Afeni Shakur – Mother
Afeni, a member of the infamous Black Panther Party, was Tupac’s birth mother. Tupac was very close to his mom and was very thankful for the way in which she successfully beat the struggle to raise him right. This is portrayed in the classic joint that is ‘Dear Mama’, from the ‘Me Against The World’ album. Afeni was involved in the famous ‘Panther 21′ incident, in which she along with 20 others were convicted of plotting to blow up banks and department stores.
In 1968 at the age of 21, she changed her name to Afeni Shakur, Afeni meaning “lover of people” and Shakur being Arabic for “thankful to god,” respectively.
She was pregnant with Tupac whilst in jail on these bombing charges. Tupac found out that Afeni was taking drugs whilst on tour with Digital Underground in 1990. Afeni now owns the rights for all of Tupac’s unreleased material and also the use of material such as his name and brand names etc.
After the death of her first husband Lumumba Abdul Shakur, she was married to his brother Mutulu Shakur from 1975 to 1982, then to Dr. Gust D. Davis Jr. since 2004, and has a total of six children/step-children: 2pac, Mopreme, Chinua, Ayize, Sekiywa and Nzingha.
William Jefferson “Billy” Garland – Biological father
This was Tupac’s biological father, he did very little to help raise young ‘pac, only seeing him a few times up until Tupac was around the age of 5. He didnt see Tupac again until Tupac was starring in the movie ‘Juice’ in 1992. He later visited Tupac in Bellevue Hospital when pac was shot in ’94. Tupac belived that his father was dead or just simply didnt want to see him, and he also portrayed this through many of his songs. The best example is again in ‘Dear Mama’; “Now ain’t nobody tell us it was fair, No love for my daddy cause the coward wasn’t there, He passed away and I didn’t cry, cause my anger, wouldn’t let me feel for a stranger, They say I’m wrong and I’m heartless, but all along I was lookin for a father he was gone.”
After Tupac’s death Billy Garland disrespected his son by taking Afeni to court wanting half of Tupac’s estate, but was denied. The case ended in a settlement of around $540,000 plus legal fees which totaled just over $350,000.
Lumumba Shakur – Afeni’s first husband
Lumumba Abdul Shakur was Afeni’s first husband. He was also the brother of Mutulu Shakur by adoption. He was a Black Panther member and the lead defendant in the ‘Panther 21′ case where he and 20 others, including Afeni, were convicted for allegedly plotting to blow up banks and department stores. He was found dead in Louisiana a few days before Mutulu was arrested. Mutulu suspected that his brother was murdered by someone like a police informant, who learned of Mutulu’s whereabouts, and then decided to kill two birds with one stone.
Mutulu Shakur – Step-father
Mutulu married Tupac’s mom Afeni and was Tupac’s step-father, he was Lumumba’s adopted step-brother. Mutulu was arressted as the suspected mastermind behind the Brinks robbery of 1981, in which an armored car was robbed, two New York policemen left killed along with a Brinks guard. Mutulu was then sentenced to 60 years in prison for allegedly conspiring against the US government in 1986. Mutulu however still maintains his innocence. He was an activist in the MOVE organisation and was a key figure in the historic gang truce between the Crips and Bloods in Lompoc Penitentiary. Tupac and his step-father designed the code that is THUG LIFE which consisted of rules discouraging unprovoked violence among gangsta rappers. Mutulu is mentioned in many of Tupac’s songs, throughout his career. Mutulu also wrote to the family of The Notorious B.I.G. when he was murdered in 1997.
Geronimo Pratt – Godfather
Again another member of the Black Panther Party and he was also Tupac’s Godfather. Tupac had a lot of respect for Pratt and referred to him in a few songs, even dedicating a song to him. Geronimo was recently released from prison after serving 27 yrs of a 25 to life sentence for allegedly murdering an LA teacher. Evidence surfaced that supported a destruction of some evidence in the case which provecd he was no where near the scene of the crime. He won a large sum of compensation as a result of his false imprisonment.
