Afeni Shakur touched by the support of the hip hop community

NEW YORK – Afeni Shakur, the mother of rapper Tupac Shakur, says she’s touched the hip-hop community continues to be supportive, seven years after her son’s death.

“I always feel like I get special treatment. I never felt that I couldn’t ask anyone for anything,” Shakur told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday.

“I respect them, I have a lot of respect for them. I like them. They’re nice to me, and they’re good to my son.”

Shakur created Amaru Entertainment-Amaru Records after her son was shot to death in 1996, and the company has put together albums of his unreleased work.

She’s also an executive producer of a film documentary on his life, “Tupac: Resurrection,” and oversaw a book of the same name, which will be published later this month. The movie will be released in November.

Shakur says she’s relied on help from rappers including Dr. Dre and Eminem to help keep her son’s name, and music, alive.

“I’m conscious of the fact that I’m 56 trying to do my son’s work,” she said. “I don’t know that we would have been able to keep an ethical, quality project without the hip-hop community caring almost as much as me.”

On Sunday, The Source Youth Foundation will honor Shakur for her charitable work, including the creation of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation Inc., which encourages children in the arts. The awards dinner in Miami, to be hosted by Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton, will also honor LL Cool J, Nelly, boxer Roy Jones Jr. and dancer Crazy Legs.

Shakur says receiving the award is bittersweet, because it reminds her that her son isn’t around.

“Who knows what would have happened (had he lived)?” she said.

“I’m sad that he can’t see how much people appreciate his work. I think he would have been pleased. I think he would be pleased to know how much people appreciate his mom, too.”

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