In a 1992 interview discussing white wealth, Tupac Shakur name-drops current GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, as the late rapper’s earliest known letter goes up for auction.
Tupac sat down with MTV News on Aug. 21, 1992. He discussed how wealthy moguls should give their money to help the Black poor instead of focusing on excess monetary success.
“If you wanna be successful, if you wanna be like Trump, gimme, gimme, gimme. Push, push, push. Step, step, step, crush, crush, crush. That’s how it all is. And it’s like, nobody ever stops,” Tupac says to MTV about greed in America.
In reference to the assistance poor Blacks need to get out of poverty due to systemic racism, the future “Poetic Justice” star says everyone needs help on their way to self-reliance.
“For us to be on our own two feet we do need help. Because we have been here, we have been a good friend – if you wanna make it a relationship-type thing. We have been there, and now we deserve our payback.”
He also stresses the importance of the wealthy giving to the homeless, regardless of what the individual may do with the money.
“Look at me, I don’t have that mega money, but I feel guilty walking by somebody. I gotta give ’em some mail. And if I know I got $3,000 in my pocket I feel like it’s wrong to give ’em a quarter or a dollar. It’s wrong. Only you know what you got in your pocket. And that’s wrong. No matter what they do. If they take it and drink it, they take it and drink it.”
He wraps up by saying rich people need to remain humble and not buy multiple-roomed homes knowing that there are people who have no place to sleep at night.
“Look, OK. I know you’re rich, I know you got $40 billion, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need one house. And if you only got two kids can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean, why have 52 rooms and you know there’s somebody with no room? It just don’t make sense to me.”
The Tupac in this interview may be closer to the one his high school love interest knew in 1988.
Back then, the actor-rapper had just moved from a Baltimore performing arts school to the West Coast. He met his crush in drama class at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California, where he gave her a handwritten love letter. In it, he refers to her as Beethoven due to her piano lessons. Pac’s note is complete with an illustrated eye replacing each “I” in the letter, scribbled hearts replacing the word “heart” and a drawn rotary phone replacing the words “phone” and “number.”
“My heart usually leads me 2 fast and that’s probably why I always get hurt,” the “Changes” rapper writes. “So if it ever seems as though I’m moving 2 fast please slow me down. Talking to you on the phone was such a good feeling 4 me. I was beginning to feel alone and out of the blue, it’s almost like I’ve known you 4 years.”
Beethoven is placing the letter up for auction on Moments In Time for $35,000. She says what struck her was the poet’s love of Shakespeare.
In a letter posted on the auction site, she writes “he was good, I mean really good. When Tupac’s turn came, suddenly you understood what we were reading. He took something as difficult as Shakespeare and gave it such a contemporary voice.”
The two only ever became good friends. They bonded over shared interests such as Prince and candles, according to Tupac’s letter, which he signed, “4 eternity, Tupac Shakur.”
Eternity proved to be short lived. Once the rapper became famous, Beethoven says she didn’t hear much from him. The last time she saw him, he leaned out his car, yelled her name and waved to her enthusiastically. He was different from the Adidas-wearing teen with a bleached-blond high top fade she once knew.
“Everything else I ever saw or read about Tupac seemed to me to be a different person,” Beethoven says. Referring to his 1996 murder she continues, “I didn’t know that man who tattooed “Thug Life” on his chest and was gunned down on a Las Vegas Street. I never really cared for the music he recorded — it was nothing like those freestyles I remember in front of our school.”
Watch Tupac’s full 1992 MTV interview below.