Sekyiwa Shakur – “Set” – Half sister
Born on October 03, 1975, Sekyiwa aka Set is Tupac’s half sister, two years his junior. Tupac and Sekyiwa lived with Afeni in the Bronx, Harlem, New York. Tupac referred to his sister in a few of his songs as “Set”. Not much was known about Set until more recently when she gave an interview with AllHipHop in which she expalined her low profile. “I kind of like my privacy. Because [as seen with] my brother, his real name was his stage name, he couldn’t escape into a private world. I didn’t want my identity out there.” Set also revelaed she had her first child in her late teens and since pac’s death she has kept hold of one of his jackets and a Rolex watch “Soon as I got to California and saw one of his jackets, I wrapped my arms around it. I still have that coat. I have one of his Rolex bracelets, and I had it promised to give to one of my children.” Set has also launched her own clothing line called Madamevelli.
Mopreme Shakur – Step-brother
Mopreme Shakur, (born Maruice Harding) is Tupac’s elder step-brother as his mother is Sharan Harding and his dad is Mutulu (Tupac’s Step-father). The two divorced shortly after Mopreme was born and Mutulu remarried with Afeni Shakur, who already had a son and a daughter,(Tupac and Sekyiwa). Mopreme’s first appearance on wax, under the alias Mocedes, was on Tony Toni Ton?’s hit single “Feel’s Good” in the year 1990. His first collaboration with 2Pac was on the single “Papaz Song” under the name ‘Wycked’, from Tupac’s 1993 album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. Mopreme was part of Tupac’s group ‘Thug Life’, as well as a premier member of Outlawz. Mopreme, as well as Big Syke dropped out of the group but was never signed to Death Row Records.
Yafeu Akiyele Fula aka Yaki Kadafi – Godbrother
Born on Oct 9th 1971 in New Jersey Yafeu Fula was Tupac’s godbrother. Yafeu’s parents were both members of the Black Panther Party along with Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur. Both families formed a strong bond and Tupac and Kadafi became inseparable friends growing up together living in the same households at times. When Tupac was incarcerated in 1995 Yafeu would visit Tupac daily, and it was there in one of those visits that they decided to form the rap group “Outlawz” in which Yafeu would use the alias of Yaki Kadafi. The alias Yaki come from the first letters of his first and last name, and Kadafi refers to American enemy Col. Gadafi. When Tupac was released from prison, Kadafi met with pac to sign with Death Row Records. On September 13, 1996 Tupac died after being shot in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Kadafi was in the car directly behind ‘pac and claimed he could identify one of the shooters. Kadafi was stunned by his loss, and immediately returned to New Jersey before any detectives had the chance to interview him due to fearing for his own life. On 10th November 1996 he was shot once to the head area, he was found dead sometime later slumped against a wall on the third floor of an appartment block in New Jersey, at the young age of 19 with his bulletproof vest still on him. Outlawz member Napoleon had admitted to hip hop magazine The Source that his cousin Roddy had shot Yaki Kadafi whilst the two of them were intoxicated with alcohol and drugs.
Katari Terrance Cox aka Kastro – Cousin
Kastro is Tupac’s cousin, born Katari Cox in Manhatten, New York on December 30, 1976. He was part of the rap groups ‘Dramacydal’ and Tha Outlawz’. He featured alongside Tuapc in many songs on his later albums. They met through their mothers who were close friends. After moving to New Jersey Kastro and E.D.I. became friends with Yafeu “Kadafi” Fula. In 1992, they formed a trio, Kastro went under the alias K-Dog and the trio went under name Young Thugs. By now Tupac had became a rap star and let the trio guest appear on “Flex” on his “Holler If Ya Hear Me” single which was released on February 4, 1993. In 1994, Mutah “Napoleon” Beale joined the group now known as Dramacydal. On April 5, 1995, Tupac’s LP, Me Against The World, was released. They guest appeared on the tracks “Me Against The World” and “Outlaw.” In 1995, Tupac, Bruce “Fatal” Washington, Kadafi, Kastro and Napoleon formed the group the Outlaw Immortalz, later changed to the Outlawz. Tupac gave each member of the group an alias from an enemy of America, he gave K-Dog the alias Kastro after Cuban president Fidel Castro.
