Gramercy Pictures/Getty ImagesAs the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s death approaches in September, his estate is planning a major promotion of his vast archives, including the release of previously unheard music, a line of apparel and a new biography.
According Billboard, the recent Powerade commercial starring Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose with poetry by Shakur signals a new marketing focus for the anniversary. JAM Inc, a company that has promoted music by the late Michael Jackson, Rick James and Otis Redding, is now working with Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur. The company’s Jeff Jampol says, Tupac left “almost an embarrassment of riches, including unreleased music, remixes, original demo, writings, scripts, plans, video treatments and poems.”
Tom Whalley, who signed Shakur to Interscope in 1991, says, “Some of it is complete; some of it is good, some of it needs work.” He adds, “But I think the work that is left can be completed, and is worth his fans hearing.”
Jampol and Whalley say a clothing line is coming later this year and they’re finalizing a contract with “a very serious writer” for a new a biography. There’s also talk of a project in which contemporary artists would set to music lyrics and poetry that Tupac left behind. In fact the estate was considering approaching Kendrick Lamar about such a project before the rapper approached them for permission to use the clip of a Tupac interview featured on his To Pimp a Butterfly track “Mortal Men.”
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