A Powerade commercial was released this past February featuring shots of NBA star Derrick Rose and his child likeness complemented by the late Tupac Shakur reading poetry from his track “Mama’s Just a Little Girl”. This commercial, which you can view below, symbolizes a new beginning for the Tupac Estate.
In 2013, JAM Inc. met with Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, and struck a deal to oversee and manage the rapper’s business matters in partnership with Tom Whalley, who originally signed Tupac to Interscope in 1991. JAM has proven their ability to sustain a legacy following their work for The Doors, Rick James, Janis Joplin, The Ramones, Otis Redding, and Michael Jackson. With 2015 marking the 20th anniversary of the rappers death, this year’s plans include new merchandise and museum-style collections. In addition to this, they are in the final stages of inking a biography deal with a “very serious writer.”
Even more exciting than new merchandise and museum collections is the plethora of Tupac’s creative material. JAM Inc.’s Jeff Jampool described the collection as an “embarrassment of riches” including but not limited to
unreleased music, released music, remixes, original demos, writings, scripts, plans, video treatments, poems.
Although not all of the material is completed, Whalley believes what is incomplete can be finished and is worth his fans hearing it, regardless of completeness.
The Powereade commercial isn’t the only new Tupac material to recently find a home. Kendrick Lamar’s track “Mortal Man” from To Pimp A Butterfly includes a Tupac interview from 1994 rearranged into an imagined conversation between the two poets.
According to Whalley, “At some point in time, Kendrick would be brilliant to work with Tupac’s [material]. He’s one of the new great poets.” So, don’t be surprised to see more Kendrick x Tupac material in the future.