Tupac Shakur’s childhood poetry book is currently up for auction at Sotheby’s.
The previously unpublished book features haiku poems written by a young Tupac aged 11, as well as illustrations.
Sotheby’s describe it as “an unpublished booklet of haikus written and illustrated by Tupac Shakur when he was just 11 years old, on offer from his godfather, Jamal Joseph, a Black Panther activist who was gifted the booklet by Tupac 40 years ago while incarcerated with fellow Panthers at Leavenworth Prison.” You can see a video of Joseph discussing the poems below.
The collection of items for the late rapper also includes a “selection of love letters from Tupac to a cherished sweetheart” written at the age of 17 before his career began.
The public can bid on the piece here as part of an auction dedicated to hip hop until March 30. Tupac’s poetry book is expected to fetch $300,000 (£227,000).
Other items in the collection include Chuck D’s original ‘Tour-Worn’ silver Raiders Starter jacket signed by the artist as well as the original concept art for Beastie Boys’ ‘License to Ill’ album cover and a custom sable fur coat and hat worn by the late Biz Markie (via Complex).
assandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science and Popular Culture, said in a press release: “Following the success of Sotheby’s historic first Hip Hop auction in 2020, our second sale in this series expands on the generational, geographic, and artistic scope of Hip Hop’s creative narrative.
“From the ’70s to the present, from the East Coast to the West, The Art and Influence of Hip Hop seeks to represent and honor the voices and visionaries who continue to move the crowd and redefine culture.”
Peace, Love & Respect; the Afeni Shakur/Panther 21 story will follow a crucial two years in her life between 1969 and 1971, and her involvement in the Black Panther Party.
Afeni, who passed away in 2016, was a prominent member of the organisation. She joined in 1968 and was arrested as a part of the ‘Panther 21’, who were put on trial accused of organising bomb attacks in New York before they were acquitted.
The new biopic is set to be executive produced by Jasmine Guy and Jamal Joseph, while Dina LaPolt is producing. The film has also received the backing of the Shakur estate.
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