New music and other material from Tupac Shakur’s estate is forthcoming, as new efforts are underway to mine the late rapper’s musical legacy. According to Rolling Stone, Afeni Shakur Davis, Tupac’s mother, has been working to provide JAM, Inc., with complete access to all of Shakur’s previously unreleased recordings and other artistic work.
Despite Shakur’s murder in 1996, his label and estate have remarkably prolific, featuring numerous posthumous albums and sampled collaborations; Tupac was even summoned from the beyond in 2012 to dance for our amusement through the miracle of properly licensed holograms. Promising a “total reset” on Tupac’s legacy, JAM owner Jeff Jampol has already begun the process of sifting through “music, remixes, original demos, writings, scripts, plans, video treatments, [and] poems.”
Tom Whalley, who signed Shakur to Interscope, is also collaborating on the project. “Some of [the material] is in bits and pieces, some of it is complete; some of it is good, some of it needs work,” Whalley said, describing his impressions of the unreleased material. By “complete” and “good,” we can assume Whaley is talking about things like promising demos. By “needs work,” he probably means Shakur’s old answering machine greeting will require a dope beat before it can be sold as a ringtone.
As Rolling Stone reports, output from the Tupac project is already circulating. On his “Mortal Man” track, Kendrick Lamar assembled a digital conversation by sampling a 1994 interview with Shakur, and a recent Powerade commercial features the rapper reciting lines from “Mama’s Just A Little Girl.” A biography is already planned, with Jampol promising a “serious writer.” Meanwhile, there is no word yet on when we can expect the official Tupac voice module for our GPS systems.