Here are some more excerpts from the book Tupac Remembered as we continue our 40th birthday tribute.
It was inevitable that Tupac’s path would cross with that of hip-hop pioneer and business mogul Russell Simmons. But nobody could have guessed that it was Russell’s endorsement of Tupac that would secure his role of Spoon in Gridlock’d.
There are people who define the times from a cultural standpoint. They tell you which car is hot, which watch we wanna wear today. They offer a great kind of insight into a specific week or year. Tupac did that at times, but he also defined the spirit of something that’s always gonna need a Tupac song to describe what’s really inside you.
- Russell Simmons
Though rap artist Common and Tupac only crossed paths once, Tupac left a strong impression that affected Common throughout his career.
Nobody, no rapper will have the impact on this time and space like Tupac had, so we better cherish his legacy and absorb everything we learned from it. The body may deteriorate, but Tupac is still alive in a way by his spirit being here. We will always talk about Tupac the way we talk about Marvin Gaye and Bob Marley.
Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, used to study Tupac’s music before he himself become one of the biggest-selling rap artists of all time. In 2004, Eminem was executive producer of Tupac’s eighth posthumous album, Loyal to the Game.
When Tupac died, the world lost an icon. A soldier. A poet. I lost an idol. I was grateful to have Afeni give me the chance to work with his a cappellas. I remember talking to her for the first time. It was a little nerve-wracking. I didn’t know what to expect. I was about to talk to a woman who is a legend herself and her son is a legend. But the fact that Afeni gave me a chance to get his a cappellas and make beats around them and make an entire album with Tupac is one of the things I find just incredible.
Hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg has become a household name and an international star. He and Tupac shared a business relationship, but also a friendship that Snoop still treasures to this day.
I learned a lot from Pac. I learned how to be aggressive in the studio. He put more emphasis on working in the studio and being creative and getting shit done. It was like a food chain up in there when he was in the studio. He didn’t wasted a muthafuckin’ time. He ain’t in there talking any bullshit. He ain’t in there on the phone. He’s not doing anything but music. And nowadays my spirit is the same way.
- Snoop Dogg
QD3, a record producer and the son of the legendary Quincy Jones, had a close personal and professional relationship with Tupac.
Working with him in the studio was incredible. I think in your heart, you would love for an artist just to come in and take control of their vision without any second guessing, but I had never seen that before. Before I worked with Tupac, I was one of those people who would sit there forever and tweak stuff. Pac slapped that out of me quick. No tweaking or anything. “Just do it” kind of shit. “You can do all that stuff when I’m gone,” he said. It was amazing, working with somebody who brings 200 percent to your track, and that fast, and with no thought. Just the energy that he had was inspiring, I’ve never worked the same since, it’s more intuitive now.
Tupac Remembered, Copyright © 2008 by Amaru Entertainment, Inc.