Jada Pinkett Smith published several photos of she and the late Tupac Shakur on her Instagram page that reveal a softer side of the hardcore west coast rapper.
The Daily Mail describes how the two became inseparable after meeting at the Baltimore School for the Arts back in the 1980s. Both shared a love for the arts, with Tupac studying acting, poetry, jazz, and surprisingly ballet. In the photo above, a youthful Tupac is shown looking very dapper in front of a school locker with Jada.
Here is more on Jada and Tupac’s relationship:
The pair remained very close until the rapper’s murder 17 years ago at an intersection in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The California Love singer was shot in a drive-by shooting as he sat in a car alongside fellow hip hop icon Suge Knight on September 7, 1996.
Shot a number of times, he was raced to a nearby hospital but died six days later at the age of just 25.
While extremely close, the pair were not speaking at the time of Tupac’s murder as despite not been romantically involved, they had a very volatile relationship.
In documentary Tupac: Resurrection the rapper said Jada was and will always be his friend.
The star said: ‘Jada is my heart. She will be my friend for my whole life.’
Sitting down with documentarians after his death, the actress called him ‘one of my best friends. He was like a brother.
‘It was beyond friendship for us. The type of relationship we had, you only get that once in a lifetime.’
Last year on the what would have been the rapper’s birthday, Jada posted a picture of herself receiving a big hug and a kiss from Tupac, who was wearing his signature bandana around his head.
The actress captioned the photograph with just the words: ‘I miss him.”
Jada married Will Smith a year after Tupac died. The photos reveal images of a loving hip hop relationship ripe with emotional depth and rich historical context.
They are a reminder of Tupac’s innocence and humanity that very few people ever knew.
Watch Jada Smith talk about Tupac: