18 Years Later: Rappers Reflect On Tupac's Impact
"If there is anyone I wish I could be more like it would probably be Pac. I think more than anything, aside from his music which was absolutely incredible, I think he just drove people with who he was, how he carried himself, how little he cared...he was someone that was genuinely a free spirit and did not care, and he just did what he felt and I wish I could have a little more Pac to my persona" – Drake
“He’s a real role model because of his strength and his I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude toward bullshit. He died too early, right at his peak" - DJ Hi-Tek
"I am a better person, poet, friend and father because of the lessons learned through your music" - The Game
"One of the things Tupac allowed rappers to do to this day was contradict themselves, and go through different types of emotions and types of things in their lives and points in their lives where they feel certain types of ways. You can’t just feel one way all the time" – Eminem
"He was someone who really lived it, who was actually going through it, and could really tell you about it. He was likeable because his style was fun, but at the same time he was really dealing with some situations" – Snoop Dogg
"I remember him being by the bar, and there were a line of chicks, lined up, and they were all lined up just to touch him and get a hug from him. And I remember looking at that, and saying, ‘I wanna be THAT’. I want people to wanna touch me, love me, line up, just to say ‘hi’ to me. I want THAT. Dope dude man" - Ja Rule
"I am a kid, 7, 8 or 9 years old, looking at all my cousins, all my uncles, my Pops, they’re all from Compton, playing Tupac constantly. This is it, this is it…fiending to it. Huge Tupac fan forever. Pac? Energy, aggression, emotion, something I gotta dig deep and think about all the woes in my life to jump on that record and pull them emotions out.” – Kendrick Lamar
"It was incredible. I remember being in the studio with Pac and he actually went into the mic booth to write, and I was like, OK, that's different. So I'm in the control room and he writes the lyrics, 'Aight, I'm ready!' He spits 'California Love,' one or two takes. Like, 'Aight, put the next thing up.' And he would just sit in the booth, like 'Put the next thing up!' I think that's why he has so many songs and so much material. He was incredible. A serious machine, a serious talent." – Dr Dre
“Tupac is more relevant than ever. I think his legacy will never tarnish, his emotion is still unmatched. He brought a street and thug point of view but his intelligence is something we never speak about enough. I think we need to make sure we express that Tupac was a very intelligent, great speaker. He was very intellectual and we gotta continue [influencing] our young men [to be] leaders and speak their mind. That’s what we miss the most about Tupac.” – Rick Ross
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18 years on from his premature death, HNHH takes a look at how Tupac Shakur has made his mark on various hip-hop artists.
On the 13th of September, 1996, Tupac Amaru Shakur died at the tender age of 25, leaving the hip-hop community to mourn one of the most inspiring, talented rappers of our time.
Tupac's music, acting and general work ethic has no doubt had an effect on many of us, including numerous hip-hop artists. The late legend is often cited by many as someone who helped them to choose their rap career paths, not to mention their lyrical styles, and music.
What is clear in this collection of quotes from rappers is that they saw Tupac as more than just a "great rapper." For these artists, they saw his charisma, his personality and his revolutionary mindset. This is visible even to some of the younger rappers who may not even have met him.
Tupac's legacy lives on in hip-hop and his timeless music enables this.
R.I.P Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996)