Wendy Day recently appeared for an interview with Hip Hop XXIV where she spoke about sending Tupac books written by Niccolò Machiavelli.
Tupac was a book worm since his early days. Before he was a teen, where Tupac read the New York Times front to back as punishment from his mother Afeni and during his time with Leila Steinberg where her and Tupac explored various books together. Tupac’s reading was quite evident as it reflected in his lyrics.
For a short period of Time, Tupac and Ray Luv stayed with Leila and her family. Leila helped Tupac in his early music career, but the two also had a relationship in which they searched for knowledge. Books such as Roots, Kabbala, The Phenomenon of Man and more were consumed by Tupac and Leila.
Throughout his career, Tupac continued reading even during the most toughest of times in his life. Such as when he was locked up for an alleged assault charge. Tupac would spend months locked up at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. Sentenced to 4 1/2 years, according to Wendy Day, Tupac was sent as far as possible, making it difficult for anyone to visit him.
“He was up by the Canadian border and they did that so it would be hard for people to go visit him. Even for me it was a six hour drive. So, in order for me to be at the prison at 8 o’clock in the morning, I had to leave my house at midnight and drive all night to get there,” Wendy Day recalled during her interview with Hip Hop XXIV. “They did not make it easy. Dannemora at the time was the roughest prison.”
But, still Tupac continued his reading. Helping with Tupac’s thirst for knowledge was Wendy Day who sent Tupac a few books which included those written by Niccolò Machiavelli. “I do this with all rappers that are incarcerated, even today. Any rappers that go to prison, I send them books, because if they’re going to just sit still in a cell, they might as well feed their mind and come out stronger and better than when they went in,” Wendy Day explained. “I did that for him.”
Tupac was clearly inspired by those books as he would later take on the alias “Makaveli.” Along with his new rap name, Tupac went on to release his fifth studio album and one of hip hop’s most iconic piece of work ever in ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.’