Jeremy DeputatEminem is the latest artist to pay tribute to the late Tupac Shakur. Following Kendrick Lamar‘s heartfelt ode on the 19th anniversary of the rapper’s death, Slim Shady has penned a touching tribute for Paper magazine’s October “Nowstalgia” issue.
Em believes Pac’s greatest gift was his poetic rap style. “The way he chose which words to say with which beat was genius; it’s like he knew what part of the beat and what chord change was the right place to hit these certain words… to make them jump off the track and make you feel what he was saying,” Em said, adding, “His ability to touch people’s lives like that was incredible.”
Of all Eminem’s musical influences — ranging from N.W.A to Public Enemy — he says Tupac was “the first one to really help me learn how to make songs that felt like something.” Em adds he “picked up so much” of Pac’s “genius” ability to “evoking emotions through songs.”
The rapper adds he still can’t believe Tupac’s mother, Afeni, agreed to let him produce on 2004’s posthumous album, Loyal to the Game. “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,” Eminem said. “It was such a significant piece of history for me and so much fun. I’m like a kid in a candy store; going nuts with the fact that I’m putting beats under his rhymes.”
You can read Eminem’s entire letter via PaperMag.com.
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