On Tuesday, the “Red Table Talk” co-host posted a video on Instagram alongside a heartfelt caption.
“Tupac Amaru Shakur would have been 50 midnight tonight!” she wrote. “As we prepare to celebrate his legacy … let’s remember him for that which we loved most … his way with words. Here are a few you may have never heard before.”
She went on to share in the video that “Pac” wrote her “many letters and many poems,” but that she didn’t think the one she released had ever been “published honestly.” She said she believed Shakur wrote the poem while incarcerated at Rikers Island in New York City.
Pinkett Smith went on to read the poem, titled “Lost Soulz,” in the video:
Some say nothing gold can last forever / And 2 believe this [I] need no proof / I have witnessed all that was pure in me / And be changed by the evil men can do / The innocence possessed by children / Once lived inside my soul / But surviving years with criminal peers / Has turned my warm heart to cold / I used 2 dream and fantasize / But now I’m scared 2 sleep / Petrified, not to live or die / But to awaken and still be me / 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 / Down on my knees I beg of God / To save me from this fate / Let me live to see what was gold in me / Before it is all too late.
The poem is signed, “Yours, Tupac.”
Pinkett Smith and Shakur met as students in the ’80s while attending Baltimore School for the Arts in Maryland. In the years since his death in 1996, the actor has talked openly and candidly about her friendship (which many rumored was something more) with Shakur.
“It was the first day and he came over to me and introduced himself,” Pinkett Smith recalled in an interview. “And in high school, Pac was a little funny looking. Definitely from looking at him, wasn’t necessarily the type of cat that I would even like, deal with. But as soon as he approached me, he was like a magnet. Once you paid attention to him he kind of sucked you in. And we hit it off from that moment on ... I don’t think either one of us thought we would have made it in the way that we did, but we knew we were gonna do something.”