Allen, a budding author and Tupac’s younger half-sister who shares the same father [Billy Garland] as the rap legend, says every day, especially major holiday and family get together, is full of memories of ’Pac. Unfortunately, the New Jersey native never got a chance to meet her famous older half-brother, only holding onto recollections from one short conversation she had with ’Pac when he was incarcerated in Upstate New York in 1995, when she was only a child.
Here, Allen tells XXL about family resemblances to Tupac, how her first impression of him was through the movie Juice and writing her books. —Mark Lelinwalla
XXL: How do you think September 13, the 15th anniversary of Tupac’s passing, will be for your family?
Takerra Allen: It’s always bittersweet. It’s always good when I go on the Internet, radio, Facebook and people are playing his music and they’re talking about him every time his birthday or anniversary comes around. That’s the sweet part, but it’s also a deep thing knowing he’s gone and not coming back and knowing there hasn’t been no real closure to what happened to him. Every year that passes, it hurts my family a little more. We wish there would be some kind of justice, but it’s good to know that people still remember him and love him.
Your dad looks exactly like Tupac. Are there strong resemblances throughout the rest of the family?
My dad has strong genes. Sometimes we have family cookouts and we’re looking at my brother and it’s like seeing him. I flip out sometimes because if Tupac could have been here and seen my whole family, he would have flipped out to see how everyone looks just like him. It’s crazy.
How much is Tupac brought up when the family is together?
Oh, all the time. On our Fourth of July cookout, we played nothing but Tupac music. My dad was telling stories about him. We have a cousin that shares the same birthday [as Tupac], so we celebrate both their birthdays. This past June 16, our uncle passed on that day and it was such a raw, emotional day. It was crazy.
What do the rest of your siblings do?
My brother Landon is in Florida. I believe he works a very regular job with the cable. My brother Malik is an electrician. He’s in Jersey. My brother Billy is in Florida as well. He actually was incarcerated, but got out recently. He went to school to be a dental technician, I believe. My sister N’Neka, she lives in California. She’s my older sister. She actually looks like Tupac a lot and works for ABC, one of the soap operas. My brother Billy, he’s a spitting image [of Tupac] and his personality. Landon is also a spitting image, but you got to give it to Billy because of his mannerisms and everything. It’s crazy sometimes being around him.
So, you were one of how many children on your dad’s side?
My dad has six, so one of six. Three had the same mother and Tupac had his mom and my other brother had his mom. My dad always kept us close. He always made sure that everyone stayed like family and we all grew up knowing each other.
What was the age difference between Tupac and yourself?
In ’96 when he passed, he was 25 and I was 12, so we were 13 years apart.
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