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Tupac Shakur’s Thug Life essay tops $172,000 at Goldin Auctions


An essay written in prison by Tupac Shakur has smashed its estimate to fetch more than $170,000 at Goldin Auctions.
The four-page handwritten essay, entitled "Is Thug Life Dead?", was written in 1995 whilst Shakur served time in New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility for sexual assault.

In the essay, Shakur writes of his early life and music career, along with the circumstances which led him to incarceration:

"There were no rules or roadmaps in Thug Life, just game and ambition. I believed I had both so I played this game of life the only way I knew. I got distracted by my depression and I stayed drunk and weeded 2 kill the pain. I was open 2 evil because I was not on point. I committed the first dealy sin of the game…SLIPPIN!"

He later speaks of the lessons he has learned in prison, and his plans for the future upon his release:

"A regular Playa plays women .?.?. a Boss Playa plays life. A Boss Playa is a thinker, a leader, a builder, a moneymaker, a souljah, a teacher and most of all, a Man! I want all my homiez to know there is another level. (sic)"

The essay ends with advice and a warning to his fans:

"Avoid the PlayaHaters and evil envious “homies” they will bring U harm. It aint all good my people, be aware. Hopefully this will do you some good. If it does, then I don’t sit in jail in vain…P.S 2 MY ENEMIEZ REMEMBER THIS, WHAT COMES AROUND GOEZ AROUND!!"

Shakur originally sent the four page manuscript to his close friend and Death Row Records publicist Nina Bhadreshwar, but it remained unpublished.

It was initially expected to sell for around $50,000, but soared to a final price of $172,725.

The current record price for any Tupac-related item was set in May 2016, when his 1996 American Motors Hummer H1 sold at RR Auction for $337,144.

Also included in Goldin Auction’s online sale were a romantic letter written by Shakur as a teenager, which sold for $8,575; the signed movie contract for his lead role in the 1993 film Poetic Justice, in which he co-starred opposite Janet Jackson, which fetched $7,350; and his personal RIAA Gold Sales Award for his second studio album Strictly 4 MY NIGGAZ, which also sold for $7,350.


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