Paper is tapping current Hip Hop representatives to pay homage to deceased icons of the culture. After Kendrick Lamar honored Eazy-E, the publication recruited Marshall “Eminem” Mathers to pen a personal essay about Tupac Shakur.
“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,” writes Eminem. “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.”
Previously, Eminem wrote a letter to Pac’s mother Afeni Shakur. He also drew a picture of the late West Coast legend. Both items are now at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
“When his mother, Afeni [Shakur], let me produce one of Tupac’s albums – the Loyal to the Gamealbum – I wrote her a letter thanking her for letting me do it,” added Em. “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.”
The Shady Records leader continued his praise for Pac, “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.”
Read the full essay here.