“California Love” and the great influence of Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre on Kendrick Lamar’s life

What you need to know:

“California Love”, the song by Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, had a huge influence on Kendrick Lamar’s life. How was? We tell them.

For specialist portals such as billboard, Kendrick Lamar and Tupac Shakur are among the top 10 greatest rappers of all time. And while we realize that they are both musicians who have marked a before and after in the history of hip-hop, it is ironic that Kendrick and Tupac never met on stage.

When Tupac Shakur was murdered in Las Vegas on September 13, 1996, Kendrick Lamar was barely 9 years old. According to the Compton rapper’s statements in previous interviews: He officially started in the world of music until the age of 16, when he released the mixtape “Youngest boss n*gga in office” under the pseudonym K-Dot.

The first mixtape Kendrick Lamar released as a teenager. Photo: Special

This is how “California Love” changed Kendrick Lamar’s life

How did the two artists, considered rap’s greatest representatives of the last 40 years, manage to form a bond without any friendship or collaboration attached? It was all thanks to one of hip-hop’s most iconic tracks: “California Love.”

Released in 1995 as the album’s first single “All eyes on me” by Shakur, For “California Love,” Tupac teamed up with the great Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman together. who appeared in the music video filmed in the Compton, California neighborhood.

Compton is not only one of the most dangerous and poor neighborhoods in the United States, but also the place where Kendrick Lamar was born and raised At the age of 8, he witnessed the recording of “California Love”a song with which he praises Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre scored.

In an interview with “The morning risingfrom Chicago radio station WGCI, said Kendrick Lamar On the day “California Love” was recorded, Tupac and Co. stood in the middle of the street and it was his father who took him to filming.

“California Love” and the great influence of Tupac Shakur and Dr.  Dre on Kendrick Lamar's life
Kenny Duckworth and his son Kendrick Lamar. Photo: Special

Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre recorded the video on the streets of Compton, California

“My father had seen them, he came home and picked me up (…) he put me on his shoulders to watch them film.”suggested Lamar, who mentioned in another interview with the Recording Academy how years later he met Dr. Met Dre in person and told him this anecdote.

“15 years later I met Dr. Dre and told him this story and he remembered exactly that moment and the children who were there. I told him, “Dre, I was one of those kids.”…It’s a crazy feeling”said the rapper about how this event set him on the path to becoming a legend.

“California Love” and the great influence of Tupac Shakur and Dr.  Dre on Kendrick Lamar's life
Years later, Kendrick Lamar was able to date Dr. Dre work together. Photo: Getty Images

Kendrick says his love of hip-hop began at age 4 after listening to some albums at home. However, The recording of “California Love” by Tupac and Dr. Dre inspired him to pursue music. and get to know the world of freestyle.

Then Thanks to his high school teacher Regis Inge, the rapper was already starting to forge a path in terms of lyrical content.which introduced him to the world of poetry in seventh grade, which was directly linked to the world of hip-hop.

“California Love” and the great influence of Tupac Shakur and Dr.  Dre on Kendrick Lamar's life
Kendrick Lamar and his high school teacher Regis Inge. Photo: Facebook.

Kendrick Lamar’s deep connection to Tupac Shakur

Speaking to Forbes in 2017, Kendrick Lamar said this One of the things he liked about rappers like Tupac Shakur was that he identified with the things they said in their lyrics.. And yes, in some ways Lamar wanted to build a similar legacy.

“Maybe I didn’t understand it as a child, but the people around me did and I recognized the connection they had with itand I looked and said, “I want to have that same connection one day.”said the rapper, also known as “Kung Fu Kenny.”

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Tupac Shakur was murdered in 1996. Photo: Getty

Thanks to Tupac, Lamar had a very clear intention from a young age about what he was looking for when he went on stage.: being able to show his true self through the stories he told while allowing people to get to know and identify with them.

He did and has been ever since Kendrick Lamar has become one of the most successful and prominent rappers of his generation. In fact, he is considered one of the greatest representatives of the so-called “Rap of Consciousness” (here we will give you some reasons why).

And the homages to Tupac in Kendrick’s works

But Kendrick’s admiration for Tupac didn’t stop there. Actually, K-dot has honored Shakur several times through his works, including “Mortal Man,” a song in which Kendrick sampled an interview Pac did for a radio station in 1994.

“Mortal Man” is part of Kendrick’s album, “Pimp a butterfly”which was originally titled “Your pimp “to Caterpillar” is an acronym for TUPAC. In the end the name didn’t stick, but Yes, Kendrick’s take on what an interaction with Tupac would be like and what the late rapper would think of his work.

“California Love” and the great influence of Tupac Shakur and Dr.  Dre on Kendrick Lamar's life
“To Pimp a Buttlerfly” is one of the albums on which Kendrick Lamar pays tribute to the influence and memory of Tupac Shakur. Photo: Kendrick Lamar.

Another great tribute to Tupac Shakur can also be found in the video by “King Kunta”which was recorded in the same area of ​​Compton where “California Love” was filmed, and in the emotional letter Kendrick wrote in 2015 in memory of Tupac on the 19th anniversary of his death.

I was eight years old when I first saw you. I can’t describe how I felt in that moment. Twenty years later I can completely understand that feeling… INSPIRATIONwrote K-dot in the letter posted on Tupac’s official website.

The letter Lamar wrote to Shakur in 2015. Photo: Special

“The lives of the people you touched at a small intersection were changed forever. I told myself that one day I wanted to be a voice for the people. Everyone knew I spoke loudly so you could hear me. Thanks“, concluded the emotional letter.

Dr. Dre is no slouch when it comes to the influence he had on Kendrick Lamar

And while Tupac Shakur was a huge source of inspiration for Kendrick, Dr. Dre not far behind. Firstly, because Lamar’s success came after studying with Dr. Dre’s record label Interscope Records had signed. and release their acclaimed debut album Good boy, MAAD City‘ (2012).

On the other hand, We saw Kendrick attend the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show, where the guests were all Dre disciples who have become world stars. Something that Dr. Dre claims no success in Kendrick’s case.

“California Love” and the great influence of Tupac Shakur and Dr.  Dre on Kendrick Lamar's life
Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime. Photo: Getty Images

“I can never praise Kendrick Lamar… He is a true artist, the true definition of the word “rapper.”. The only thing I can complain about is that I opened the door, but He did everything else himself together with his manager Dave Free”Dre said in an interview on Kevin Hart’s “Hart to Heart” show.

“Kendrick is one of those artists we call ‘timeless artists.'” He could disappear for five years and come back to surprise us all. “Some artists think they have to stay in the public eye constantly to avoid being forgotten, but that’s not the case.”said the producer and businessman in this conversation in 2023.

It’s incredible how much a song like “California Love” impacted the life of a kid who was just watching a bunch of rappers make a music video. Could it be that in a few years we’ll meet someone doing the same thing as Kendrick Lamar, inspired by what the Compton rapper did?

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