Kendrick Lamar writes tribute to Tupac Shakur on the anniversary of his death

"I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you. I couldn¿t describe how I felt at that moment. So many emotions. "
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Kendrick Lamar has, in ways more subtle and quite explicit, spent his career in conversation with Tupac Shakur.

Lamar is the North Star of a new generation of L.A. hip-hop artists who grew up with Shakur’s ruminative ‘90s catalog, and who are updating its themes for contemporary times. To judge by the smash hit success of “Straight Outta Compton,” that era’s legacy remains as vital as ever to today’s crowds.

At the close of his new album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Lamar uses re-contextualized interview snippets to hold a touching, sometimes melancholy talk with Shakur as a coda to his album’s search for meaning and identity.

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In a new, short note posted to Shakur’s website, Lamar makes Shakur’s influence even more overt.

“I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you,” Lamar writes. “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.

Lamar published his note on Sunday, the 19th anniversary of Shakur’s shooting death in Las Vegas.

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