Tupac died in 1996 after a shooting, but details of their breakup are only now emerging. According to TMZ, a letter Tupac wrote to Madonna blames the demise of their relationship on race and public perception.
The letter is dated Jan. 15, 1995, and at the time Tupac was in jail, awaiting sentencing for a sexual-abuse conviction. The letter is addressed to “M.” and reads, in part, “For you to be seen with a black man wouldn’t in any way jeopardize your career. … But for me … I felt due to my ‘image’ I would be letting down half of the people who made me what I thought I was.”
The rapper, known for popularizing the “thug life” mantra, later apologized in the letter, writing, “I never meant to hurt you.” He also tried to patch things up with Madonna: “I offer my friendship once again. … If you are still interested, I would like to further discuss this with you, but some of it couldn’t wait.”
As for that “further discussion,” Tupac floated the idea of her making a trip to Rikers Island: “I don’t know how you feel about visiting me, but if you could find it in your heart, I would love to speak face to face with you.”
While that visit most likely never happened, ‘Pac is still near and dear to Madonna’s heart — she remembered him on his birthday last month.