterwards he took them to the recording studio and later hosted a personal BBQ cookout at his house in honor of her.
Tupac later donated a brand new audio system to her school.
5. TUPAC GOES TO THE PROM
A Tupac fan wrote a letter to his fan club, asking the late rapper to be her prom date. About a month later, Tupac showed up at her doorstep. He came inside the home and talked to her family and offered to purchase her prom dress & escort her to the dance. Before leaving her home, Tupac gave the family $1500.
When her prom day came, Tupac arrived in a limo to pick up his fan. At the school function Tupac signed autographs, took photos, and even got on the dance floor with her for five songs before he left.
6. TUPAC RACES TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM
During a promo tour stop in Washington, DC, as Tupac was on his way back to the airport, he heard on the radio about a young girl who was in the emergency room after being attacked and mauled by a dog. Tupac told the driver to turn around and take him to the hospital where the young girl was located. He stayed with her and her family until she fully recovered.
7. TUPAC STARTS PETITION TO KEEP COMMUNITY CENTER OPEN
In his early teens, Tupac solicited people to sign a petition to keep a community recreation center open. After accumulating a significant number of signatures the building was torn down anyway in spite of his efforts. This experience helped cultivate Tupac’s vision for a center that would provide a positive environment where young people could learn skills and performing arts. He wanted to call the center Thug Mansion. After his early death, his mother maintained the vision by opening the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
8. PUSHED UNITY BEYOND SO-CALLED EAST COAST/WEST COAST BEEF
Tupac was often accused of instigating war between coasts, but there’s plenty evidence to the contrary. In 1996, Pac invited the Boot Camp Clik, the Brooklyn Hip-Hop collective, to record The One Nation album at his summer mansion. The album has never been released, but the effort was definitely there before his death. Furthermore, Pac had rock solid relationships with East Coast folks like Busta Rhymes and Treach from Naughty By Nature. Not exactly philanthropy, but definitely for the greater good.
9. TUPAC’S PARTNERSHIP WITH J COLE
He may not be here in the flesh, but his work continues on.
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and J Cole’s Dreamville Foundation recently joined forces and started a youth book club in North Carolina. The first book read and discussed was, A Rose that Grew from Concrete. Tupac’s non-profit organization recently celebrated 15 years of serving the community. The center teaches vocal training, ballet, jazz, recording & engineering, theater and creative writing. The nonprofit is still spearheaded by Afeni Shakur. Other family members including Tupac’s sister are active volunteers and staff.
10. TUPAC’S C.O.D.E FOUNDATION
From June 1994 to April 2002, Ms. Erica Ford ran Tupac’s Code Foundation even after the rapper had passed away. Erica, Tupac, and his stepfather Mutulu Shakur, established The Code in 1994. The mission was simply to keep young people out of jail and to decrease “Black on Black” crime.
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