Jim Carrey wrote humorous letters to Tupac to cheer him up while in prison

Brad Smithfield
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There have been many odd friendships among famous key figures in the 90s. Most of them got along and hung out, much to the entertainment of fans. It didn’t matter if it was the music and film industry, the pressure of the entertainment business, or the sheer dichotomy, the fact remains that Jim Carrey and Tupac Shakur were good friends.

Jim Carrey, born January 17th, 1962, in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada was most known for his brilliant, zany portrayal of Ace Ventura, the “pet detective” that solved animal-related crimes, cementing his place as the most flexible, prolific comedian that has ever blessed Hollywood.

Jim Carrey at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. Photo Credit

With a myriad of movies like The Mask (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994), Liar Liar (1997), his outstanding comedic performance greatly contributed to the 90s era comedies.

Poster for everybody’s favorite comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective which gained high critical acclaim.

The Truman Show (1998) landed him a Golden Globe Award for best actor, but it was his honest and plain, jolly character outside of the set that made Carrey a very pleasant man as a friend. Such is the example of his friendship with the controversial hip-hop legend, Tupac Shakur.

This unlikely friendship between two such characters can make us question both person’s conviction and overall characteristic impressions that the two convey. Even though Tupac Shakur is well-known for his violent and explicit lyrics, along with his crime-related life and feuds with other rappers, it didn’t stop him being a rather friendly fellow.

Photograph of Tupac Shakur. Photo Credit

He was born in New York City in 1971, as the son of Afeni Shakur, a Black Panther activist, who was in jail for bombing charges at the time of her pregnancy with him. His extremely difficult childhood around Brooklyn and the Bronx, his struggles, political views, and social commentary are expressed through his songs.


The rapper was named after Túpac Amaru, the last Inca of Vilcabamba

As a teenager, he attended the School of Arts in Baltimore as a ballet dancer and took acting classes as well, reading the works of Shakespeare. He had also been a fan of U2, Kate Bush, and Sinead O’Connor. He discovered his passion for rap music in the late 80s. By this era, he debuted in the crime drama movie Juice, with Samuel L. Jackson, Omar Epps and Queen Latifah, quickly garnering attention in both the music and movie industry.

Rolling Stone ranked him the 86th in their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and he will be soon included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sometime in 2017. He also presented the Grammy Award to Hootie and The Blowfish, alongside the famous hard rock band, Kiss.

Tupac Shakur was convicted of many criminal offenses and this notorious behavior was seen to run in the family, as his godfather, Elmer Pratt, murdered a school teacher in 1968, while his stepfather was on the FBI’s list of the ten most wanted fugitives for four years.

Shakur was also charged with a sexual assault of a woman in a hotel in November 1993.

Members of Tupac’s Outlawz group in 1996. Standing: Napoleon, E.D.I. Mean, and Hussein Fatal. Sitting: Kastro, Tupac, and Yaki Kadafi. The group took the names of dictators and political enemies of the US. Photo Credit

Although there were speculations about the consent of the relationship between Shakur and the woman, he was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse and sentenced to 1 – 4 years in prison. He had long before entered the Hollywood celebrity lifestyle, making friendships with many famous people, such as Mike Tyson, and Jim Carrey.

While in prison, Shakur would receive letters from Jim Carrey. Amusingly enough, the famed comedian was Shakur’s favorite actor and the letters were of a humorous nature. Carrey felt that the rape allegations were false and unsupported, and his letters surely made it easier for him to get by during the jail sentence.

His album Me Against The World went number one on the Billboard 200, and he was the first artist to do this while doing time in prison.

Cover art for the third album Me Against the World. It charted number one on the Billboard 200 while Tupac was in prison. Photo Credit

When his sentence ended, he wrote to the Death Row director, Nina Bhadresher, claiming he had changed his lifestyle and was turning a new leaf. He came out of prison as a ” completely transformed person”, according to Kevin Powell, repenting his violent ways. During his time in prison, he read the works of Nicolo Machiavelli and Sun Tzu, which most likely influenced his worldview, as later he would use the name “Makaveli” as a pseudonym.

While going on a trip to Las Vegas to watch a boxing match, he was shot while driving with Suge Knight on September 7th, 1996, and died six days after the shooting. This would spark many conspiracies and further aggravate racial contentions, as fans were outraged that the murder of the hip-hop star was almost totally overlooked by the authorities.

Tupac had many plans after his time in prison, like pursuing an even bigger career in acting, and forming his own record company under the pseudonym “Makaveli”. Besides the hit album, All Eyez on Me, Shakur had the honors of co-starring with Hollywood star, Mickey Rourke in Bullet (1996).

Graffiti of Tupac in Ipanema, Rio De Janeiro. Photo Credit

Tupac ignited outrage even after his death, as many controversies and conspiracies about his “faked death” still circulate on the internet to this day.

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His legacy continues to live on, as his message was absolutely contrary to the “thug life” persona he was associated with, by setting an example of indignation, pointing out the sheer uninterested policies of the US Government about gang wars, social standing, racism, and poverty. He is still considered as the 1# greatest hip-hop artist who ever lived.