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Kendrick Lamar Pens Touching Tribute to Tupac Shakur

Kendrick Lamar Tupac Shakur
Frederick M. Brown / Raymond Boyd, Getty Images

It’s no secret that Kendrick Lamar admires the brilliance and passion of Tupac Shakur. On his celebrated album, To Pimp a Butterfly, there’s a song called “Mortal Man” where the Compton rhymer shares an imagined conversation with the late rapper.

Today (Sept. 13), marks the 19th anniversary of 2Pac’s death after he was shot several times in a drive-by shooting seven days prior. To commemorate his passing, Lamar wrote a heartfelt letter to his idol.

In the missive, which was posted on 2Pac’s official website, the “Alright” rapper recalled the first time he saw ‘Pac as a young kid on the set of the “California Love (Remix)” video, which was filmed at the Compton swap meet near his home. It was then, he realized that he wanted to become a rapper and be the voice of the people. Lamar would later shoot his own video at that same swap meet for his “King Kunta” music video and tip his hat to 2Pac.

K. Dot writes:

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.

Thank you, K.L.”

You can see Kendrick Lamar’s full letter and image at

Listen to Kendrick Lamar’s Song “Mortal Man”

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