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Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur became friends long before their fame. The celebrities grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and met in high school. Since Shakur’s 1996 murder, Pinkett Smith has remembered her friend via social media and her show, Red Table Talk

Before he died, Shakur also spoke fondly of the Girls Trip star. The rapper once said he would do anything for Pinkett Smith. 

Jada Pinkett Smith with rapper Tupac Shakur, 1996
Jada Pinkett Smith with rapper Tupac Shakur, 1996 | Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage/Getty Images

Tupac Shakur and Jada Pinkett Smith were each other’s ‘anchors’ 

Shakur and Pinkett Smith started their careers at the same time. After they met at the Baltimore School for the Arts, they ventured to Hollywood to chase their dreams. Eventually, Pinkett Smith landed her first recurring role as Lena James in A Different World. During her time on the show, Shakur appeared as a guest star. The Poetic Justice star played her old boyfriend, Piccolo. 

Throughout their friendship, fans have suspected that Pinkett Smith and Shakur were more than friends. In several interviews, both of them have denied that they ever dated. However, Pinkett Smith shared during a 2019 episode of Red Table Talk that Shakur would often get jealous. While speaking to Whitney Houston’s close friend, Robyn Crawford, the Nutty Professor actor said her friend didn’t want her flirting with anyone else. 

“For him, it was, we were an anchor for each other,” Pinkett Smith said of Shakur’s jealousy. “Anytime he felt like that anchor was threatened, oh my God.”

The reason Tupac Shakur said Jada Pinkett Smith was ‘his heart’

Although they never dated, Shakur and Pinkett Smith had a bond that went beyond a romantic relationship. In a clip from his 2003 documentary, Tupac: Resurrection, the “All Eyez On Me” artist said how much his friendship with Pinkett Smith means to him. While smiling, the rapper said Pinkett Smith is his “heart” and can have whatever she wants. 

“Jada’s my heart,” Shakur professed. “She will be my friend my whole life. We’ll be old together. Jada can ask me to do anything, and she can have it. She can have my heart, my liver, my lungs, my kidney, my blood marrow, all of that.”

Was Jada Pinkett with Tupac when he died?

During the 1990s, Pinkett Smith’s Hollywood career started to thrive. After A Different World ended in 1993, she landed movie roles in Jason’s Lyric, A Low Down Dirty Shame, and Set It Off. Around the same time, Pinkett Smith started dating Will Smith

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Reveal the ‘Low Point’ That Caused Them To ‘Destroy Our Marriage’

Pinkett Smith’s new life threatened her relationship with Shakur. In 2015, the Scream 2 star and the rapper stopped talking before he died. According to Pinkett Smith, Shakur felt that she “had changed” due to her fame. Unfortunately, the two were estranged on Sept.13, 1996, when Shakur died. The “Hail Mary” performer died at 25 due to a gunshot wound. 

“It definitely taught me a lesson, which is life is too short,” she said of Shakur on Howard Stern. “Do not let disagreements stand in between you and people that you love.”

Over the last two decades, Pinkett Smith has sporadically shared some of her gifts from Shakur. In honor of his 50th birthday, the Red Table Talk host recently posted an unreleased poem that Shakur wrote.