Jaden Smith stated that late rapper Tupac Shakur had once proposed to his mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, in recently resurfaced interview.
Pinkett Smith has spoken about close relationship with Shakur on numerous occasions, with the then-budding stars having attended Maryland’s Baltimore School for the Arts together in the 1980s. Shakur was shot and killed in 1996.
Her son Smith briefly touched on their friendship during a 2018 interview with Los Angeles radio personality Big Boy, a clip of which was uploaded to YouTube this month.
The Smith family has faced increased scrutiny over the past few weeks, after Pinkett Smith’s husband, Will Smith, slapped Chris Rock at last month’s Oscars in reaction to the comedian making a joke at her expense.
In the clip, Jaden Smith spoke about his musical journey and how he felt added pressure when it came to his career because of the success that his parents had experienced.
“Once I went out into the world and I saw how people feel about my parents [I felt pressure],” Jaden Smith said. “I didn’t understand, and I’m still understanding more and more every day that they’re just a staple in the world and they made people feel a type of way that nobody has ever made anyone feel.”
“So I just didn’t understand just how deep-rooted they are in hip-hop as well,” added Jaden Smith, whose father made his name as a rapper before becoming a movie star.
On noticing imagery of his mother with Shakur in the studio, Jaden Smith said: “I’m looking at the picture right here of Tupac on the shirt right there and Tupac asked to marry mom, and she was like, ‘Pac, we’re best friends.'”
“They say marry your best friend, but I’m glad they didn’t,” quipped Big Boy, real name Kurt Alexander, as Jaden Smith nodded in agreement.
“Just seeing how deep-rooted everybody is in my family in hip-hop and in the culture, that puts even more pressure on it,” said the “Never Say Never” hitmaker.
Pinkett Smith, who tied the knot with Will Smith in 1997, has spoken about her love for Shakur, though has stated that they were not romantically involved.
“I know that most people want to always connect it in this romance thing, but that’s just because they don’t have the story,” the Set It Off star said of her relationship with Shakur in a 2017 interview with Sirius XM host Sway Calloway.In 2018, the Red Table Talk host called her connection with Shakur “precious” and admitted that they kissed but didn’t enjoy it.
“You know, it’s so funny because now being older, I have more of an understanding of what that was between us,” she said, per Pop Sugar.
Earlier this month, a letter purportedly written by Pinkett Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith, asking Shakur to return and make her mom happy went viral on social media.
The letter was highlighted by internet personality Kevin Samuels, and it was then shared on a TikTok video. The letter sparked debate online and many questioned its authenticity.
Jorge Rivas at ColorLines stated that the letter was added to Instagram in 2012. Willow, who was aged 11 at the time, purportedly added a picture of the letter to her Instagram, saying she wrote it “years” ago. The post appears to have since been deleted.
The letter read: “Dear Tupac, I know you are alive someplace. I think that my mommy really misses you. Can you please come back Can you come back so momy [sic] and me can be happy! I wish you were here… I really do! Love, Willow.”
Oscar-winning King Richard star Will Smith previously discussed the “raging jealousy” he felt over Pinkett Smith’s relationship with Shakur in his memoir, released in 2021.
“Though they were never intimate, their love for each other is legendary—they defined ‘ride or die,'” he wrote in Will. “In the beginning of our relationship, my mind was tortured by their connection. He was PAC! And I was me.”
Pinkett Smith famously confessed to having had an extramarital relationship with singer August Alsina. With Smith appearing alongside her on Red Table Talk back in 2020, Pinkett Smith famously referred to the situation as an “entanglement.”
During the special, Pinkett Smith and Smith said that the relationship with Alsina happened while they were on a break. Smith later revealed that he also sought affection outside of their marriage as their relationship became non-monogamous.