Assata Shakur – Step-aunt
Assata Shakur was Tupac’s step-aunt as she is the sister of his stepfather, Mutulu Shakur. She is arguably the most famous of the Shakur family behind Tupac. She is currently living in Cuba, due to her involvement in a highly controversial case in which she was convicted of murder in a shoot-out in New Jersey 1973. Tupac’s uncle, Zayed Shakur, along with an officer were both killed. The third person in the vehicle Sundiata Acoli, has so far served over 20 yrs of her sentence and has been denied parole for another 20. Assata was also shot in the back, taken to the hospital and tortured while questioned. This resulted in her having a broken clavicle and a paralyzed arm. Despite forensic evidence proving she could not of possibly fired a weapon she was sentenced to life plus 30 yrs in prison, howver she later escaped and fled to Cuba where she lives to date under granted asylum from Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. There are many campaigns to free Sundiata and prevent the US’s attempts to extrodite Assata from Cuba. There are many books written about her and a lot of info on the web.
Takerra Allen – Half-sister
A day doesn’t go by that Takerra Allen doesn’t think about her deceased brother, Tupac Shakur.
Allen, a budding author and Tupac’s younger half-sister who shares the same father [Billy Garland] as the rap legend, says every day, especially major holiday and family get together, is full of memories of ’Pac. Unfortunately, the New Jersey native never got a chance to meet her famous older half-brother, only holding onto recollections from one short conversation she had with ’Pac when he was incarcerated in Upstate New York in 1995, when she was only a child.
Here, Allen tells XXL about family resemblances to Tupac, how her first impression of him was through the movie Juice and writing her books. —Mark Lelinwalla
XXL: How do you think September 13, the 15th anniversary of Tupac’s passing, will be for your family?
Takerra Allen: It’s always bittersweet. It’s always good when I go on the Internet, radio, Facebook and people are playing his music and they’re talking about him every time his birthday or anniversary comes around. That’s the sweet part, but it’s also a deep thing knowing he’s gone and not coming back and knowing there hasn’t been no real closure to what happened to him. Every year that passes, it hurts my family a little more. We wish there would be some kind of justice, but it’s good to know that people still remember him and love him.
Your dad looks exactly like Tupac. Are there strong resemblances throughout the rest of the family?
My dad has strong genes. Sometimes we have family cookouts and we’re looking at my brother and it’s like seeing him. I flip out sometimes because if Tupac could have been here and seen my whole family, he would have flipped out to see how everyone looks just like him. It’s crazy.
How much is Tupac brought up when the family is together?
Oh, all the time. On our Fourth of July cookout, we played nothing but Tupac music. My dad was telling stories about him. We have a cousin that shares the same birthday [as Tupac], so we celebrate both their birthdays. This past June 16, our uncle passed on that day and it was such a raw, emotional day. It was crazy.
What do the rest of your siblings do?
My brother Landon is in Florida. I believe he works a very regular job with the cable. My brother Malik is an electrician. He’s in Jersey. My brother Billy is in Florida as well. He actually was incarcerated, but got out recently. He went to school to be a dental technician, I believe. My sister N’Neka, she lives in California. She’s my older sister. She actually looks like Tupac a lot and works for ABC, one of the soap operas. My brother Billy, he’s a spitting image [of Tupac] and his personality. Landon is also a spitting image, but you got to give it to Billy because of his mannerisms and everything. It’s crazy sometimes being around him.
So, you were one of how many children on your dad’s side?
My dad has six, so one of six. Three had the same mother and Tupac had his mom and my other brother had his mom. My dad always kept us close. He always made sure that everyone stayed like family and we all grew up knowing each other.
