Items belonging to rapper Tupac Shakur donated to Temple University collection

Cherri Gregg
November 01, 2018 - 4:20 pm
Tupac Shakur

Columbia Pictures/Entertainment Pictures via USA TODAY NETWORK

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As Tupac Shakur's memory continues to live on, so do some of his material possessions, now housed on Temple University's campus.

The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University has unveiled newly acquired items of the slain rapper, which were collected by a private donor.

The items in the collection include handwritten lyrics, track lists for unreleased albums, and handwritten song lists or working lyrics for songs like "Who Do You Love," "Only Fear of Death," and "I Ain't Mad At Cha."

blockson shakur
Blockson Collection

"He used to walk around with these notebooks, and when things would pop into his head (he'd) write them in these notebooks," said Ken Goldin, founder and CEO of Goldin Auctions, which provided the collection. "These are literally pages from the notebooks."

Temple also acquired Shakur's diamond stud earring from the cover of "All Eyez on Me," as well as the bullet-dented gold and diamond crown medallion he wore during the infamous 1994 shooting and robbery at Quad Studios in New York City.

blockson shakur
Blockson Collection

"This is what students are interested in — hip-hop culture — they come from that culture," added Diane Turner, curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. 

She said Goldin Auctions of Runnemede, New Jersey, donated the items because of the stature of the collection. 

"Once the students get in here and see these materials, then they see the books and the other materials we have that relate to all black music," Turner continued. "We want to make sure we have more visibility so that people know of all the resources that we have here."

Aaron Smith, who teaches a class at Temple called "Tupac Shakur and the Hip Hop Revolution," said Shakur combined his training at a performing arts school in Baltimore, along with his acting abilities, to create a style of rap that told stories.  

"He wrote things down and was extremely meticulous in terms of his creativity," said Smith.

And he was much more organized, too, making his writings rare among hip-hop artists.

"The documents even have bullet points and seem to be itemized," he added, "this in a day and age where we brag about artists that don't write and utilize their memories."