Eminem put his love for Tupac Shakur’s legacy on display earlier this year when he penned a heartfelt letter to the late rapper’s mother.
The love didn’t stop there and for Paper magazine’s new “Nowstalgia” issue, Slim Shady explained why 2Pac is arguably the GOAT.
Here’s an excerpt.
I don’t know if he was talking to Arsenio [Hall] but I remember him saying something to the effect of “[it’s like] people standing outside watching through the window at a bunch of motherf*ckers throwing food around and having a party and everybody’s hungry outside and they’re seeing through the window and after a minute, you got people out here singing, ‘We’re hungry, we’re hungry. Let us in, let us in.’ And the next minute when no one’s listening, it’s like ‘Alright, we’re kicking the door down, coming through, picking the lock, blasting.'” When he was giving those analogies, they were incredible. It was almost like he was writing songs when he was doing interviews.
When his mother, Afeni (Shakur), let me produce one of Tupac’s albums — the Loyal to the Game album — I wrote her a letter thanking her for letting me do it. 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. I’m like a kid in a candy store; going nuts with the fact that I’m putting beats under his rhymes. 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. I can put “If I Die 2Nite” in and want to fight somebody the second it comes on. That’s the kind of emotion he sparked. I could put “Dear Mama” in and damn near be in tears. He was just so good at evoking emotions through songs and I picked up so much from that. Biggie had that as well. It was that same kind of thing… he was so good at putting the right words and music together. I would have a hard time believing that they didn’t know what they were doing when they were putting certain words on certain chords of the beat. I would have a hard time believing that it was all accidental. It was true genius.
The “Nowstalgia” issue hits stands on October 20.