Tupac Shakur lost his life after he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in 1996, but his music and his legend have endured in a very powerful way.
We've heard Tupac's last words, but a jailhouse letter that Tupac wrote to Madonna is shedding new light on the one-time power couple.
Included in the letter is Tupac plainly stating the exact reason for which he broke up with Madonna and ended their relationship.
This is hardly the first time that Tupac's memory has been "celebrated" in a controversial manner.
We all remember the Tupac hologram that played at Coachella back in 2012.
Auctioning the very personal letters of a dead man is a complicated thing.
On the one hand, it doesn't get much more private than a "this is why I can't be with you" letter, right?
On the other hand, though, Tupac had zero legal expectation of privacy.
(Prison letters aren't private, folks.)
And glimpses into the life of a man taken before his time can be profoundly meaningful to fans.
The letter itself would have to be amazingly valuable to a collector, since the bidding is starting at $100,000.
(Tupac's last letter sold for more than $170,000)
But its value to fans and collectors might be very different from what it meant to Madonna.
Because Tupac broke up with Madonna because she was white, and he explains his exact reasoning:
"For you to be seen with a black man wouldn't in any way jeopardize your career, if anything it would make you seem that much more open and exciting."
He is, perhaps, showing a more optimistic view of the world than the world deserves.
Racists exist even in the most ostensibly accepting groups, and that includes among the fans of musicians.
(Remember that some white porn actresses are hesitant to film scenes with black men because some studios will use that as an excuse to pay them less. The world is gross.)
And while there are for sure some people who'd really give bonus points (especially back then) to a white woman who's dating a black man, there'd be others who are "fine in theory" with black men but don't like interracial dating.
(Because they're racist.)
"But for me at least in my previous perception I felt due to my 'image' I would be letting down half of the people who made me what I thought I was."
That is so complicated, but it's kind of true.
You know how racism and sexism are both terrible?
Well, those two issues intersect for black women, who are impacted by both, which causes society to devalue them in the grossest ways.
In response to some black men who sing the praises of dating white women (these days, it's guys who "want to find themselves a Kylie Jenner"), there are some black women who are resentful when famous black men have white wives.
People in real life just fall in and out of love and either do or do not date, but it's easy to see how a pattern like that could look like men like Tupac think that they're "trading up."
Like we said ... it's all very complicated.
Tupac must have worried that many of his fans who were black women would see his dating Madonna as a betrayal.
But clearly Tupac was aware of the effect of choosing his fans over Madonna.
"I never meant to hurt you."
Madonna has spoken about Tupac before, so some would see this letter as another opportunity for Tupac's own voice to be heard.
The rest of the letter is all directed at Madonna, though we can't see all of it.
We guess that blurring some parts of it makes sense.
It's going to be auctioned -- seeing the full text would lower its value for prospective buyers, you know?
But we do see Tupac talk about how Madonna had hurt his feelings after their breakup.
He also cautions her that not everyone is as nice as they seem, which is pretty good advice for anyone.
And it is a prison letter, so he invites her to visit him so that they can talk face-to-face.
The auction starts in a couple of weeks.
Most people, obviously, can't spend a small house to buy a letter, no matter who wrote it.
Those of us who hope to know the letter's full contents will just hope that Martin Shkreli doesn't buy it to keep it all for himself.