Salt of Salt-N-Pepa Talks Encouraging Tupac Shakur While He Was in Prison; Shares Poem He Wrote Her While Serving Time

Tupac Shakur’s death still deeply affects those closest to him. His impact and legacy on the music world are deep but his spirit as a person is what his friends miss the most. Fellow rapper and close friend to Tupac, Salt of the hip hop duo Salt-N-Pepa, recently opened up about her close relationship with him. 

Salt-N-Pepa / The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur
Salt-N-Pepa / The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur via Twitter

While Tupac was in prison, Salt says they remained in constant contact. She encouraged him through letters and visits in an attempt to keep him in high spirits. He wrote a poem in her honor as a way to thank her. 

Salt and Tupac Shakur’s friendship

Tupac and Salt became fast friends. The two were so close that Salt made Tupac her daughter Corrin’s godfather. Tupac dedicated his 1993 single “Keep Ya Head Up” to Corrin.

Despite Tupac’s sometimes gangsta persona, Salt says he was a gentle soul at heart and had a soft spot for women, which is why he penned songs like “Keep Ya Head Up.”

As for why he dedicates the single to Corrin, Salt says it’s something Tupac never explained.

“He had this long conversation with her and, I don’t know, I guess she just struck him somehow,” Salt tells The Undefeated in a 2018 interview. “He called me this one time and said, ‘By the way, I dedicated a song to Corin’. I never really understood why.”

Tupac is a leading man in Salt-N-Pepa’s music video for their single “Whatta Man.” Unfortunately, many of his scenes were cut due to his prison sentence related to a sexual assault charge.

“The record company all panicked and only kept shots where you can’t see him. There were some great Tupac shots. And Salt always kicks herself. You can’t fight the record company,” Pepa once revealed in an interview, as reported by The Jasmine Brand.

Being such close friends with Tupac, Salt is not a fan of the video because of the way he’s edited out.

“[His reputation] was the whole reason. I hate that when I watch the video, it really bothers me,” she admits.

Tupac Shakur’s prison sentence

Tupac had several sexual encounters with a woman named Ayanna Jackson in 1993. During one encounter, she alleges that the rapper and his friends gang-raped her.

Tupac always denied the allegations, but a judge found him guilty of sexual contact without consent and sentenced him to four years and a half years in prison. 

In a prison interview with Kevin Powell, Tupac admits guilt for his role, saying, “I had a job and I never showed up,” explaining that he should have intervened before the group sex or alleged rape occurred. 

Salt talks encouraging Tupac during his time in prison and reveals his poem he wrote for her 

Tupac and Salt’s friendship did not suffer as a result of his sexual assault conviction. Salt says that Tupac’s conviction left him feeling extremely lonely.

“He felt like the whole world was turning against him,” The Jasmine Brand reports. As a Christian, continued encouraging him from outside of prison walls to rely on God during his journey of soul searching.

“I wrote him a letter about my faith to encourage him and also to let him know what kept me going in hard times,” she says. “I told him that he could turn away from negativity and turn away from sin. He could have this new relationship directly with God.”

Source: YouTube

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In return, Tupac wrote a poem that he sent back to salt titled “4 What It’z Worth.” The poem reads:

Am not much 4 pretty wordz [sic]and search cuz these dayz [sic] my pain is deep / But there is always [sic] pleasure 2 be found in times [sic] of struggle and grief / If a tree can grow through New York concrete then a thugg [sic] can change his heart / If I can survive 5 deadly shotz [sic] , we can discover light within the dark / I’m sure u have had times [sic] of misery, all of us experience hurt / But only the strong in spirit survive the wicked world 4 all it’z [sic] worth

It appears Salt’s inspirational letter helped keep Tupac mentally strong during his sentence. Salt still speaks of Tupac in high regard, often getting emotional when reflecting on her late friend. 

While in prison, Tupac released a music video for his 1995 single “Temptations” that featured Salt-N-Pepa and others who he considered close friends.