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TuPac’s Father: Where Is Billy Garland Now?

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Illustration: Rap Aesthetics

Billy Garland, the father of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, has been out of the public eye for many years. So, where is he now? Some reports on the internet suggest he died in 1999, however, that’s not the case. 2Pac’s father Billy Garland is very much alive and by all accounts very healthy.

He recently surfaced in a new interview with The Art Of Dialogue to talk about his relationship with his son, and what transpired between him and 2Pac’s mother, Afeni Shakur. The details are shocking. Keep reading to learn more about 2Pac’s father’s whereabouts, including unknown details of his relationship with the late rapper.

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Tupac’s relationship with his father was complicated, as Billy Garland was not consistently present in his life during his childhood. He often expressed anger and resentment towards his father for abandoning him and his mother. In the song “Dear Mama,” he raps, “No love for my daddy ’cause the coward wasn’t there/He passed away and I didn’t cry.” He also addressed his feelings and experiences regarding his father on “Papa’z Song” from his 1993 album “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…” In the song, 2Pac put into words his mixed emotions about his absent father and the negative impact it had on his life.

“Had to play catch by myself, what a sorry sight
A pitiful plight, so I pray for a starry night
Please send me a pops before puberty/The things I wouldn’t do to see a piece of family unity,” raps Pac.

He also talks about his pops being a no-show in his life and how he was no longer interested in mending their broken relationship. “Don’t even bother with your dollars, I don’t need it/I’ll bury moms like you left me, all alone, G/Now that I finally found you, stay the f-ck away from me, I’m so sorry.”

ALSO READ: Tupac Shakur’s Stepfather Mutulu Shakur: Is He Still Alive?

Though Billy Garland has maintained a relatively low public profile, he recently appeared on The Art Of Dialogue to open up about his alleged absenteeism. In the rare interview, Billy claimed he spent a lot of time with Pac at the basketball court and gym when the rapper was still a toddler. “He was about 2 or 3 [when he would come over] and I took him to play basketball and all my friends thought it was my other son, Malik, Carlos Malik,” he said, before sharing the names of all his kids. “I had six beautiful kids; Landon, Carlos, Nika who just passed two months ago…. Tekira, and my youngest son Billy Jr.,” he said. “So I had six now I have four. No person should lose a child, definitely, no person should lose two children.”

“He would come over and spend some time with us,” continued Garland. He then recalled a time when 2Pac spent the night with his other siblings and presumably wet the bed

“They were all together the boys had the bunk beds, the girls had their own room, but somebody peed the bed and we don’t know who peed the bed and we always said it was Pac [laughs], but it doesn’t really matter I thought it was cute.”

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2pac as a baby
Billy Garland said Tupac used to sleep over at his house when he was 3-4 years old. 2Pac / Pinterest

Garland revealed he ultimately lost all contact with Pac’s mother when the rapper was around 3 years old, blaming the divide on the Feds’ crackdown on the Black Panthers. “They had been a couple murders. Panther on Panther murder and that’s when everybody just scattered, everybody went their different ways. And I was one of those who went a different way. I lost contact with Afeni, which later I found out she had moved to Baltimore, then Oakland.

“People say ‘why didn’t you look for him’ I didn’t know where. I wish I had more so, but nobody lived in stationery locations. We all moved.”

He said he had to wait about 15 years before seeing 2Pac again, which was on the poster of the 1994 movie Juice. “When I went to the movies I saw him and I was sitting in the theater and I started crying and I’m sure the people next to me would’ve said ‘why is this grown man crying in this movie,’ but they had no idea I was seeing my son after 15 years on the big silver screen.”

Garland claimed he tried to reach out to his son afterward, but said Afeni would lie that Pac wasn’t ready to see him.

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View of political & social activist and Black Panther member Afeni Shakur (fore), among others, onstage at a rally in support of the Panther 21, New York, New York, April 4, 1970. The Panther 21 were Black Panther members arrested by New York police under suspicion of planning a series of bombings, charges that were eventually dropped against all the defendants. (Photo by David Fenton/Getty Images)

He eventually sued 2Pac’s estate after Afeni declared him dead on 2Pac’s probate papers. “Broke my heart,” he said. “Coulda talked to me, I ain’t want no money from 2Pac. I didn’t care. But for you to disrespect me and treat me like that… I don’t want the estate. I just wanted it to be noted that his father is not dead,” he said.

Garland ultimately lost the case and had been away from the public eye ever since.

Billy Garland, born William Jefferson met Afeni Shakur in the early 1970s. They were both members of the Black Panther Party, and they had a short-lived relationship.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Tupac’s father, Billy Garland:

Is Billy Garland Still Alive?


No, as of June 2023, 2Pac’s father Billy Garland is still alive.

What Is TuPac’s Father’s Name?

2Pac’s father was born William Jefferson but goes by the name Billy Garland.

Did TuPac ever meet his father?

Tupac was still a toddler when he met his father. During an interview with The Art Of Dialogue, Pac’s father, Billy Garland revealed Pac used to sleep over at his house and they would go to the basketball court together.

Billy Garland also claimed he visited Tupac while the rapper was serving time in jail for alleged sexual assault.

Why did Billy Garland leave Afeni Shakur?

In an interview with The Art Of Dialogue, Billy Garland claimed he lost contact with Afeni Shakur during the raid on the Black Panthers.

What impact did Billy Garland have on 2Pac?

Billy Garland’s absence had a profound impact on Tupac. He often wrote about his father’s absence in his music. He also said that he felt like he was “missing a piece of himself” because he never met his father.

Quick Facts About Billy Garland

. He was born in New York City on March 14, 1949.

. He was a Black Panther Party member.

. He met Afeni Shakur in the early 1970s. They had a short-lived relationship, and Afeni gave birth to their son, Tupac Amaru Shakur, in 1971.

. Billy Garland left Afeni when Tupac was just 3 years old.

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us

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