A young Kendrick attends the "California Love" video shoot
"I was 8 years old when I first saw you," he wrote. "I couldn't describe how I felt at that moment. 20 years later I understand exactly what that feeling was... INSPIRED."
It is a moment that Kendrick has alluded to many times: Tupac's "California Love" video shoot in Compton. Here's how he's described the scene: "It was like pandemonium. My dad put me on his shoulders, and there they was, Dr. Dre and Tupac, in I think a white Bentley... 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 fuck!' Yelling at the police, just like on his motherfucking songs. He gave us what we wanted.”
It was the first of two moments that would cement Kendrick's spiritual and musical connection to Tupac. "That momentum right there, subconsciously or not, I think it eventually branched me off to what I'm doing now," he said. "It was already designed and destiny."
Kendrick's first glimpse of Tupac occurred at the Compton Swap Meet -- in the video, Tupac goes there to buy clothes to wear later at Dr. Dre's party. Kendrick paid homage by heading to the Compton Swap Meet to film his "King Kunta" video. “It blew me away, tripped me out that 15 years later I’m doing that same thing ’Pac was doing right in Compton,” he told MTV News. “It’s just a beautiful thing.”