Many people remember stories of Jada Pinkett Smith being one of rapper Tupac’s early loves, celebrating the poem he wrote her when she was a teen.
But, after moving to California, miles away from the cat-eyed actress, the artist had his heart locked on another young lady.
Her name is Cosima.
The world has become acquainted with her as she is the subject found in a few love letters that were auctioned titled “The Art and Influence of Hip Hop” at Sotheby’s on March 30th.
In the letters, Pac revealed his deep love for the girl he dated in high school.
Sotheby notes, at the time, Cosima Knez was a sophomore at his school in California after he moved from Baltimore and was a. member of the Ensemble Theatre Company with Tupac.
The two met on her birthday in October of 1988, when the rapper was 17. Their romance lasted between 7 and 8 months.
All of the letters were signed at the end with “Thinking of U! Eternally your friend, Tupac A. Shakur.”
The first letter, dated October 28th, 1988, in the auction reads, “U must be doing a good job because more and more people r beginning 2 say good things about u. Now about Aaron, what can I say? As much as I want 2, I can’t tell u what u want 2 hear. I listen when he speaks but he never says your name. I did c him looking at you, even yesterday he watched u. I have a feeling he likes u but I’m not sure. He is strange! He’s hard 2 figure out. Remember what I told u!”
“Don’t let him have your heart until he earns it. Let him show u some affection. Step away 4 a while and c if he notices. I called u last night but u were busy. I’ve been invited 2 a million parties but I have 2 work today, so I may not go.”
“Last night, I broke up with my girlfriend for good this time! She’s too immature!!! So now I want 2 take a little time 2 myself b4 I hop in 2 the dating scene. Gib swears he’s a player. As a friend, I’m warning don’t ever under any circumstances let yourself be involved with hm again. He said something 2 me today about being able to get u back whenever he wants 2. So don’t let him play u. Don’t ever tell anything the things I share with u. They r u your eyes only.”
This letter went for $8,190.
In letter marked #102, he mentions Pinkett Smith and shares how he feels only a couple of weeks after meeting Cosima.
“The words that I usually use have suddenly escaped my vocabulary. What can I say 2 u? How can I say it? I am attracted 2 u like I am attracted 2 no other nor have I ever felt this strong, this quick, with anyone!! Not Carmen, Jada, Suzie, anyone!”
“Can’t I say I like u? No, because it’s 2 week. Can I say I care for you? No, because it’s much more than that. Can I say that I love you? Easily! But that word scares me so much. I keep waiting 4 u 2 say ‘Tupac, I was just joking about liking u, goodbye!’ I could easily say, ‘Cosima, I love u and not feel any doubt in my mind or heart.’
The two-page letter he wrote in November 1988 sold for $6,930.
In one letter, #103, the young love-struck student tries to define their relationship and asks the question if they are ready for a physical and/or emotional connection.
“I don’t know what I want from u or what u want from me,” he writes. “One thing 4 certain it is not your average relationship or by attempting 2 define it we will save ourselves a lot of heartache and confusion (heartache 4 me and confusion 4 u). I’m not going 2 lie 2 u. I will be 4 ever curious about what it would be like 2 be with u sexually, but is that possible? Can we handle a physical and emotional relationship?”
This two-page letter sold for $6,048.
Auction item #104 was written to Cosima in the Spring of 1989.
“This song has been echoing through my head all night,” the teen wrote. “It fits me 2 a tee! I can’t believe u ignored me last night. 2 be honest I was glad u didn’t give in because I had a ball holding u. It wasn’t my ideal dream, but I get it where I can (Smile face)! I kind of understand your letter but in a lot of ways, I didn’t. About the part where you said ‘… Like Jada, I have grown 2 love u.’ Well, the one thing I’ve learned from our episode last week is when u say LOVE u ruin things. I don’t think we should.”
He said, “I want u so bad! When I’m with u I want u, when we are apart, I want u even more. How can I tell u how I feel where there’s no word in the English language 2 define what my heart is going through? I feel joy and paranoid at the same time. Joy 2 be with u and paranoid that it will end. I’m sorry if this scares u but I have fallen in love with u. I wanted to put it off by my heart won’t let me.
Even when my brain wants to deny that I’m in love my body tells me. Each breath that I breathe is breathed with thoughts and fantasies of u and I. My images are becoming stronger and harder to ignore. I want to be with u so bad that it hurts to not kiss u. It hurts to not hold u close to me. I can almost feel my tongue running over your skin. I feel the heat of your mouth as my tongue enters it. I can feel your arms around me. I can c us entwined in a heated session of lovemaking. This is agony. I want to be with u in the worst way. I better stop before I overhear (smiley face). I’ll save the rest for reality. It feels so right saying, ‘So, I’ll just it, I love you.”
On the back of the letter, he shares another poem with his love.
“I finally found the girl that I could truly love. I finally found the beauty that I searched for in so many girls. I finally found a friend as well as a lover. I finally found someone who I could talk 2 about anything. I finally found that woman whom I knew so well in my dreams. I finally found Cosima.”
This passionate letter sold for $6,930.
In one letter #105, he wrote, “Cosima, what can I say? I’m lost. Our relationship is beginning 2 become a roller coaster ride every day there a new turn. I go from pain 2 joy in one week. But I don’t want it2 end. I love u so much that I would go through hell if it means I could have u on the other side. My suggestion is that we be more sensitive of each other. What happened this weekend should never happen again. I will be more sensitive 2 your feelings but u also have 2 be more sensitive. When I say “Eternally” I want 2 believe it will be for eternity. I love u and I only want u 2 be happy.”
This letter sold for $6,930.
#106 in the auction, he started the letter quoting a popular song by the late George Michael, “Kissing a Fool.”
He wrote, “Cosima, ‘…u were far, I thought I could never be your (star), u listen 2 people who scare u 2 death & from my (heart). It’s strange that I was strong enough 2 even make a start, I’ll never find, peace of mind, while I listen 2 my (heart) …’”
This note sold for $6,930.
In another letter, #107, he included a personal poem titled “What U Mean 2 Me” and drew a custom design on the envelope.
This letter said, “Cosima, I was thinking about u and this came 2 mind.”
“This card is meant 2 express my feelings, but words cannot begin, 2 thank u 4 being there as more than just a friend. 4 the joy that u have brought me, I can never pay u back. I can’t say that I really care 4 because I feel much more than that. Who? Knows what the future holds 4 only a crystal ball can tell But “God” knows that 4 u I’d go to the fiery depths of Hell.”
In the corner of the piece, he says, “This is 2 let u know that I am here 4 eternity. I will never leave your heart.”
He instructs her to “Put this in your collection and remember me always!”
This note sold for $17,640.
Previously reported in AllHipHop.com, “The Art and Influence of Hip Hop” also included a booklet of Haiku poems that the rapper wrote for his godfather, Jamal Joseph, a former Black Panther that was incarcerated in the Leavenworth Prison when the future chart-topper was a child for his role in an armored car heist in 1981.
According to DW, the collection of poems to Joseph, signed “Tupac Shakur, Future Freedom Fighter,” sold for $302,400 at the auction.
Cosima is not the first young love that the “California Love” wordsmith wrote beautiful thoughts to. In celebration of Pac’s 50th birthday, Pinkett Smith publicly shared a poem to her. She believes he wrote it to her in 1995 when he was incarcerated on Rikers Island.
The poem was called “Lost Soulz.”
Around the time he was in school with Cosima, he wrote this for Jada.