The letter published on the official 2pac website reads as follows.
I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you. I couldn’t describe how I felt at that moment. So many emotions. Full of excitement. Full of joy and eagerness. 20 yrs later I understand exactly what that feeling was.
The people that you touched on that small intersection changed lives forever. I told myself I wanted to be a voice for man one day. Whoever knew I was speaking out loud for u to listen.
As Lamar told Rolling Stone back in June, it was on the set of the video clip for California Love that Kendrick, hoisted up on his father’s shoulders, first caught sight of Shakur.
Filming at the Compton Swap Meet, a location Lamar would later use for his King Kunta video clip, the experience left an indelible mark on the future rapper, as 2pac lived up to his image and reputation.
“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.”
This mark, can be clearly seen in Kendricks’ work, with the closing track on To Pimp A Butterfly seeing the rapper piece together a fictional conversation with Shakur, using sound bites from an interview with a journalist.
On the track, titled A Mortal Man, Kendrick acknowledges the huge influence the pioneer rapper had on him, saying “Being one of your offspring of the legacy you left behind I can truly tell you that there’s nothing but turmoil goin’ on.”
Watch: 2pac feat Dr.Dre – California Love