Leila Steinberg

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Leila Steinberg
Born (1961-12-18) December 18, 1961 (age 60)
Los Angeles, California
OccupationManager, educator, author, producer
StyleHip hop, R&B, pop, dance-pop

Leila Steinberg (born December 18, 1961) is an American manager, business woman, educator, writer,[1] poet,[2] and founder of AIM4TheHeART,[3] a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth find their voice using an emotional literacy curriculum and writing workshops. She is best known as the artist mentor and first manager[4][5] for superstar rapper Tupac Shakur. They met when he was a student in her writing workshop, The Microphone Sessions, in the Oakland Bay area. Today Leila manages the rapper Earl Sweatshirt, formerly of Odd Future.[6]

In the 2017 Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me, Leila was played by actress Lauren Cohan.[7]

Life and work[edit]

Steinberg was born in Los Angeles, California.[8] Her mother was an activist of Mexican-Turkish descent, and her father was a criminal defense lawyer of Polish Jewish descent.[9]

During the late 1980s, Steinberg performed as a backup dancer[10] and singer, touring with musicians O.J. Ekemode & The Nigerian Allstars. She also shared the stage with Santana, Bo Diddley, The Neville Brothers, The Spinners, Burning Spear and Jimmy Cliff. As a veteran music industry executive, she served as a marketer with Atlantic Records, Sony, Def Jam, Tommy Boy, Interscope, and Relativity.

She currently residing in Southern California near her four children and two grandchildren.

While living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Steinberg held poetry classes in Oakland. Among her students was young Tupac Shakur. After he came to her poetry class in spring 1989, they hit it off.[11] For a time he lived with her and her family, and read and wrote under her encouragement. She served as a mentor and manager until he needed more professional help.[9][12] He signed with Atron Gregory in 1989.

Steinberg and Shakur further developed what they called The Microphone Sessions (TMS), a writing workshop that develops the spoken word, poetry, musical, hip-hop, pop and dance, jazz, rock n' roll singing, and dramatic performances. Weekly gatherings are held worldwide, led by Steinberg-trained artist-educators.[13]

Steinberg co-teaches a class on Race and the Law at USC's Law School with Professor Jody Armour.[14] For more than 25 years, she has also taught her class to inmates at San Quentin, through the No More Tears program. One of her students, Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll, has become known as the "Oracle of San Quentin" because of his success in stock picks.[15][14]


  1. ^ The Bandana Republic, Soft Skull Press 2008
  2. ^ Billboard, June 28, 1997 pp15
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2016-07-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ 2pac, Star Remembered: Bearing Witness to a Life and Legacy. Chronicle Books LLC. 2008.
  5. ^ Jackson, Kat Graham The Rose That Grew From Concrete MTV Publishing (February 3, 2009)
  6. ^ [1], NPR
  7. ^ [2], Deadline, January 2016
  8. ^ Tupac Amaru Shakur by Jean-Pierre Hombach p. 194
  9. ^ a b Seth Rogovoy, "The secret Jewish history of Tupac Shakur", The Forward, 18 June 2014; accessed 12 March 2012
  10. ^ "Back 2 The Essence: Friends and Family Reminiscence over Hip-Hop's Fallen Sons" (October 1999) Vibe Magazine p. 104
  11. ^ "Leila Steinberg". Assemblies in Motion. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  12. ^ Harris, Ashley Rae "Kat Graham": Multi-Platinum Rapper" ABDO Publishing 2010
  13. ^ ""Leila Steinberg"". Archived from the original on 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  14. ^ a b [3], Citizens of Humanity, Blog, 05 April 2016
  15. ^ "Murderer turned stock picker is oracle of San Quentin", Market Watch, 10 July 2014

External links[edit]