“He was a beautiful person” – Lemika Early
In the previous part of ‘Heart Of An Outlaw’ we talked about the time Tupac made a dying child’s wish come true. In this installment we touch on a similar story of how Tupac cared and had compassion for people. Read about Tupac making a dying child’s wish come true
In early 1996 Tupac had a select few bodyguards who worked with him, day in day out. One of these bodyguards was Frank Alexander, or ‘Big Frank’ as Pac’ would sometimes call him. One year before becoming Tupac’s bodyguard, Frank’s niece, Lemika Early, was left paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair after being involved in a terrible car accident with two of her friends. Whilst Lemika was in hospital she learned about the Make-A-Wish Foundation and got the chance to make a wish. She was a big Janet Jackson fan, her biggest dream would of been to meet her idol.
In June of 1996, the Foundation arranged for Lemika and her entire family to go to Los Angeles for a four night stay in Disneyland and they also arranged for a half hour meeting with Janet Jackson. Before this was arranged, Lemika had never ventured outside of Chicago. After finding out about the trip, the whole family went out and spent a lot of money on clothes and other items for the trip. They were very excited and it was all they could talk about in the weeks leading up to the trip.
At the very last minute, the Foundation called and said that Janet wanted to change the plans, saying that the meeting would now take place in New York instead. Lemika was crushed, she had to choose between going to Los Angeles and Disneyland or flying to New York and spending as little as fifteen minutes with Janet Jackson. She decided it wasn’t worth going to New York, she wanted to go to Disneyland.
At that time Frank was working with Tupac on the set of Gridlock’d. The next day Frank and Pac’ were in the trailer talking about the situation. After hearing what Frank’s niece had been through and learned of Janet Jackson’s actions, Tupac’s exact words were “I hate that shit! What can I do?” Frank didn’t ask Pac’ to help out because he knew he had a lot of work in his schedule but in true Tupac form he was ready to help out and take on more. Frank suggested to just call his niece, Pac’ said make the call! Frank called the house but his sister, Beverly, picked up and explained that Lemika wasn’t home from school just yet and asked if he would call back then. Exactly twenty minutes passed and Tupac was on the phone with Lemika!
Before the phone call, Lemika was having a tough time, everything that had happened was getting her down, so to get a phone call from Tupac made her day, she was crying with joy. After getting off the phone with Lemika, Tupac asked Frank what size clothes she wore as he wanted to send her some gifts. When the family flew into California, Tupac invited them to the set of Gridlock’d. After being at the set most of the day, Pac’ then invited them all back to his house for a barbecue.
The next day, June 10th 1996, they was all invited down to the studio where Tupac was due to be recording that day. In fact, the song ‘Untouchable’ was recorded that day. In the studio they met The Outlawz, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Danny Boy. Tupac told them to order whatever food and drink they all wanted and to take as many pictures as they wanted! Once the studio session was over Tupac hugged Lemika tightly and told her to stay strong. He told her he was going to donate a stereo system to her school and told her that he wanted to put her in his next video.
Tupac and Lemika spent the next three days together, dedicating his time to her. What she experienced was more than her dream coming true, she took a strong liking to Tupac and tore down her Janet Jackson posters at home, replacing them with Tupac’s posters. Frank Alexander hadn’t expected such attention and devotion as shown by Tupac. Speaking of her three days with Tupac, Lemika said; “Television only shows the bad side of him. That’s not the Tupac I met. I got to know him as a person, and he was a beautiful person” She said “I have one final wish to talk to him in heaven right now. I’d tell him I love him and that I want to thank him for all the kindness he showed me and my family”
In his book ‘Got Your Back’ Frank Alexander sums up what most people who meet Tupac for the first time think. He said “After they left to go back to Chicago, I realized if everyone on this planet had a chance to spend a few days with Tupac and see that side of him, the public perception would have radically changed. Tupac was complicated, but he was essentially a good person. Now it’s too late.”
The video below is from Frank Alexander. It was used in the dvd ‘Before I Wake’