“God Saved Me From Life as a Drug Dealer”: Jada Pinkett Smith On Life Before Hollywood
by TRN Staff Writer,
From the outside looking in, it seems like Jada Pinkett Smith has always had a cush life. A Hollywood star married to another mega star with money pouring in thanks to successful TV shows like “Gotham” and a hit movie “Girls Trip” now playing in theaters nationwide. But Jada took time while on a publicity tour for her latest movie to reflect on life before the good times started to roll.
In an interview recently with radio show “Sway in the Morning”, Jada shared about a part of her past growing up in Baltimore that she says was “full of a few wild times” and few fans know about. Jada’s stroll down memory lane eventually leads to memories about how her path crossed with deceased rapper Tupac Shakur. Pinkett-Smith says, “One of the things that’s very interesting that I’ve never really said before is that when I first met Pac, when we first met, I was a drug dealer.”
It’s an astonishing admission from a woman who has never seemingly shied away from transparency or negative publicity. Jada goes on to say she got out of that life because “something very bad happened to me” and that as she was coming out of “that life” while her friend Tupac Shakur was “going more into the life.” Pinkett-Smith says she’s endured what she calls an “existential crisis” when she thinks back to the days with her friend Tupac. She says their paths crossed, but they were heading in two different directions and she says she felt like, “Ok God. One day you’re going to do for Pac what you did for me which is you saved me. And that just never happened for him.” . Jada says most people try to connect her with Tupac in a romance or love affair, but she says “Pac and I relationship was about survival. That’s how it started…it was based in survival. How we held each other down. And when you have somebody who has your back, when you feel like you’re nothing, that’s everything.”
Now, more than two decades after that period in her life and after the loss of her close friend Tupac, it is the memory of those dark days that drive Pinkett-Smith to help light the way for others by mentoring them and doing whatever she can to support them. Jada says, “We (she and husband Will Smith) know what it’s like to be young in this game. And I know I wish for me even at a time when Pac and I were comimg up at the same time, how desperately we needed that and how we didn’t have that…So anytime I get reached out for I’m like, yo I’m here. What do you need.”
Jada says its because of what she’s faced in life that she deems it imperative to give back and help others. You can listen to the full interview below as Jada also opens up about parenthood and the on-going need for diversity in Hollywood. She also shares about highs and lows in husband Will’s career.