2Pac’s biological father, Billy Garland, provided some juicy anecdotes regarding his famous son in a recent Art of Dialogue interview. During the conversation, Garland opened up about his feelings about 2Pac’s 1995 single “Dear Mama.”
Evidently, Garland wasn’t too fond of the lyrics, “No love for my daddy, ’cause the coward wasn’t there/He passed away and I didn’t cry.” Not only was Garland very much alive, but he felt the characterization was unfair.
“At first I was upset ’cause I’m trying to see you and, you know…but then it hit me,” he said. “For one, I ain’t dead, so you really didn’t know me. If you would have known me, you would know that I wasn’t dead. So I knew there that someone had lied to him from that point.
“Later on, when I found out that somebody did lie to him, that song made perfectly good sense. I understand it totally. When I hear it now, I still laugh. I still love that f###### record though. I do. I listen to his music daily. Every freakin’ day. And I like it. Then it hits me, he’s my son. It’s a twin thing.”
Elsewhere, Garland talked about the perils of fame and 2Pac’s eventual demise. As he says in the clip, he got “caught up.”
Both 2Pac’s mother Afeni Shakur and Garland had been active Black Panther Party members in New York in the late 1960s and early ’70s. A month before 2Pac’s birth, his mother was tried in New York City as part of the Panther 21 criminal trial. She was acquitted of over 150 charges.
Dear Mama is also the name of the new FX docu-series directed by Allen Hughes. The show dives into the relationship between Afeni and 2Pac as well as her political activism with Garland.
Watch the clip with Garland below.