Nina Bhadreshwar, a former pen pal of Hip Hop icon Tupac Shakur, recently revealed details of their deep conversations. The British journalist even tells the story of when she sent him an album by British rockers Oasis.
Hailing from the South Yorkshire town of Barnsley, Nina Bhadreshwar started out her writing career in the early nineties with the Barnsley Chronicle. At the time, Britain had problems surrounding unemployment and workers rights. As a result, up and down the country people protested and rioted.
Having dreams of covering these stories, Nina ended up covering smaller stories. Aware of the problems of society, the young, enthusiastic writer started her own magazine titled, Real State.
Real State purposely covered social issues including poverty, police brutality and racism. In addition to those issues, it also featured poetry and graffiti. The inclusion of Hip Hop led Nina Bhadreshwar to New York to interview Treach from Naughty By Nature. Treach, a close friend of Tupac’s, made a suggestion that she make contact with Tupac. Acting upon Treach’s advice, Nina Bhadreshwar spoke with his publicist who asked Nina to send copies of Real State.
A few months later, while back in the UK, Nina received a surprising but welcoming phone call. Answering the call to the words; “It’s Tupac. You sent me a copy of your fly-ass magazine.” Tupac requested that Nina kept sending him the magazine and to keep in touch.
This is where the pair started corresponding by mail. They both struck up a friendship through their passion for social issues, writing and books. For example, they read similar books and often sent each other interesting excerpts.
Nina Bhadreshwar Witnessed Tupac’s Tone Evolve Through Their Correspondence
In 1994, Nina Bhadreshwar traveled to California to work with reformed ex-gang members on an alcohol and drug support group. Immediately after landing, Nina received news that Tupac had been shot in New York. Along with this news, Tupac was sentenced to prison as a result of a sexual abuse conviction.
However, Tupac still wrote to Nina from prison, revealing to The Guardian how his letters evolved over that time. “Tupac hated jail. His letters were more lucid, as he wasn’t smoking weed, but he wasn’t in a good place. I was concerned for him. He’d just been robbed and shot; that’s serious post-traumatic stress. Over time, the tone of his letters seemed to evolve. From depression to rage and, eventually, to courage and creativity.”
While in Los Angeles, Nina Bhadreshwar interviewed a lot of people within Hip Hop for her magazine. Because of her hard work, Nina grabbed the attention of Death Row CEO Suge Knight. He offered her a job to launch its magazine, Death Row Uncut. When Tupac came to Death Row, he finally meet his pen pal and now Death Row colleague, Nina Bhadreshwar.
Describing meeting Tupac for the first time, Nina felt so much love radiating from the rapper. Introducing herself, she said; “I’m Nina, I wrote to you in jail. He lifted me up off the tarmac and gave me the tightest hug I’ve had. I felt so much love radiating from him.”
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When Tupac came to Death Row, one of the main places you’d find him was the recording studio where Nina would still send mail and packages. A big fan of the Manchester rock band, Oasis, Nina even sent him her copy of their album, “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” To sum up her unique friendship with the legendary rapper, Nina appreciates the trust they had for one another. She said; I’ve never had that sort of friendship, or level of trust, with anyone else. If he had lived, I think he would have been known for his writing more than his music. He was a man of letters.”