Detroit rapper says Tupac Shakur was the first rapper to influence his music
2Pac – real name Tupac Shakur – was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in September 1996. It was recently the 19th anniversary of his death (September 13).
Penning a tribute for Paper Magazine, Eminem revealed that he was “18 or 19 years old” when he first heard Shakur’s song ‘I Get Around’, a collaboration with Digital Underground.
“I remember thinking, ‘Who is this?’ He stood out so much… He was taking things further than a lot of rappers at the time – pushing it to the next level as far as giving feeling to his words and his music.”
He added: “A lot of people say, ‘You feel Pac,’ and it’s absolutely true. The way he chose which words to say with which beat was genius; it’s like he knew what part of the beat and what chord change was the right place to hit these certain words… to make them jump off the track and make you feel what he was saying.”
“Whatever he was rapping about, it was urgent. If it was a sad song, it’d make you cry. But there were a lot of different sides to him: fed-up, angry, militant, having a good time. His spirit spoke to me because it was like you knew everything that he was going through… You just felt every aspect of his pain, every emotion: when he was happy, when he was sad. His ability to touch people’s lives like that was incredible.”
“Tupac was the first one to really help me learn how to make songs that felt like something. He was so versatile – if you weren’t in the mood for what he was doing on this song here, he’s got something for you over here. He covered such a broad perspective and there were so many different sides to him, but the best part about him overall was that he was a human being. He would let you see that… He was a superstar in every aspect of the word. You just wanted to know that guy. Like man, I wanna hang out with Pac.”
The rapper continued to state that a boyhood dream came true when he worked on one of Shakur’s posthumous releases, 2004’s ‘Loyal To The Game’. “You wouldn’t be able to tell the 18/19-year-old Marshall that he would ever be able to get his hands on some Tupac vocals and have that opportunity. It was such a significant piece of history for me and so much fun. I’m like a kid in a candy store; going nuts with the fact that I’m putting beats under his rhymes.”
“Regardless of how good a rapper someone is, it’s easy for things to eventually get dated. But when you make songs like Tupac did, songs that feel like something, that feeling never goes away… It was true genius.”
Rapper Kendrick Lamar recently paid similar homage to Shakur. Lamar is a well known fan of Shakur’s and ended his 2015 album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ with a mock interview between the pair.
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In the note, which was published on the official 2Pac website, Lamar cited his idol’s influence and discussed how he first came to hear his music.
The note read: “I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you. I couldn’t describe how I felt at that moment. So many emotions. Full of excitement. Full of joy and eagerness. 20 yrs later I understand exactly what that feeling was. INSPIRED.
“The people that you touched on that small intersection changed lives forever. I told myself I wanted to be a voice for man one day. Whoever knew I was speaking out loud for u to listen.”