Tupac Shakur was shot in a a drive-by in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996, and died in hospital in Nevada six days later, with last Sunday September 13 marking the 19th anniversary of his passing. 

In honour of this auspicious day, Kendrick Lamar wrote a note, subsequently published on 2Pac’s own website, explaining the tremendous influence that the rapper had on his own development and career. 

He wrote: 

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. 


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. 

Thank you. 


In a Rolling Stone interview, Kendrick spoke about being eight years old and sitting on his father’s shoulders and watching while 2Pac and Dr. Dre filmed the video for ‘California Love’ at the Compton Swap Meet

He would later shoot a scene at the same location in his ‘King Kunta’ video as a tribute, and To Pimp A Butterfly closes with ‘Mortal Man’, a track that features the two men in conversation, via sound-bytes of a 1994 interview with Shakur. 

Lamar has even said that at one point, his album was to be called Tu Pimp a Catterpillar, which shortens to ‘TuPaC’. Anyway, because it fucking rules, here’s ‘California Love’.

via Rolling Stone
Photo: Jean Catuffe / Steve Granitz via Getty Images