The ghost of Tupac Shakur haunts K-Dot’s record To Pimp A Butterfly, with Kendrick Lamar using archive audio tapes throughout the album to conduct an "interview" with the highly influential rapper. The two have a fictional, poignant discussion about their hopes for black America, the dangers of power and how to maintain a career at the top. Lamar was initially going to call his album Tu Pimp A Caterpillar because it spelt "Tupac" when abbreviated.
Tupac died on September 13 1996 – a day over twenty years ago – after being shot six days previously. No-one has ever been charged with his murder. Yesterday, Kendrick Lamar published a tribute to his hero, appearing on Tupac’s official website:
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.
Thank you. K.L.
Watch Kendrick discussing his message and motivations for the record on MTV.