2Pac‘s father, Billy Garland, recently sat down with the Art of Dialogue for an extensive interview. Garland discussed a myriad of topics during the discussion, including his feelings about being called a “coward” on 2Pac’s 1995 single “Dear Mama” and more. At one point, Garland was asked about some comments 2Pac made about Michael Jordan while he was alive. As ‘Pac saw it, Jordan neglected Black kids who needed a role model.
“Let’s see Jordan come down to the inner city, just a parking lot, and just shoot ball with the kids,” he told MTV. “I bet you that would change their life. Instead of going to some suburban PAL unit, shooting ball with all the—excuse me, but the little white kids that always have heroes to shoot ball with. They got dad to shoot ball with, grandpa to shoot ball with, uncles to shoot ball with, godfathers to shoot ball with, their friends, their neighbors to shoot ball with. Everybody got a basketball court in their neighborhood.”
Garland couldn’t agree more. “That’s beautiful,” he said. “I agree with him 100 percent. Michael’s great. He had a great run. He ain’t better LeBron James, but that’s another subject [laughs]. But [Jordan] rather sell sneakers not for nothing. He won’t speak up on issues. He won’t say that s###’s wrong. He definitely won’t kneel down and shoot two cops in the ass who’s beating up a Bllack man on the side of the road. He won’t stand up and talk about George Floyd. See what I’m saying? He won’t do s### that he can do ’cause he’s in that position […] that’s why I love LeBron so much. LeBron says s###.”
2Pac’s feelings toward Michael Jordan aligned with his mission to speak up for the Black community. As the son of Garland and Afeni Shakur—who were both in the Black Panther Party at one point—he was naturally inclined to address systemic racism and other socio-political issues, much like he did on the songs “Changes” and “Brenda’s Got A Baby.”
Elsewhere in the MTV interview, he spoke about wealth disparity and insisted those with millions of dollars should be giving back.
“I feel like there’s too much money here,” he said. “Nobody should be hitting the Lotto for $36 million when we got people starving in the streets. That is not idealistic. That’s just real. That is just stupid. There is no way Michael Jackson—or whoever—should have a million thousand quadruple billion dollars and then there’s people starving. There’s no way. There’s no way that these people should own planes and these [other] people…”
He was interrupted with, “What if they earned it?” to which 2Pac replied, “If they earned it, I think that’s good and I think that they deserve it. But even if you earned it, you still owe. Look at me. I’m not…I don’t have that mega-money. But I feel guilty walking by somebody. I gotta give him some mail. And if I know I got $3,000 in my pocket, I feel it’s wrong to give that person a quarter or a dollar. It’s wrong. Only you know what you’ve got in your pocket, and that’s wrong, no matter what they do.”
The full interview can be found here.