Entrepreneur and founder of Rap Coalition, Wendy Day, spoke with No Jumper about sending security to protect Tupac in New York, Pac’s vision for the Euthanasia record label, and writing to Shakur in prison.
During the nineties, Wendy Day helped to secure artist-friendly record deals. Working with the likes of Master P, Twista, and Cash Money. Day has also helped on business contracts for artists such as Eminem, Lil Wayne, and David Banner.
One particular Hip Hop artist in the early nineties would catch Wendy’s attention, but not in a positive way.
Wendy’s first impressions of Tupac Shakur were not pleasant. Speaking with No Jumper, Wendy described the energy around Tupac as negative. She was so turned off that she would end up going on the “d***” line just to avoid being around Shakur.
“I didn’t like him at first. I lived in New York. I lived in the city at this point in time, and I was going to the clubs. At the clubs there were always two lines. There was the VIP line and the regular line, which we called the “d***” line,” Wendy said. “Pac was always rolling really deep and he was always loud, the center of attention everywhere he went, and of course he was always in the VIP line, because he was coming up at that point. He wasn’t famous yet, but he was coming up. The underground we all knew who he was.”
Tupac found himself in trouble with the law in 1994, as he was accused of rape. An accusation Tupac strongly denied. Ultimately, Tupac was charged for “sexual misconduct” towards Ayanna Jackson, and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
“When he got into a situation in New York where he felt like the powers that be, the New York rap community, he felt they had started a cabal, and they were out to get him,” Wendy explained. “He was very paranoid, and I saw that he felt like he was in New York alone. I felt bad for him, even though I didn’t really appreciate who he was as a person or even really as a rapper.”
At this particular time in 1994, Tupac Shakur had also gotten shot five times and robbed in the lobby of Quad Studio located in New York’s Times Square. “He was very nervous. After the Quad situation, he was very nervous, and I kinda felt for him. If I were a New Yorker in L.A. and I felt like people were ganging up on me in L.A. I would want somebody to step in and try to help me. So, that’s what I decided to do.”
“I decided to try to him. I reached out to a couple of my friends in The Fruit of Islam, a guy named brother Arthur, and I asked if he could protect Pac. Be this security around Pac before he was sentenced, and he was gonna be sentenced in a couple of days,” Wendy said.
Wendy requested for the security team not to mention to Tupac that she had assigned them to protect him. Eventually the security team did notify Tupac, which prompted Shakru to write a letter to Wendy when he was locked up in Rikers Island.
From that moment on and after going back and forth with Tupac through letters, the two became pen pals while Shakur was locked up. Wendy explained to Tupac how she felt obligated to help him, especially given the fact she was running an organization called Rap Coalition.
The gesture wasn’t because she was a fan of his music, because she wasn’t. But, she ended up gaining genuine respect and admiration for Shakur. “Because he came so different than I expected, he really caught my attention. He blew my mind.”
Wendy also touched on Tupac’s plan for his Euthanasia record label. A label which Tupac waned to bring up and sign positive artists, and also be a community based label.
“The plan consisted of community centers, and centers for woman to bring their children to their job and put them in this place that would help take care of their kids,” Wendy Day. “He was so community minded.”