Billy Garland: I’m Tupac’s Biological Father And I Was DNA Tested To Prove It

Billy Garland: I’m Tupac’s Biological Father And I Was DNA Tested To Prove It


(Left to Right) Tupac Shakur in South Central Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 1996. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File)/Billy Garland, YouTube screen shot, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCezJI0yR_w

The late Tupac Shakur is widely considered one of the most influential and successful rappers of all time. Shakur is among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Recently the rap icon was officially honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The occasion brought out his family, friends, and fans. But it seems his biological father was not in attendance.

Tupac was previously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2002, he was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame.

Shakur was born in New York City to parents who were both political activists and Black Panther Party members. He was raised by his mother, Afeni Shakur, and for the majority of his life he was unsure of who his biological father was. His stepfather is Dr. Mutulu Shakur, who in 2022 was granted prison release as he battles bone marrow cancer. Considered a political prisoner, the former Black Liberation Army member Mutulu Shakur, 72, spent 36 years behind bars. He was convicted of racketeering conspiracy charges in connection to the infamous 1981 robbery of an armored Brinks truck. During the incident, two police officers and a guard were murdered. Shakur was also implicated and convicted of assisting fellow activist Assata Shakur, 2Pac’s godmother, in her prison escape in 1979. Assata fled to Cuba, where she remains.

Tupac’s successful music career began with the release of his debut album, “2Pacalypse Now,” in 1991, he became a central figure in West Coast hip hop for his conscious rap lyrics. On Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times by an unidentified assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas; he died six days later.

But during his career, he learned about his biological father, Billy Garland, who said that at the request of Afeni he took a DNA test to prove paternity. According to Garland, he wasn’t happy that she requested the test as she knew exactly his relationship with her and Tupac.

“It broke my heart; it really did,” he said in an interview with The Art Of Dialogue that posted on YouTube on June 3, 2023. “I could not understand…you and I know that I’m the father of that boy and for you to insult me…But I think that’s one of her lawyers. But then again, she’s fighting for millions of dollars…I’m not looking at the money; I’m just looking to tell the world that I’m Tupac Shakur’s father.”

He added, “The DNA test came back 99.999 positive.”

In a previous interview conducted in 2011 with XXL, Garland said he fell out of touch with Afeni in the mid-1970 and reconnected with her and Tupac when the artist was recovering from being shot at New York’s Quad Studios in 1994.

Two years after Tupac’s murder, Garland sued Afeni for half of the estate, citing, in the lawsuit, her false claim on the death certificate that her only son’s father was deceased. Although a DNA test confirmed his paternity, he lost his case.

Tupac talked about Garland in an interview before his death, saying, “I thought my father was dead all my life. After I got shot, I looked up; there was this nigga that looked just like me. And he was my father; that’s when I found out. We still didn’t take any blood test, but the nigga looked just like me and the other nigga’s dead.”

(Left to Right) Rapper Tupac Shakur attends a voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 1996. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File)/Billy Garland, YouTube screenshot, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCezJI0yR_w