Former Iowa Official's Love For Tupac Shakur May Have Gotten Him Fired

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Who Is Jerry Foxhoven? New Details On Iowa Man Who Sent So Many Emails To Co Workers About How Much He Loved Tupac He Was Forced To Resign

For his 65th birthday, this Iowa official had a "Tupac-themed" birthday party. While, at best, it can be considered a little strange and unusual for someone over the age of 10 to have a themed birthday party, it's good to know that Tupac Shakur's influence on popular culture hasn't waned over the years. However, this man is an elected official in Iowa — his employers were not amused — and, allegedly, his love for the "Hit 'Em Up" rapper got him the boot. Who is Jerry Foxhoven?

Let's look at what we know about this now-former Iowa official. 

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1. But first, who is Tupac Shakur?

Before we get into who Jerry Foxhoven is, it would behoove us all to understand who, precisely, he's a fan of. 

To condense Tupac Shakur's long and storied career into a few paragraphs would be a Herculean task, on its own, especially since his influence is still so great, even so many years after his death. 

But in the interest of brevity, Tupac Shakur — often known solely by his first name — was a rapper who first rose to prominence in the 1990s. He — along with The Notorious B.I.G. — came to embody the so-called "gangsta rap" movement of the era, even though there were several other so-called "gangsta rappers" that were just as influential that came before him (such as N.W.A., Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Ice-T). According to Biography.com, Tupac Shakur has sold more than 75 million albums to date, even though he was murdered in a hail of gunfire in front of a Las Vegas hotel in 1995. Just 25-years-old at the time of his death, Tupac is cited as one of the most influential rappers of the modern era. 

Tupac Shakur was an influential rapper.

2. Who is Jerry Foxhoven?

Jerry Foxhoven was the director of the Iowa Department of Human Servicess from 2017 until, literally, just a few days ago. He wrote a book, Juvenile Delinquency Law & Procedure, which was released in 2017 on the Carolina Academic Press imprint. The summary of the book on Google Books reads as follows: "This casebook takes a comprehensive approach to teaching law students all of the issues involved in representing a minor who has been accused of violating the law, including the history and evolution of the juvenile justice system, the rights of minors in interrogation, searches and monitoring both at home and at school, and the procedures and rights in delinquency court. The casebook follows the life of a juvenile delinquency case from the first contact with authorities through sentencing in either juvenile or adult court."

So, by no means is he a "stupid" guy! 

 

A post shared by Tupac Shakur (@2pac) on Mar 27, 2019 at 8:06am PDT

Jerry Foxhoven is a huge fan of Tupac Shakur.

3. Fired for too much Tupac?

According to NPR, Jerry Foxhoven went from "small-town Iowa government official" to "nationwide trending topic" when he allegedly got fired for having a Tupac-themed birthday party. The outlet reports that he regularly held "Tupac Fridays" in the office (presumably as a sort of "casual Fridays"), got in his feelings about certain Tupac milestones (such as his death anniversary), and even had Tupac-themed baked goods for his birthday. (How exactly does one do that, anyway?)

"Foxhoven's tenure at the Department of Human Services ended without warning — and without a chance for an orderly transition. After his email citing the rapper, Foxhoven was asked to resign. He says that he was not even granted a meeting with Iowa Govenor Kim Reynolds," they wrote.

Jerry Foxhoven would share emails with quotes inspired by, or written by, Tupac Shakur.

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4. The governor's office denies the claim. 

Even though the initial "headline grab" suggested that Jerry Foxhoven got fired for "too much Tupac," the Des Moines Register suggested that this was not the case. The outlet spoke to Pat Garrett, a representative for Gov. Kim Reynolds, who emphatically stated that Foxhoven was fired for other, more innocuous reasons. 

"As the governor has said, a lot of factors contributed to the resignation of Jerry Foxhoven. Of course, Tupac was not one of them. Govenor Reynolds is looking forward to taking DHS in a new direction,” he said.

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Is there really such a thing as "too much Tupac"?

5. Jerry Foxhoven said that he "doesn't think" he got fired over his love for the rapper. 

After he became a viral sensation, Jerry Foxhoven spoke to The New York TImes and made clear that reports of his "Tupac termination" were highly exaggerated. 

"In a phone interview, Mr. Foxhoven said his frequent quoting of Tupac at work — detailed in 350 pages of internal emails first obtained by The Associated Press — was simply intended to raise morale at the troubled agency. He did not believe it led to his removal. “I think it’s a coincidence,” Mr. Foxhoven said. He explained that the office of Gov. Kim Reynolds had requested a meeting with him days before he sent the office-wide email June 14," the outlet reported. 

Jerry Foxhoven said that the timing was just "coincidence."

6. 2Pac 4 Life!

Lest you think that all of this has deterred Jerry Foxhoven from bumping 2Pacalypse Now at full volume, let his statement (per The Root) perish any thought of this nonsense. 

"Hov-N ended his companywide email with a missive that could serve us all: “Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are 2 steps ahead.” Hov-N won’t “Shed So Many Tears” as he noted that he sent the lyrics to break down stereotypes surrounding hip-hop. “I love your 2pac messages...and the fact that you still send them (despite the haters) makes me appreciate them even more,” employee Lisa Bender wrote. “I agree totally. I am going to hang in there on him—despite all of the naysayers,” Foxhoven responded," according to the outlet.

You keep being you, Jerry Foxhoven! 

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.