Rashida Jones Reflects on Teenage Beef with Tupac Shakur: “It Just Felt Like a Completely Unwarranted Attack”

Rashida Jones revisited her mid ’90s beef with Tupac Shakur in a new interview with The New Yorker, explaining how her point of view has changed over time.

The actress and filmmaker reflected on her quarrel with the rapper, which happened when Jones was a teenager. It all began when Shakur made disparaging comments about her father, legendary producer Quincy Jones, in an interview with The Source in 1993 when Rashida Jones was 17. “All he does is stick his dick in white bitches and make fucked up kids,” Shakur notably said.

Jones then responded, writing a fiery open letter to Shakur: “Because I am the youngest of Quincy Jones’ six daughters, I cannot view this article or this man without bias,” the letter reads, “But I do think that anyone who reads this article would be shocked by his ignorance and lack of respect for his people.” She continued by alleging his comments were demeaning to African American progress and that Quincy Jones “paved the way for you to even have the opportunity to express yourself.” Eventually, Tupac went on to apologize for those comments, befriended Rashida Jones, and even dated her older sister, Kidada.

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She discussed the incident with The New Yorker, and why she views it as more complex now than she did back then. “I was so mad. It was a new perspective to me,” Jones said. “I kind of understand the nuance more now that I’m older. It just felt like a completely unwarranted attack. My dad doesn’t work for the government. He’s a music producer. How he chooses to live his life and who he loves is just his own business, and I’ve always felt that way.”

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She continued, explaining that she had sent the open letter to The Source while working as an intern at Warner Bros. Records, and eventually, Shakur responded himself. “My sister was out somewhere in New York, and Tupac came up to apologize to her, because he thought it was me. It resolved itself really nicely, because when I met him, he immediately apologized to me, immediately apologized to my dad. We sat down and had a really good conversation about it, and then he was family.”

Elsewhere in her chat with The New Yorker, Jones previewed her upcoming Apple TV+ sci-fi series Sunny, which premieres this week. She also discusses her father’s work, growing up in a particularly star-studded environment, and her partnership with Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, with whom she has a son. “I’m sure we’ll get married at some point, but we basically are,” she said about her relationship with Koenig. “He takes a very long time to make his albums, which is so lucky for me, because it means he’s home a lot of the time. This is our second tour cycle really, so we’ll see how far I go with rock wife.”

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