For PAPER Magazine‘s October ‘Nowstalgia’ issue, Eminem penned a tribute letter dedicated to the late Tupac Shakur. Eminem has always been influenced by Tupac, starting in his young teenage years, and even went on to produce his tenth studio album Loyal To The Game.
In his letter, Em reflects on the first time he hear ‘Pac on Digital Underground’s “I Get Around.” “I was 18 or 19 years old and I remember thinking, “Who is this?” He stood out so much,” Marshall reminisces. The letter also includes Tupac’s influence on Eminem’s songwriting, how to make “songs that meant something,” his thoughts on the condition of society at the time, Pac’s mother letting him produce his Loyal To The Game album and much more.
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. 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; 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. Like, listen to “If I Die 2Nite.” Whatever he was rapping about, it was urgent. If it was a sad song, it’d make you cry. But there were a lot of different sides to him: fed-up, angry, militant, having a good time. His spirit spoke to me because it was like you knew everything that he was going through, especially when he made Me Against the World. You just felt every aspect of his pain, every emotion: when he was happy, when he was sad. His ability to touch people’s lives like that was incredible.
Read the full letter here.