Tributes are flooding in for political activist Afeni Shakur Davis following her death aged 69.
Afeni, who was also mum to Tupac Shakur, inspired thousands with her work with the Black Panther Party and also by allowing Tupac’s legacy and music to live on after he was killed aged 25 in a drive-by shooting in 1996.
One tribute to her that is particularly poignant following her death is an undated letter from Eminem that surfaced last year after it was shared online. It was confirmed to be the work of Eminem by his label Shady Records.
The tribute, which refers to Afeni as “a true queen”, was originally published in 2008 book Tupac Remembered and went on display at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Centre for the Arts in Georgia, US.
Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers III, first apologised for his “sloppy” drawing, which was enclosed with the letter, as he had no pencils and had to write in pen.
He wrote: “Thank you for always being so kind to me. You are a true Queen, and I mean that in every sense of the word. I will never forget the opportunities you have given me.
“You will always be in my heart, my thoughts, and my prayers. As I have said before, you have no idea how much your son and his music has inspired, not only the “Hip Hop” world, but, speaking for myself, has inspired my whole career.
“He was, and still is, the true definition of a “Soldier.” When I was feeling at my worst; (before fame, before Dre) I knew I could put that “2Pac” tape in, and suddenly, things weren’t so bad. He gave me the courage to stand up and say “F**k the world!” “This is who I am! And if you don’t like it, go f**k yourself!” Thank you for giving us his spirit, and yours! God Bless you!”
Eminem has made no secret of being inspired by Tupac. In the songs Marshall Mathers, Till I Collapse and Evil Twin and in one of his 8 Mile freestyles he included lyrics that referenced him.