What was the age difference between Tupac and yourself?
In ’96 when he passed, he was 25 and I was 12, so we were 13 years apart.
Tupac’s sister, Takerra Allen, shares tales of her first and only phone conversation with her half-brother Tupac Shakur and the memories she holds dear of her famous sibling…
Tupac’s sister, Takerra Allen, shares tales of her first and only phone conversation with her half-brother Tupac Shakur and the memories she holds dear of her famous sibling…
How did you even first learn that Tupac was your brother?
It was actually when Juice came out back then. They had the advertisement for the movie in the newspaper and my dad came to me and my little brother and said, “I have to tell you guys something. This guy right here is your brother.” He took us to see the movie and he was Bishop, so I was a little scared. Of course I thought he was young and wild and a little intimidating, but even being so young, I remember thinking he stole the show with so much charisma. I remember being glued to him and I don’t know if that’s because I knew he’s my brother. I remember focusing on him and not taking my eyes off him. He was that movie. It was spellbinding to watch him in that. I looked over at my dad and he was crying at the end. I guess it just touched him just seeing what he accomplished and then not seeing him in so long. Now that I’m older, I can watch and see so much talent in that movie, but back then, I was like, “He’s crazy!” I was probably 8 or 9 years old in that movie.
What a way to be introduced to somebody!
[Laughs] A good thing about my dad is he never hid anything. He sat us down and told us the real deal about everything that happened and losing touch with Tupac and his mother. From my understanding, it took my dad a long time to track Afeni down and he wasn’t able to find him. One day he knew where they were and the next he didn’t. He grew up thinking someone else was his father.
Take me from that point on.
From that point on…forgive me, it’s blurry because I was young. But I remember every day after [watching Juice] we were playing his music. I knew all his songs. I was so touched by “Brenda’s Got a Baby.” I made my dad talk to me about certain things because of Tupac’s music. I remember my father telling me we were going to meet him one day and telling me about when he was younger and taking him to the movies. We watched his videos and interviews. I got in touch with him the same way most of the world did—through his art. I don’t think for me personally that the contact came until my dad started visiting him in Upstate New York, when he went to jail. That was ’95 and I was 10 or 11.
How did your contact with him start?
I was in the living room one day and my dad gave me the phone and said, “Somebody wants to speak to you.” I got on the phone with him and I was very shy at first because he was famous and I never spoke to him before. He told me this isn’t the place he wants me to meet him for the first time and that we would have our day to meet. He was just really cool. He was silly and goofy. I told him, “Daddy told me you cheated in Monopoly and you can’t dance” and he said, “Yo, I ain’t cheat and I could dance!” I remember telling him that nobody at school believed me that he was my brother. Tupac told me, “One day you’re not going to care what anybody says to you.” He told me to not believe stuff that I read about him. I think that was our only conversation and we had a couple letters that we shared. I also remember him telling me how he saw pictures of the family and we looked a lot like him and he can’t wait to meet us. I definitely hold onto that conversation.
But unfortunately you never met him?
I was supposed to meet him—I remember my dad told me—that we were all going to meet him Thanksgiving of ’96. We were really excited…and then that happened.
Where were you when the news of Pac’s death hit?
I was living with my mom in New Brunswick, New Jersey and my dad was living in Jersey City. When it happened, my dad went to Vegas. I thought it would be like the first time that he was shot. I thought it would be fine and we’re still going to meet him Thanksgiving. But I remember Friday the 13th and I was watching the Jason marathon and my dad called me. I just knew by his voice what had happened. I couldn’t believe it. That brief conversation and moment I had with him, that was going to be it.
How did you get into writing?
I started my first book when I was 17. It wasn’t meant to be a book. It was more of a personal thing that turned into a book. It’s funny because I recently wrote a couple chapters to a “White Man’s World” and said to myself, “This song is touching so many people in such a short amount of time,” and what I’d do is challenge myself to write like that. I challenge myself to get as deep as him.