19 Rare Photos Of Tupac Shakur & Jada Pinkett-Smith That Show True #RideorDie Love


With Tupac’s impending biopic (‘All Eyez On Me’) set to release soon (hopefully!), we thought it would be fitting and proper to highlight one of the constants in Tupac’s otherwise chaotic life, and that is his ‘once in a lifetime’ long time friendship with actress, Jada Pinkett-Smith.  Pinkett-Smith is now married to actor, Will Smith, but before there was Smith, it was all about Jada and Tupac.

I had the pleasure of meeting & spending a bit of time with Tupac Shakur when he was alive back in 1993 while visiting Atlanta, GA (I was a teenager who ‘snuck’ into the ‘Jack The Rapper Convention’ alongside a good friend of mines at the time, Jaleel Brabham, and DJ Ted – who actually got us in. We were ‘backpack rappers,’ so shouts to anyone who rocked Girbaud’s, Polo and Eddie Bauer backpacks at the time!). For the short time we spent being in Tupac’s presence, there was something special about him that was undeniable, so I know firsthand the magnetic charm Tupac had – all he had to do was smile at me with his beautiful pearly whites and I was a goner (and it took a lot to move me). LOL.

Jada Pinkett-Smith (back then she was just Jada Pinkett) has said in several interviews that she and the late/great rapper, Tupac Shakur, a friend she has known since her high school days in the late 80’s back in Baltimore, MD (they attended the Baltimore School for the Arts together), were never in a romantic relationship.  While I ‘believe’ her, sort of (it is just kind of unbelievable that their chemistry was so on point, without taking it to another level).

I can tell that Jada was the TRUE love of Tupac’s life (and maybe even vice versa. No disrespect to Will – we heart Will Smith around here! Years later I would go on to meet Jada’s future husband, Will, and I can see how she fell for him – he was different than Tupac, but had a witty, calmer personality). Tupac gave off the ‘player for life’ sense (even when I met him), but I think that Jada would have probably been the only one who could have truly ‘tamed’ him (no, I do not believe that whole relationship with Kidada Jones would have done it!). Tupac always referred to Jada as ‘his heart in human form,’ and I believed him.


I wonder what eventually could have been between the two (as they got older and ‘grew’ up) if it were not for the rapper’s demise in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1996.  There is such a thing as having a soulmate who you do not have to be romantically linked to, but you have a deeper connection to that person which no one would ever understand, and this just may have been the case.  Either way, they definitely give off a ‘there’s more to their story’ and a vibe in every picture (everyone needs that one ride or die who is down for whatever, and this is the type of relationship that we envision Shakur and Pinkett-Smith having).

Meanwhile, enjoy this trip down memory lane of both Tupac and Jada:

Early Days at Baltimore School for the Arts

Tupac Shakur




Tupac’s touching poem to Jada


Love is Love. RideorDie Vibe




pacjad pacjada5 pacjada7 pacjada8 jpac3 jadapac15 jadapac12 jandpac

Even among friends, their chemistry showed…




Everyone should have a ‘Tupac’ or ‘Jada’ in their life. Rest in peace, Tupac!

Photo credits: TBS/Jada Pinkett Smith’s Instagram/Twitter/YouTube/Getty

Recollection by K. McKinney

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