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Tupac Shakur: Kendrick Lamar pens tribute to rapper on anniversary of his death

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Ron Galella/WireImage

On Sunday, the 19th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur, Kendrick Lamar penned a tribute to the legendary hip-hop star.

Posted on Tupac’s official website, it reads:

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.

The opening lines are likely a reference to an 8-year-old Lamar watching Dr. Dre and Tupac shooting a video for “California Love” while sitting on his father’s shoulders oustide the Compton Swap Meet. He described it to Rolling Stone, saying, “These motorcycle cops trying to conduct traffic but one almost scraped the car, and Pac stood up on the passenger seat, like, ‘Yo, what the f–k!’  Yelling at the police, just like on his motherf–king songs. He gave us what we wanted.”

Pitchfork points out that Lamar previously paid tribute to Tupac on his album To Pimp A Butterfly. The final track, “A Mortal Man,” features a fictional conversation between the two pieced together using sound bites from a 1994 interview Tupac gave to a Swedish journalist, Mats Nileskär.

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