Jada Pinkett Smith, known for her high-profile marriage to actor Will Smith and her popular Red Table Talk TV show, shares a lesser-known chapter of her life involving the legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Their connection dates back to the '80s when she lived in her hometown of Baltimore, Hollywoodlife reports. Over the years, a deep and enduring friendship blossomed, one that continued until Tupac's tragic and still-unsolved death in Las Vegas in 1996.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur back in the day. pic.twitter.com/502zriVNz8
— JUMBLE BAG (@JumbleBag) September 21, 2023
Jada's relationship with Will Smith, her husband, is marked by a complex history. Will first met Jada Pinkett on the set of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but she was married to Sheree Zampino at the time. Following her divorce from Zampino, Will and Jada began seeing each other romantically.
The couple tied the knot on New Year's Eve in 1997, a time when Jada was expecting their son, Jaden. However, Jada later revealed that marriage wasn't her initial preference. In a 2019 interview with People, she disclosed that she married primarily because her mother wanted her to have a traditional marriage, and Will also desired a family.
So, where does Tupac fit into this narrative? What was the nature of Jada and Tupac's relationship, and how did it all begin? Here, we delve into the details of their close bond and how it intersects with Jada's relationship with Will Smith.
A Unique Connection: Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur
Jada Pinkett Smith, known for her roles in movies like “The Matrix” and her popular show “Red Table Talk,” shared a remarkable connection with the legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Their story dates back to the mid-'80s when they crossed paths at the Baltimore School for The Arts in Maryland. Jada vividly recalled their first encounter during an interview, noting that Tupac didn't fit her typical preferences at the time. However, something about him was undeniably magnetic.
Despite initial appearances, Jada found herself drawn to Tupac, describing him as a compelling force. Their connection deepened swiftly, quickly blossoming into a profound friendship. Jada considered Tupac not just a close friend but also like a brother to her. She recognized his immense potential early on, describing him as a “revolutionary without a revolution” during an interview with Howard Stern in 2015.
Type Of Relationship Held
Interestingly, despite their deep affection for one another, Jada and Tupac were never romantically attracted to each other. In fact, they once put this to the test with an actual kiss, only to find it “disgusting” for both of them. Reflecting on this in later years, Jada mused that the higher power seemed to have a different plan for their relationship, and pursuing romance might have led to conflict due to their passionate natures.
Tupac's admiration for Jada was so profound that he penned poetry inspired by her, which was later posthumously published. In 2021, Jada raised eyebrows when she shared one of Tupac's poems on Instagram to commemorate what would have been his 50th birthday. Their relationship was documented through numerous affectionate snapshots that showcased the warmth of their friendship.
The Jealousy of Will Smith
While Tupac and Jada's friendship remained platonic, it stirred intense jealousy in Will Smith, who would later become Jada's husband. Their story began when Jada, already married to Sheree Zampino, met Will on the set of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” After her divorce from Zampino, her relationship with Will began to flourish.
In his candid memoir, Will Smith openly confessed to the jealousy he felt towards Tupac's close bond with Jada. He admitted that he longed for Jada to look at him with the same intensity and adoration that she showed Tupac. Their friendship had its roots in their shared passion for theatrical arts, forged during their time at the Baltimore School for The Arts.
Will Smith revealed that Tupac's fearless passion and militant morality proved challenging for him, as they contrasted with his own struggles to confront his father. He likened Tupac's character to that of his younger brother Harry, who often displayed the courage to stand up to their abusive father.
Despite the jealousy, Will Smith derived some comfort from the belief that their relationship would evolve as Jada chose him over Tupac. He recognized that if Jada made that choice, he couldn't remain a coward and would need to confront his own insecurities.
In a revealing Instagram post, Will Smith shared that his jealousy had been so overwhelming that he couldn't even bring himself to speak to Tupac when they were in the same room.
Their complex relationships and emotional journeys underscore the profound impact of deep friendships, even when they remain platonic. Tupac and Jada's enduring bond serves as a testament to the power of genuine friendship, while Will Smith's admission of jealousy sheds light on the vulnerability that can accompany profound emotional connections.